Sunday, January 06, 2008

See what happens when you miss a meeting Miguel De Grandy. By Geniusofdespair

Clerk’s Summary and Official Minutes - Charter Review Task Force - November 28, 2007

Discussion on Citizen Petitions: (and yes, I have skipped some stuff and jumped in the middle of the discussion, but the important part is that because De Grandy wasn't there they threw out his manipulative changes).

Mr. Ginsburg noted he was opposed to the main motion and Mr. De Grandy’s proposed amendment. He said imposing more requirements meant more citizens groups would not be able to meet those requirements. Mr. Ginsburg noted he supported extending the time period to collect signatures to 120 days, in lieu of 60 days, and he also supported the proposal to place the petition on the ballot for the general election.

Mr. Greenberg noted it might not be feasible to impose more obstacles on the citizens. He pointed out that whenever the Charter was finally written it must be in legal form, and the language in the petition needed to be reviewed and at some point, the petition needed to be reviewed by the County Commission. Mr. Greenberg said he felt that to require the petition to be legal and in final form before collecting the signatures, presented one more obstacle for the petitioners. He noted he felt the bifurcation would prolong the process of people trying to effectuate change. Mr. Greenberg noted if the petition was placed on the general election ballot, it could take another two years before anything was done.

Following Mr. Ginsburg’s and Mr. Greenberg’s comments, Mayor Ferre stated that Mr. De Grandy’s proposed amendment was unacceptable. (Hit read more)

Mayor Ferre noted the Task Force members appeared to have reached a consensus on the 120 days and on placing the petition on the general election. He explained the reason for the bifurcation and asked that the public hearing and the second process must begin within 30 days after the public hearing.

Mr. Greenberg noted the concern was that 120 days would now include a 30-day gap, making it 150 days.

It was moved by Mayor Ferre that the Task Force recommend to the County Commission that the certification of signatures and public hearing occur within 30 days. This motion was seconded by Ms. Hernandez.

Mayor Ferre noted, in light of the County Manager’s concerns regarding the time, he would offer an alternate motion.

It was then moved by Mayor Ferre that the time period for collection of valid signatures be extended to 120 days without the bifurcation; that the required ten (10%) percent of signatures for a Charter amendment be gathered; and that any proposed Charter amendments must be placed on the ballot for a general election. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Gimenez.

Following discussion on the public hearing process, it was moved by Mayor Ferre that once the petition was approved as to form, the County Commission must hold a public hearing on the proposed petition pursuant to the Charter requirement, and after the public hearing the petitioners would have 120 days to gather the required signatures before the question was placed on the ballot for the general election. This motion was seconded by Ms. Hernandez. Mr. Lopez suggested the Task Force discuss the new Florida law as it pertains to the “opt out” provision.

Commissioner Gimenez spoke in support of the proposal to extend the period to collect signatures to 120 days and to place the petition on the ballot for the general election. Chairman Diaz concurred with the intent of Mayor Ferre’s motion. He noted although he understood that the County Commission might not be receptive to the proposed citizen initiative, he would like to see all Charter questions guided by the kind of discussion that had occurred among members of this Task Force.

Mayor Dermer noted the initiative process was the last method people had to fight a hostile government and to require anything other than a ministerial task of the County Commission after the signatures were certified was not good for the process.

Pursuant to the members’ comments, Mayor Ferre requested the foregoing motion be bifurcated in order to vote separately on the public hearing requirement.

The Task Force voted on the foregoing motion made by Mayor Ferre and seconded by Ms. Hernandez, which recommended that the time period in the Charter to collect signatures for proposed Charter amendments be expanded to 120 days and that Charter amendments must be placed on the general election. This motion, upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 14-0,
(Mayor Martinez, Mr. Smith, Ms. Soler-McKinley, Ms. Dannheiser, Mr. De Grandy, Mr.
Handfield and Mr. Hogan were absent).

Too bad the County Commission will never buy into this...we will never see it on the ballot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this whole process has been so dissapointing. I feel badly for the members of the task force that have dedicated their time and thoughts to a fair process. Those members and commissioners who clearly feel that the voter doesn't know best, should be voted out of office. The voters of this county can be so uninformed and complacent.... Most unfortunate.. because we all suffer.