At the Royal Palm Beach Village Council meeting on Thursday, March 1, the council agreed to draft a resolution to be sent to the Florida Legislature regarding gun violence in the wake of the deadly shooting last month in Parkland.
“A request from the [Palm Beach County] League of Cities came in last week asking cities in Palm Beach County to adopt a resolution that would address or take a posture on the issue of gun control,” Mayor Fred Pinto said. “We all know that the Florida Legislature put into place a statute that prohibits cities and counties from putting together their own gun control laws, but it doesn’t prohibit us from expressing a viewpoint in representing our village and the people of our village.”
Pinto said that the resolution should be no longer than a page and invited the other council members to share their thoughts.
“I went to the League of Cities and asked if they had any examples of a resolution that might address the subject of gun violence and what I received was a resolution that was adopted back in August 2016 from the City of Fort Lauderdale,” Councilman Jeff Hmara said. “It focused on high-powered military magazine assault weapons. We would like to encourage the Florida Legislature to take this on in a comprehensive way and wholeheartedly put it out there for them.”
Pinto stressed that he does not support taking away anyone’s constitutional rights.
“Our opening statement would include that we do not want to take away anyone’s Second Amendment right to bear arms. However, we fully support the notion of banning the sale of assault rifles,” he said. “Jeff and myself have spent time in the military, and we know what assault rifles are for. They are to inflict the maximum casualties on your enemy. We equip our military personnel with assault rifles because we want to implement the multiplier effect where five soldiers can take out 100 enemies due to the maximum firepower of the assault rifles.”
Councilwoman Jan Rodusky supported the idea of a resolution, and both Vice Mayor Richard Valuntas and Councilwoman Selena Smith said they would like to see a draft of the resolution before making a decision on whether to support it.
“From the point of view that we have no authority because we are preempted by the state, there are certain things all of us could agree on and express our position in a resolution,” Valuntas said.
In other business:
• The council approved the second and final reading of an ordinance that amends the definitions of “dangerous and vicious dogs,” adding new definitions and providing for regulations of such dogs.
• The council approved the second and final reading of an ordinance revising regulations for the placement, maintenance and use of telecommunications facilities in village rights-of-way.
The change brings the village in line with new state regulations passed last year regarding the permitting, approval and installation of micro or small wireless communications facilities in public rights-of-way. Micro and small wireless communications facilities are designed to accommodate new 5G technology.
The village made numerous changes to the initial draft of the ordinance after reviewing comments from representatives of the communications services industry.
• The council also approved waterfall repairs in Veterans Park; the purchase of new software licenses for village staff; and the application for local initiatives program funding through the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency for the construction of a pedestrian and roadway extension of La Mancha Avenue to Okeechobee Blvd. with a signal at the Okeechobee Blvd. intersection.