Wednesday, October 10, 2012

On the Ballot: Miami Dade County Charter Questions. by Geniusofdespair

Coming off a world tour promoting my video, Ducks, I wanted to weigh in on the proposed Miami Dade County Home Rule Charter changes.  I disagree with the Miami Herald's assessment on 2 of them (in the paper this morning).

What we agree on:
1. Home Rule Charter Amendment Relating to Term Limits of County Commissioners
Vote: YES
2. Technical Amendments to Home Rule Charter
3. Charter Amendment Requiring Extraordinary Vote to Include Additional Land within the Urban Development Boundary
Vote: YES
4. Charter Amendment Pertaining to Changes in Municipal Boundaries and Creation of New Municipalities
Vote: Herald says NO, I have no opinion.
7. Charter Amendment to put the Commission Chair in charge of procurement if the mayor has a conflict of interest. Vote: NO

The Miami Herald said Yes on these I say No:

5. Charter Amendment Regarding Penalties and Enforcement of Citizens’ Bill of Rights
Shall the Charter be amended to eliminate the provision providing for forfeiture of office if a public official or employee willfully violates the Citizens’ Bill of Rights and allow, in addition to suit in circuit court, the Commission on Ethics and Public Trust to enforce the Citizens’ Bill of Rights with penalties authorized by the Code?

Why on earth would we want to eliminate what I underlined. I do not understand why anyone would would not want to get rid of an official or employee who violates the Citizen's Bill of Rights. Maybe I am missing something. This is a 2 part question with one part being unacceptable.

6. Charter Amendment Related to Option for Filling Mayoral or County Commissioner Vacancy
Shall the Charter be amended to:
• Extend the time to conduct an election to fill a mayoral or commissioner vacancy from 45 to 90 days from the decision to call such election and provide a timeframe for qualification and any necessary runoff;
• Temporarily transfer, during a mayoral vacancy or incapacity, certain mayoral powers to the Commission Chairperson, Vice Chairperson or Commissioner chosen by the Board?

Another 2 part question with the first part being unacceptable. I do not believe we want the Commission Chairperson to be our mayor for 3 months. The Chair can do damage in 3 months. We did not ALL vote for the Chair, only one of 13 districts did. Too long for him/her to be acting Mayor. Also the extended time frame hurts because people's memories are short. Seijas might still be in office if this were 90 days (if you are recalled you can run again).

To recap on other questions on the ballot:

Again, we should all know to vote NO on ALL the State of Florida Constitutional Amendments. The Miami Herald and The League of Women Voters agree with me on this one.

Vote YES on the retention of the 3 Supreme Court Judges.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you on all of this.

The Herald said on the first one: " county residents the opportunity to take complaints directly to the commission to enforce current rules instead of having to go to court."

I will take my chances in court. All the ethics commission ever does is slap people on the wrist, they are a waste of time.

Bernie said...

The Miami Herald only addressed half the question on 5 and 6. Did the even read the ballot?

Bernie said...

THEY not the.

Anonymous said...

Just got my absentee ballot and wow, can it be any longer? You need a law degree to understand some of these state amendment initiatives.

As far as the incorporation measure, I think any means to take more power away from the county is a good move. Rather have my community make decisions for our best interest instead of the comission.

Luisa said...

I totally agree about Amendment 5. Why would it be in the interest of the count to abolish the provision that requires forfeiture of office? That makes absolutely no sense.

The Herald editorial board failed on that one. (If there IS a reasonable explanation for why that provision is warranted, then they should have spelled it out.)

Luisa said...

sorry, I meant to write county, not count

Anonymous said...

I've missed you Genius!

Maria said...

Where can we see the Ducks video?

Anonymous said...

Absentee ballots have been mailed! Has anyone seen "boletera" activity in your neighborhood.? Please report unusual activity to the FBI.

Anonymous said...

Bring on the Ducks! Where can we see it?

And really glad you are back :)

Anonymous said...

On the Charter Ammendment requiring extraordinary vote to include additional land within the Urban Development Boundary, I am confused.

I used to be you needed 9 out of 13 (3/4th). If you vote yes for 2/3, wouldn't than require one less vote?

Anonymous said...

According to this article from March 2012, "Miami-Dade has 13 commissioners and currently nine votes are needed to move the line."

So what is the current requirement? I would hate to vote in approval of 2/3 thinking I was raising it and/or preventing it from lowering when actuality it was previously 9/13.