American Cruise Lines Inc. is asking the city of Key West to allow its ‘boutique’ cruise ships to dock in Key West for 36-hour stays three times in December and 11 times in 2024. CONTRIBUTED

Have you seen the agenda for the city commission meeting on Thursday, Sept. 14?

Pack a lunch, cupcake.

With no August meeting, the commission hasn’t convened in regular session since mid-July. Commissioners did meet this summer to discuss the city budget and on Sept. 7 approved a tentative 10% tax increase that will likely be lowered before the final budget approval.

Once the tentative tax rate is sent to property owners, lawmakers can lower that advertised rate, but cannot raise it.

Commissioners Lissette Cuervo Carey, Sam Kaufman and Billy Wardlow opposed the tentative tax increase, but the other four lawmakers approved it. 

The commission now tackles a 30-page agenda at its Sept. 14 meeting that includes a morning session starting at 9 a.m. and an evening session starting at 5 p.m. The meeting will also include a brief “field trip” to Truman Waterfront, where officials are expected to hold shovels and don hard hats for a “groundbreaking” photo of The Lofts, the workforce housing neighborhood long slated for the waterfront.

As the meeting takes place the same day the Keys Weekly’s print edition publishes, stay tuned to for a full report from the marathon meeting.

Below is a sampling of a few agenda items.

MORNING SESSION (Starts at 9 a.m.)

  • The city’s lobbying firm will discuss the commission’s legislative priorities.
  • American Cruise Lines will ask the city to allow its small cruise ships to dock in Key West for a 36-hour stay during a trip from Tampa. The 241-foot-long ship carries 159 guests and crew. The company wants to visit Key West three times in December and 11 times in 2024.
  • The commission will hear an update about The Lofts. Funding and affordability questions have stymied the project in recent months.
  • Several Fantasy Fest and holiday special events are expected to be approved.
  • Commissioners will consider hiring Cornerstone Resource Alliance to manage the new homeless shelter on College Road. Previously known as KOTS, for Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter, the new facility will be renamed the John Jones Navigation Center.
  • The commission will accept $649,000 of tourism money to fund enhancements to the Coffee Butler Amphitheater. 

EVENING SESSION (Starts at 5 p.m.) 

  • Officials will consider renaming the Key West Firehouse Museum the Alex Vega Firehouse Museum at the Key West Historic Firehouse, in honor of retired firefighter and historian Vega, who researched and created the museum.
  • Commissioners will consider changes to city ordinances that dictate where a person must live in order to serve on an advisory board and will formalize procedures to remove someone who was appointed to such a board.

The Key West City Commission meets at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 14. The evening session begins at 5 p.m, the same day. A complete agenda is available at and online links enable viewers to watch the meetings live online. 

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.