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Miami-Dade County Charter Review: Don't Sleep On This!

Miamidade_county_180pxseal_fullco_2 The review of the Miami-Dade County charter should be a top priority item for Blacks in Miami and surrounding municipalities. As Blacks have moved north to Broward County and out of state, the power of the Black vote has diminished significantly. The further division of Blacks into sub-groups ---Haitian, Jamaican, etc.-- weakens the Black vote even more. Let's not even get into Black Hispanics that are not fairly represented politcally and economically in Miami-Dade County. Well, let's not get into it now.

This is not a whine and cheese session; it's about being proactive. Another unfortunate reality is that too often, by the time issues such as these are made public, strategy sessions have alreay occurred and decisions made. Does that mean we just sit back and take it, I don't think so.

As citizens, we seem to have forgotten that it's "government of the people, by the people and for the people." We allow the powers that be to divide us into various ethnic and religious groups when the reality is that our challenges, as citizens, are largely based on economics more than anything else --- don't be fooled.

Anyhoo, check this space for updates on the charter review process. A very important hearing is scheduled for 6 PM, Tuesday, August 28th with the Joseph Caleb Center as one of the sites. Commendably, technology is being utilized to connect citizens via e-mail, webcast, etc. However, Blacks should attend the regional meeting at the Caleb Center to address this issue. There is nothing like people getting together and feeding off the positive energy of camaraderie. Let's not allow the sterility of the internet to keep us disconnected.

Spread the word about these meetings. Check this space later for more info on the charter review process and the folks charged with this awesome task.

From Miami Today:

Charter panel to suggest raises, term limits for commissioners

By Wayne Tompkins
   The Miami-Dade County Charter Review Task Force has drafted a preliminary recommendation that commissioners be paid a full-time salary and limited to serving two four-year terms.
   In addition, commissioners would be barred from outside employment while in office and would forfeit all pensions and salary if found guilty of "violating the public trust."
   Task force chairman Victor Diaz Jr., a Miami Beach attorney, said the recommendation is not final but designed to solicit public comment at a series of workshops.
   "We want to know if the public thinks, for example, that the term limits are too high or too low," Mr. Diaz said.
   Commissioners currently are paid $6,000 a year and are not term-limited.
   The 21-member board has been charged with reviewing the county's 50-year-old charter, the equivalent of a constitution. The body will make recommendations that ultimately will go before voters. The task force has until Oct. 31 to complete its work but has asked commissioners for a 90-day extension. [Continue reading...]

Press Release on revised public hearing process:

For Immediate Release:
August 21, 2007

Media Contact:
Marie Bertot

New Public Hearing Process For The Miami-Dade County Charter Review Task Force

Four Regional Locations Made Available for Public’s Participation
During Hearings on August 28 and 30, 2007


(Miami-Dade County, FL) --
As a result of overwhelming public interest and to encourage maximum community participation, the Charter Review Task Force changed the format for regional public hearings scheduled on Tuesday, August 28 and Thursday, August 30, 2007. The public hearings will be held at the County Commission Chambers and public participation will also be made available at the Joseph Caleb Center and West Dade Regional Library on August 28, and Miami Beach City Hall and Hialeah City Hall on August 30. The format for the regional meeting at the South Dade Government Center on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 will remain as originally planned due to the unavailability of the Commission Chambers.

This format will allow residents to participate in person, by watching on the internet (www.miamidade.gov/webcast) or Miami-Dade TV, and provide comments by e-mail at charter@miamidade.gov or phone at 305-375-2055 or 305-375-2059 (only available during public hearings).

Participants at the four regional locations will be able to view the public hearing, and will be linked to the Task Force downtown via e-mail and phone. County personnel will be available at regional locations to assist individuals in communicating their comments. 

Free shuttle transportation will also be available from the four regional locations from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm for those interested in attending the public hearing at the County Commission Chambers.

For more information on the Charter Review Task Force and to provide public comments, please visit www.miamidade.gov/charterreview  or call 3-1-1.

When & Where

  • Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 6:00 pm
    • Charter Review Workshop & Public Hearing
      South Dade Government Center
      10710 SW 211th St. Conference Room 203
      Cutler Bay, FL 33189
       
  • Tuesday, August 28, 2007, 6:00 pm
    • Charter Review Workshop & Public Hearing
      Stephen P. Clark Government Center
      111 NW 1st St., Commission Chambers, 2nd Floor
      Miami, FL 33128
       
    • Regional Location - Via Remote Technology
      Joseph Caleb Center
      5400 NW 22nd Ave., Auditorium
      Miami, FL 33142
       
    • Regional Location - Via Remote Technology
      West Dade Regional Library
      9445 Coral Way, 2nd Floor Auditorium
      Miami, FL 33165
       
  • Thursday, August 30, 2007, 6:00 pm
    • Charter Review Workshop & Public Hearing
      Stephen P. Clark Government Center
      111 NW 1st St., Commission Chambers, 2nd Floor
      Miami, FL 33128
       
    • Regional Location - Via Remote Technology
      City of Miami Beach, City Hall
      1700 Convention Center Dr., Commission Chambers, 3rd Floor
      Miami Beach, FL 33139       
                                             
    • Regional Location - Via Remote Technology
      City of Hialeah, City Hall
      501 Palm Ave. Council Chambers
      Hialeah, Florida 33010
 

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COMMUNICATIONS
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW 1st Street Suite 2510 Miami, Florida 33128-1986
(305) 375-2836 Fax (305) 375-3968

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