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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL
FROM: ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER
DATE: OCTOBER 1, 2002
SUBJECT: COMMUNITY LEADERS BREAKFAST
Provide staff with direction regarding the guest list for the upcoming Fall Community Leaders Breakfast.
For many years, the City has hosted two Community Leaders Breakfasts per year as a way to connect with the community and disseminate information about the City’s current activities. These semi-annual breakfasts are usually held on a Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 11:30 a.m. at the Hesse Park Community Center. Occasionally, the City has held these breakfasts at other locations, such as Marymount College and the Salvation Army. The guest list for the event has traditionally included the City Council members, all of the members of the City’s various Committees and Commissions, the presidents of active Homeowners Associations, the elected officials from the other Peninsula cities and special districts, our county and state elected representatives, the City’s management staff and other community groups, such as the Salvation Army, Marymount College and the Chamber of Commerce. Although the guest list totals approximately 200 names, typical attendance at these functions is between 70 and 80 people. The City provides a complementary breakfast (muffins, fruit, orange juice and coffee) and the budget for this event has been approximately $600.
Due to the community’s keen interest in Donald Trump’s recently announced plans to purchase the Ocean Trails project, it was suggested that Mr. Trump be invited to speak at the next Community Leaders Breakfast. Councilman Clark was able to go one step better and make arrangements with Mr. Trump to host the breakfast at the Ocean Trails clubhouse on Saturday, November 9, 2002. Due to the notoriety of the host and the location, staff expects a record response from the City’s traditional list of invitees. In addition, since the news was made public on September 13th, the City Manager’s Office has been receiving an increasing number of calls from individuals not previously affiliated with the Community Leaders Breakfast, but who are seeking an invitation to this event. There is also an expectation that there will be media coverage. Given all this, it is becoming rapidly apparent that this Community Leaders Breakfast will need to the handled in a significantly different manner than previous events.
On September 23, 2002, staff met with Tom Frost, Facility Manager at Ocean Trails, to discuss the logistics for the event. Mr. Frost indicated that the clubhouse’s grand ballroom would accommodate table seating for a maximum of 250 guests. This would include 25 round tables seating 10 guests each, with a stage and podium on one side of the room. Mr. Frost indicated that there would be adequate on-site parking available for the event, because Ocean Trails has accommodated weekend weddings of similar size in the past and the number of golfers using the course in November is expected to be less than the peak summer season. Parking attendants would also be available to direct guest to the appropriate parking areas.
Based on the maximum capacity of the grand ballroom and the high level of interest in this event, staff recommends that the guest list for the Fall Community Leaders Breakfast be capped at 250 guests. Staff is seeking input from the Council on the proposed invitation list. So far, staff has compiled following list, which totals 229 invitees:
City Council members (5)
City Commission, Committee and Task Force members (64)
Homeowners Association Presidents or their designee (92)
Local elected officials (45)
Other community representative/groups (10)
City management staff (7)
In addition, in an effort to maintain order both prior to and during the event, staff recommends that the following procedures apply:
Mr. Frost and staff also discussed how to handle the expected media interest in the event. Mr. Frost estimated that there could be as many as 20 members of the press in attendance, accompanied by all of their associated video and sound equipment and personnel. Rather than allow the media access into the ballroom, which could be very disruptive and overly crowd the event, a media room will be provided using one of the restaurants in clubhouse or on the lawn area adjacent to the clubhouse (weather permitting). Mr. Trump and selected dignitaries could conduct a press conference before hand, sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Mr. Frost suggested that we might want to consider hiring a media coordinator for the event to attend to their needs and make sure the media coverage does not interfere with the breakfast itself.
The Fall Community Leaders Breakfast will be significantly different from the City’s previous events. Given the unique nature of this particular breakfast, staff recommends that the City Council establish guidelines at this time regarding the guest list in order to ensure the smooth operation and success of the event. Staff will return to Council with further details as they are developed.
As stated earlier in this report, the budget for each Community Leaders Breakfast is approximately $600, which has been sufficient in the past to provide a catered continental breakfast for 70 to 80 guests. However, the expected increase to 250 guests and the change in venue will increase the cost of the event significantly. Staff is unsure at this time if Mr. Trump’s organization will be willing to share in this cost. In the next few days, Mr. Frost will be providing staff with cost estimates for both a continental breakfast, and a more elaborate breakfast buffet for 250 guests. In addition, Mr. Frost will provide staff with more information regarding the suggested media coordinator for the event. Based on this information, staff will bring back a revised budget for discussion at an upcoming Council meeting.