FLORIDA KEYS COUNCIL FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2008
PRESENT: Stan Darczuk, Cindy McKnight, Bill Gordon, Jimmy Schmidt, Marlene Steckley
GUESTS: Bob Stone, Monroe County Public Works
The Meeting of the Disability Council was called to order by the vice-chair.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND AGENDA
Determination that a quorum was present.
Minutes of previous meeting and today’s agenda were approved.
REPORT OF THE CHAIRPERSON:
Stan has been unable to reach our chairperson, Jim Malcolm. Stan reports we are in a time of
transition with the Council. We have a new Chairperson. The County is certainly going
through a lot of change financially as the nation is. A lot is happening County wide in terms
of change and as we move forward in this transition Stan feels it is more important than ever
that this Council sees to it that people with disabilities have a voice.
REPORT OF TREASURER
Balance of $ 249.76 as of July 24, 2008.
Revenues of $ 3,230.80 to date in receipt of fines effective for budget year 2009 (10/01/08).
REPORT ON COMMITTEE ON AWARDS:
Decision to present awards to Bill Gordon and Brenda Pierce at the Nov. 19, 2008 BOCC
meeting at the Key Largo Library.
Stan and Cindy will travel to this BOCC meeting and make the presentation to both
Stan made a motion to present an award to the TDC for significant upgrades to their website.
Motion passed. Harold Wheeler will be contacted reference this award since there are several
individuals who worked on this site.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ADA UPGRADES IN MONROE COUNTY:
Bob Stone, Monroe County Public Works, reports ADA surveys and draft reports are
completed in Key West County buildings to include the Stock Island Detention Center, voting
polls, Key West Senior Center, The lower Keys will be completed in the next few weeks.
All judiciary building are complete. The next three weeks surveys and drafts will be
completed in the middle and upper Keys. County roads and parks are a big challenge for
them. Reports are laid out on three levels in terms of complexity and expense. There are
things that can be done quickly and with little expense. Larger items would be budgeted for.
Jimmy Schmidt, City of Marathon, reports parking signs, disabled signs were lost during the
last 2 storms and are now on order for replacement purposes at the Marathon Skate Park and
Sombrero Beach. The ADA boat ramp is complete at the Quay. The Coco Plum bike path
and walk way are currently being assessed. There are some wetland issues involved. Sewer
placement is also impacted by wetlands in the Coco Plum area. The transition plan funding
for the City of Marathon is still included in the City budget.
Discussion was held concerning the Councils website. Bill Gordon spoke about the unique
position the FL Keys are in as far as tourism. He spoke about a national Guide for Travelers
with Disabilities. This guide was started in the state of Virginia and has spread with other
States having guides working under the auspices of the firm in Virginia. Bill feels this is
something we should seriously look at. It is an expensive endeavor but has been funded by
States and has been very successful. It is a proven commodity with statistics and figures to
back up and justify the expense. This idea should be investigated and a determination made if
this could work in the Florida Keys. He also mentions that grants have been provided by
entities such as American Express, national printing and paper companies. The US Postal
Service delivers guides at no charge. It has all the ingredients of a successful endeavor.
Stan suggests that Harold Wheeler, TDC, would be a good contact for this type of endeavor as
the TDC is focused on marketing to tourists with disabilities in light of their timely response
to changes and updating of their website. Bill made a motion that we pursue this from an
investigative standpoint to ensure support of the Council as he moves forward with this idea.
Jimmy Schmidt seconded the motion; motion passed. Bill will contact Harold Wheeler to
discuss this concept and contact the individual who started the VA guide for further
Stan discussed the possibility of a self-assessment tool for hotel, restaurants, and retailers to
use as a parameter for inclusion in a guide. Bill will move forward on this and report at the
November 20, 2008 meeting.
The Council then discussed our County website. Stan has tried to contact a Council member
listed on our website and found the number no longer worked. It is time to visit our website
for updating. Current members are listed and some clean up of the website has been
completed. Discussion followed about a link from our County website to the TDC and other
links for individuals to obtain immediate feedback as they search for information.
Discussion was held about the direction of the Council. Stan feels the basic idea of the
Council is keeping foremost that we are to give visibility to people with disabilities and to
make sure they are considered in our society. That we help to identify and remove barriers to
promote fuller lives for people with disabilities. What we do is recognize the issues of the
disabled community and bring them to the attention of the County Commission and the
community at large.
Cindy believes our goal is to educate, advocate and assist people when they need assistance
concerning their disabilities.
Jimmy advocates the education aspect of our Council and how we accomplish this is yet to be
determined. One of our responsibilities is to educate and change the mind set of individuals
and maybe educate the non disabled by positive input in an educational setting.
Stan discussed collaboration with other agencies and potentially having a guest speaker at
each meeting to educate us about area resources.
Bill announced the Abilities Expo 2008 to be held Thursday, October 9, 2008 from 5:00 to
8:00 p.m. at Coral Shores High School Cafeteria.