City Manager Ron Ferris defends proposal: ‘It isn’t about power. It’s trying to find the most efficient and effective way to deliver our services.’
In a debate shaped by an anonymous texting campaign to block “a dangerous plan” that “puts tax dollars at risk,” the Palm Beach Gardens City Council this month sharply reduced the city manager’s proposal to increase his spending authority.
The council cut City Manager Ron Ferris’ proposal in half, putting the threshold for staff to approve contracts for goods and services at 0.25 percent of the city’s budget, which amounts to $590,000, half of the $1.18 million Ferris sought. The threshold is still nearly 10 times the existing $65,000 limit and far higher than neighboring cities.
Continue reading “After anonymous text campaign, city manager spending threshold cut in half”
Final vote upcoming on proposal to raise threshold for Palm Beach Gardens City Council review of contracts to $1.18 million from $65,000.
The Palm Beach Gardens City Council is on the verge of giving its city manager far more purchasing power than other top administrators in the county.
The proposal backed in October on first reading by the council would empower City Manager Ron Ferris to approve contracts for goods and services worth $1.18 million without council review, up from $65,000.
Palm Beach County’s threshold is $200,000. In Jupiter, it’s $50,000. In Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, it’s $100,000. Delray Beach is $65,000.
Continue reading “Power of the purse: Gardens council to give city manager more control”
Internal documents reveal Palm Beach Gardens’ concerns over missed deadlines, bond issue.
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky expressed support for building two hockey rinks in Palm Beach Gardens before the project suffered a devastating crosscheck from city officials.
Gretzky, who recently bought a home in Gardens, had expressed interest in using the $43 million sports complex for his youth hockey school before the city terminated its relationship with the nonprofit behind the project.
Continue reading “Despite Wayne Gretzky, Gardens shot down hockey rink proposal”
Proposal would have brought two ice-skating rinks, gymnasium to North County District Park
City officials have canceled a deal three years in the making to bring a $43 million sports complex with two ice rinks to a Palm Beach Gardens park, claiming that they have better, unspecified offers to pursue.
The termination of the contract with the nonprofit Palm Beach North Athletic Foundation came in private correspondence from the city manager and only became public when raised during the comment portion of the Nov. 3 City Council meeting by Councilmember Mark Marciano.
Continue reading “Gardens cancels $43 million indoor sports complex“
Three candidates lined up to run for three seats; deadline to file is Nov. 30.
The makeup of the Palm Beach Gardens City Council could be determined in the next two weeks without a single vote being cast.
Three seats are open for an election scheduled for March 14. Three people, including Mayor Chelsea Reed, have opened campaign accounts and begun raising money to run. But so far none have drawn challengers.
Continue reading “Gardens election could be decided without voting”
Palm Beach Gardens residents with homestead protection will pay less, those without will pay more.
For city property owners with a homestead exemption, this year’s Palm Beach Gardens tax rate amounts to a tax cut.
For the rest, about 40 percent of city taxpayers, the rate set in September by the City Council means paying more in taxes to the city.
Continue reading “Tax relief for some: Gardens council trims tax rate“
Palm Beach Gardens City Council makes no mention of city manager’s open-ended contract, signed without public discussion in 2019.
To say that Palm Beach Gardens City Council members are happy with their city manager is an understatement.
At their most recent meeting, all five council members evaluated longtime City Manager Ron Ferris in glowing terms.
They said nothing, however, about Ferris’ contract, which according to a recent Palm Beach Post survey makes him Palm Beach County’s highest-paid city manager, at $314,487.
They don’t have to. His contract is open-ended. Unlike his past contracts, which if not extended would terminate after five years, Ferris signed a contract in 2019 that allows him to remain on the job “for an indeterminate term.”
Continue reading “Gardens council heaps praise on City Manager Ron Ferris”
Dan Catalfumo’s PGA Station would revive the former Design Center with a 396-unit apartment building and an eight-story office building.
To revive a dormant retail hub, a 396-unit apartment building and an eight-story office structure won the enthusiastic approval Thursday from the Palm Beach Gardens City Council.
Developer Dan Catalfumo’s PGA Station would transform the former Design Center south of PGA Boulevard between Alternate A1A and Interstate 95 into a hub aimed at taking advantage of commuter rail opportunities on the adjoining Florida East Coast Railway tracks.
Continue reading “‘Forward-seeking city:’ Gardens embraces Catalfumo plan for apartments, office building”
Palm Beach Gardens City Council votes 3-2 to keep tax rate flat, raising $2.4 million more from taxpayers.
ShopCore Properties wins city approval for massive changes at Downtown Palm Beach Gardens.
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