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Melinda Rakoncay speaks before the City Commission.

Melinda Rakoncay spoke before the City Commission at the May 9 meeting in support of  Resolution 2022-13, which authorizes the City Manager to execute the road jurisdiction transfer and construction reimbursement agreements related to King Street, Cathedral Place and Cordova Street. 

After much study on the matter and being involved in public workshops, as well as reading the Resolution and checking with staff that I understood everything in it, I made the decision to speak in support of Resolution 2022-13.  Here are my comments: 

"City ownership of King Street has been considered for as long as I can remember.  It’s a responsibility that in the past the City has been hesitant to take.  But with a long range Mobility Element part of our Comprehensive Plan…NOW is the right time.  

 I want to commend THIS City Commission for authorizing City Staff  to enter into negotiations with FDOT for ownership of this important corridor that runs through our historic core.  I commend City Staff for holding firm in these negotiations to make sure that the terms were still favorable to the City.  It is my understanding that City Staff has taken long term maintenance costs into consideration.  

The biggest advantage is that City ownership takes us off of FDOT schedules, which in the past has rushed design decisions through without the time for adequate public comment.  I would NOT support this Resolution if I didn’t feel it would give the residents & local business more INPUT.  

Since being the City’s Mobility Liaison, I’ve been the ears to the ground, taking local concerns back to Reuben Franklin. Together we conducted well attended meetings on this issue and most agreed that City ownership was the way to go forward. 

I want to make CLEAR to the public, that tonight’s resolution does NOT lock in ANY concepts or proposals for the future design and use of King & Cathedral Streets.  Instead it is only the BEGINNING…There are MANY exciting possibilities…even making no changes at all or making changes gradual, if that is determined to be the best solution.  

Ownership buys us TIME to study various designs, GET IT RIGHT, and make sure that LOCAL CONSENSUS is built.  

Regardless of my role in the City, I will continue to push for public involvement in the final design of this vital corridor that cuts through the heart of St Augustine. "





Committee to Elect Melinda Rakoncay
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