Sunrise Commission Meeting Outcome: City Manager to Work With Food Truckers

City of Sunrise (Screenshot)
Sunrise City Commissioners discuss food trucks.
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.

Read also:
- Food Truck Owners Form Alliance to Fight Possible Sunrise Ban

Friar Tuck's 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 good solution."

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.

Deputy 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".

Several 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."

Sunrise's 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.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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