Space Coast Progressive Alliance

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Saturday, 10 May 2014 13:07

West Melbourne weak on lagoon?

Written by  Linda Behret and Team SCPA

Update: West Melbourne Fertilizer Ordinance
by Linda Behret

West Melbourne had a first reading on a Fertilizer Ordinance on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at their City Hall council chambers.  

The proposed ordinance on the agenda had all four points to make it a strong ordinance: a summer rainy season ban, at least 50% slow release nitrogen, no phosphorus without a soil or plant test, and a fertilizer-free zone of at least 10 feet with no reference to deflector shields lowering that.  

The council had invited Ernie Brown of Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office to speak, and he gave the same great comprehensive presentation he had presented to the Brevard County Commissioners on March 6, before the commissioners voted unanimously in favor of a strong ordinance.  

Two West Melbourne residents spoke, both of whom opposed a strong ordinance. Other members of the public spoke, including Steve Chalmers, Spence Guerin, Mary Sphar, Alan Jotkoff and yours truly -- all of us in favor of a strong ordinance.

Then the city council had their discussion. Councilwoman Stephany Eley spoke from a scientific background in favor of a strong ordinance, and she moved to pass a strong ordinance, seconded by Bill Mettrick. At one point, Councilman Pat Bentley started arguing with Mr. Brown about what the 95-page IFAS study on the rainy season ban really meant, putting Ernie in the difficult position of having to defend his presentation without insulting anyone. Mayor Hal Rose said he wasn't sure, but was willing to err on the side of the lagoon, and vote for a strong ordinance.

Unfortunately, only Eley, Metrick and Rose were willing to support the strong ordinance, so it failed, 4-3, with Bentley, Tice, Smith and Young voting against the strong ordinance.

The city council then passed the state model ordinance 6-1, Councilwoman Eley being the only dissenting vote on that.  

The West Melbourne second reading is expected to take place Tuesday, May 20. 

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Linda Behret is past President, Turtle Coast Sierra Club.

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WEST MELBOURNE CITY COUNCIL

Would you like to thank the two council members who spoke up for a strong ordinance? Contact:
- Stephany Eley, 321-724-0168, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
- Bill Metrick, 321-728-5609, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To email ALL West Melbourne council members at once -- and ask them to pass a strong fertilizer ordinance, send email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

West Melbourne City Council: http://www.westmelbourne.org/index.aspx?nid=122

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RELATED LINKS

Palm Bay passes strong fertilizer ordinance, finally!
http://www.scpaflorida.com/item/2865-lagoon-update-palm-bay-fertilizer-ordinance

Brevard County passes strong fertilizer ordinance, 2nd time around.
http://www.scpaflorida.com/item/2840-a-crucial-reprieve

'Gimme Green' is award-winning doc film about... turn grass lawns!
And lawn pesticide chemicals, 19 of which are linked with cancer or carcinogenicty...
http://www.scpaflorida.com/item/2825-gimme-green-talks-grass

Turf grass and the Indian River Lagoon
http://www.scpaflorida.com/item/2824-turf-grass-the-lagoon

 

 

Last modified on Saturday, 10 May 2014 17:18
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