City manager settlement — The city released details of its settlement with former City Manager George Gretsas, in which it agreed to pay $75,000 to Gretsas to end litigation he filed. Gretsas initially demanded $205,213 to settle, which he later reduced to $135,000 before agreeing to the $75,000 offer, according to City Attorney Lynn Gelin’s Aug. 8 confidential memo to commissioners.
Festival of the Arts — The annual Downtown Delray Beach Festival of the Arts is moving west on Atlantic Avenue when it returns for its 35th installment Jan. 13-14. The major event, which in the past has been held on Atlantic Avenue to the east and the west of the Intracoastal Waterway bridge, will be set up between Northwest Fifth and Swinton avenues. Commissioners agreed to the new location at their Oct. 17 meeting. Some commissioners were concerned about the potential effect on traffic, but said they were willing to give the new location a chance.
Support for Israel — Commissioners approved a resolution in support of Israel in its war with Hamas. The resolution “condemns this unprovoked attack by Hamas.” It supports “Israel’s right to defend itself and protect its citizens from violence and terrorism,” and it backs Israel’s right “to exist as a sovereign and independent nation.”
DDA change — Commissioners approved a change in the Downtown Development Authority’s agreement to manage Old School Square, removing the Crest Theatre from the DDA’s responsibilities.
Water treatment improvement — City Manager Terrence Moore said the city is preparing to host a town hall with residents in early 2024 to go over plans for improvements to the city’s water treatment facilities.
Marine Way flooding — The city is moving forward with sea wall, roadway and pump improvements along Marine Way. City Manager Terrence Moore expected the bid process to begin in late October. “Those are the initial steps to bring improvements to that area,” Moore said.
Long reimbursed after ethics complaint dismissed — City commissioners agreed to reimburse Deputy Vice Mayor Rob Long $11,880 in expenses he incurred because of an ethics complaint filed against him that was dismissed by the Florida Commission on Ethics. The City Commission’s 3-1 decision (with Long recused from voting) also approved a request that the Ethics Commission make the complainant, Chris Davey, reimburse those costs. Mayor Shelly Petrolia said she supported paying Long’s costs, but voted against the motion because she said going after the complainant to cover the costs may discourage others from challenging potential wrongdoing.
Advisory board changes — The commission approved changes to its land development regulations that revise what cases go before the city’s Site Plan Review and Appearance Board and the Planning and Zoning Board, and which projects will be able to be approved administratively by staff without going before either board. As part of the changes, the commission plans to refill all the seats on the two boards in November.
— Larry Barszewski