During the City Commission meeting on October 25, staff presented a report to the Commission on the Midtown Stakeholders Committee’s priorities and ongoing work since 2021. Staff explained the Committee was formed in 2021 by the City Commission to come up with a list of priorities for the Midtown area. Some of the priorities include, parking, underground utilities and cross walks on Gadsden Street. Additionally, the end of the report stated the Committee was to sunset on March 24, 2024.
However, several members of the Committee expressed concern that staff did not give them adequate time to review the report prior to the presentation.
One speaker stated, “Unfortunately our committee was not provided a reasonable notice of this presentation. This agenda item represents our implied support. However, we were not given an option to respond as individuals or to review this as a committee. Unfortunately, we were actually notified by staff this Saturday afternoon, the weekend before the meeting. I hope we can all support the idea that volunteer members of the committee deserve the chance to review and respond to an agenda item prior to it being published. I suspect everyone here would take some issue with their name being placed on a document they were not given the chance to review, respond and potentially improve and strengthen.”
Another speaker noted that parking is a pressing issue for Midtown and recommended the Commission take action on that. He also expressed his frustration that the report stated the Committee would end. He stated, “I think we all were very happy with the fact that we came with a unanimous recommendation… We did this in May of 2022, now we’re 18 months later and we’re finally getting something, we’re seeing the report for the first time.”
Additionally, the City Manager explained that while in the beginning there was an effort to identify things that could be accomplished, at this point the City is aware of the parking issues and capable of planning in Midtown.
The Commission unanimously passed a motion to accept the update, and give the Committee an opportunity to review the report and to ensure the entities (Blueprint, City, County) working on projects in the Midtown area are coordinating with the Committee.