Last evening's Sunrise Commission meeting was in sharp contrast to December's, which lasted only about two minutes. The January meeting lasted over four hours, with much of the time devoted to the possible ban or regulation of the mobile restaurants in the city's limits.
Food truck owners in attendance, many members of the newly formed Food Truck Alliance of South Florida, were given time to plead their cases, with most of them pointing out to the Commission that each truck was permitted, insured, and inspected.
Food Truck owner Robb Muise, who serves as a spokesperson for the Food
Truck Alliance, told the Commission that he is in favor of any
regulations the city might impose over an all-out ban. He also suggested that Sunrise embrace food trucks, making
the small city a "model" for other cities who are interested in working
withthe mobile units.
Carlos Fiero, owner of Zombie Ice, said
that his first ever food truck roundup was in Sunrise, pointing out
that Sunrise Mayor Michael J. Ryan's son might have been his first
customer. He said that, "just getting rid of food trucks could never be a
On the other side of the coin, the owner of Lester's Diner
in Sunrise pointed out that he pays $22,500 rent to do business in
Sunrise and feels that food trucks are taking business from him.
Mayor Joseph Scuotto, who has been seen as an opponent of food trucks,
stated that the idea that he wanted to ban food trucks "is a
misconception", and that "no one person can ban food trucks".
times Scuotto and Mayor Ryan were at odds with each other. At one point
in the meeting, Mayor Ryan suggested that a monthly food truck event at
the Sunrise Corporate Park might be a good idea, since about 30,000
people work in the complex. "Why are we doing this for the food
trucks?", countered Scuotto. "Why don't we team up with the local
restaurants who are the taxpayers?"
In the end, Mayor Ryan
requested that something be drawn up on paper. He suggested that a
select group of food truck owners work with city staff. "Let's bring consensus with the food truck community."
new City Manager, Alan Cohen, volunteered to meet with the truck owners
to come up with a compromise that could go on a future Commission
meeting agenda for a more formal vote.
That seems like promising news to food truck owners, who are in favor of regulations over an outright city ban.
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