City ushers in new board appointments by: MargateNews.net

Sitting on a City Board is an important role citizens play in helping Margate government arrive at decisions that impact aesthetics, resident safety and civil equity in the City.

City commissioners at the March city meeting appointed new members to both the Margate Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) and Board of Adjustment (BOA); two at-large committees comprised of Margate citizens. The appointment process was recently revamped to include one board appointment by each city commissioner to each board. Appointments last a term of one-year, at which time city commissioners can reappoint board members or fill board seats with new faces.

Board members are extensions of the political process in the city and act as a set of eyes for commissioners when exploring issues that may ultimately come before the city commission for a vote.

Planning and Zoning Board (15 applicants)

Margate P&Z is charged with reviewing criteria that impacts zoning, development and land use in the City. The board reviews findings and recommendations from the Margate Development Review Committee and determines whether proposed projects, exceptions or rezoning recommendations meet criteria required by city code. If requirements are met, the P&Z then determines whether to recommend approval to Margate city commissioners. General knowledge of Margate planning and comprehensive land use is helpful, as are critical thinking skills, due diligence and the ability to leverage city resources in making informed decisions and recommendations. Only one of five P&Z members was retained for the year ending March 2014.

Todd Angier - reappointment nomination by Commissioner David McLean

Samuel Harris - nominated by Commissioner Tommy Ruzzano

Anthony Caggiano - nominated by Commissioner Joanne Simone

Catherine Yardley - nominated by Vice Mayor Le Peerman

Patricia Maher - nominated by Mayor Frank Talerico

Board of Adjustment (nine applicants)

Margate BOA interprets city zoning laws and grants variances to residents and businesses when deemed appropriate. A variance is a permit that basically conflicts with established provisions of Margate City Code. Variances are based on special circumstances that may be amenable to quality of life and business and pose no safety hazards or constructs to a majority. Whatever a variance request might be, it cannot be based on financial hardship, but rather criteria unforeseen in city code that may be unique to a specific land use, Margate City Planner Ben Ziskal told MargatNews.net.

Frederick Rahe (retained) - nominated by Mayor, Frank Talerico

Casey Ahlbum - nominated by Vice Mayor Le Peerman

Anthony Bui - nominated by Commissioner Tommy Ruzzano

Eddie DeCristofaro - nominated by Commissioner Joanne Simone

Fred Schweitzer - nominated by Commissioner David McLean

The revamped nominating process exhibited at the March city meeting requires that city commissioners pass a motion first to agree on each of their nominees then, after nominations, agree to appoint individuals to the board. Though commissioners are not required to divulge reasons for their appointments, newly-elected Margate City Commissioner Joanne Simone did.

Her appointment to the P&Z, Anthony Caggiano, Ambassador to the Margate Chamber of Commerce, was based on his involvement in the community as a Margate citizen, she said, and through observation would conduct due diligence and ask appropriate questions to arrive at informed decisions.

Simone’s appointment to the BOA, Eddie DeCristifaro, long-time Margate CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) coordinator, is educated in real estate and plat maps, she said, and would make decisions based on research and facts. Both appointees were graduates of the Margate Community College civic course.

Ziskal said few board members in past years have used the City Planner's Office as a tool relevant to their mission, but welcomes new appointees to call and consult with city planners as part of arriving at informed decisions.

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