Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Commissioner Joe Martinez is trying to kill New Cities in the County, Why?? By Geniusofdespair

You all whine that you want local news, here it is, now read it or you will only get national news.... this insane process for incorporation is impossible to explain so pay attention and don't hold me to 100% accuracy:

The last several years have seen 5 separate MACs that have been formed by direct county commissioner appointment. The commissioners who  formed them knew that to require ONLY a petition process is impossible as signatures are not easy to come by in gated communities and buildings - petitions don't work for MACs  because it is a long explanation at someone's front door - especially this high percentage (thank you Lynda Bell for the 20% instead of the Charter Committee's recommended 10%)...

County Commissioner Joe Martinez has never been a fan of communities in the unincorporated area of the county trying to form new cities.

The first thing he did after being re-elected to his West Kendall District 11 seat last year was to immediately disband the two MACs formed by his predecessor, Commissioner Juan Zapata. You can always count on Joe Martinez to be totally for himself.

A MAC, which stands for Municipal Advisory Committee, is a committee which is appointed by one or more commissioners in a county commission district to study and evaluate the possibility of forming a new city within borders designated by those wishing to form a new city (The borders are subject to approval by the county). It is step 1.

 The formation of the MAC is the process required by the county to start the study of an area's incorporation. The MAC studies the financial feasibility of the services that would be enjoyed by the residents, and weighs the options and advantages of cityhood as opposed to staying part of the county's unincorporated area. The MAC meetings are open to all residents who wish to learn about the municipal incorporation process. There is extensive input by the residents and required public meetings. At the end of this process, the voters are able to vote for or against forming a new city in an election. The MAC process usually takes from 1-2 years to be completed before going to a vote of that areas' voters. So the 20% petition requirement just to form the MAC is total OVER-KILL. How many more hoops can you think of for the public to jump through Commissioners?

Joe Martinez - Charter Member of our "Unreformable Majority" on the County Commission.

Now, Commissioner Martinez has proposed an ordinance which passed, 11-1 at first reading, at the most recent BCC meeting. It allows the formation of a MAC only by petitions, with 20% of the proposed area's signatures-- killing direct county commissioner appointment. This ordinance will now go to the Government Operations Committee on November 14th which will vote on whether or not to move this ordinance back to the BCC for second hearing. If this ordinance is then approved at the second hearing, it will kill future incorporation efforts which is the intent of the commissioner's ordinance.

The last several years have seen 5 separate MACs that have been formed by direct county commissioner appointment. These commissioners know that to require a petition process of no fewer than 20% of the signatures of the residents' voters voting in the affirmative is almost impossible to do. It is time consuming, costly, and very difficult to do in this day of gated communities which can deny access to petition gatherers as well as residents being loath to open their doors to people they do not know. No other petition process in the county requires such a high percentage of voters--all others petition drives require a minimum of only 10% of registered voters for whatever cause they are seeking to gather signatures for. Therefore, these commissioners know full well that this 20% signature requirement is an impediment to forming a MAC and, thus, they directly appointed their area residents to a MAC to make it possible for a MAC to be created.

It is incredible that a 20% signature level would then be required--this percentage is higher than the usual percentage of voters that turn out in a non-presidential election!

Residents need to be aware that the possible passage of this ordinance will disallow residents the right to explore forming new cities. A MAC allows all the facts to be "on the table" and evaluated by the residents. Legislation that places such impediments to the MAC process is ill advised, and basically nullifies the ability of residents to make up their own minds as to how they wish to have their municipal services provided. 

Okay, we all know Opa Locka is a city that should never have been formed...but it is the right of the people to choose their destiny or poison. Unincorperated areas gives too much power to Commissioners. It smells...sort of like Joe Martinez's egotistical cologne.


Anonymous said...

Support MAC--more likely than not get a new banana republic; reject MAC and keep rancid banana republic you know and love(?).

Anonymous said...

The requirement for more signatures was partly a result of the fact that so few people are involved in a MAC and they are typically those interested in running for office once the city is formed. Katy Sorenson did a full survey of the area "The Falls" when she was approached about supporting a MAC. The results were pretty clear that the majority really were not interested. There is value in being a city - but it has to really be well thought out and objectively and fairly discussed. It is also noteworthy that the majority of the newer cities were affluent areas. This is an issue that is not going to go away or be easily resolved.

Anonymous said...

Well this much I know. Here in Miami Lakes we decided to incorporate a a few years back. We did it because we were tired of the county's lack of police response. Now most of those who voted for it regret it. Why? Because we created a new cast of corrupt politicians digging their hand in your pocket. Those politicians have also voted for new construction in a gridlocked area that can't afford it anymore. Try 1000 new homes on Miami Lakes Way near I-75 and new apartments near City Hall where cows once used to roam. Here is an example of the greed: permit for a remodeled kitchen $2500.00. So to be perfectly honest incorporation is not all is sold out to be and many involved in the process are only looking to benefit themselves.

Anonymous said...

Genius: Thanks for explaining the MAC process for those of us not well informed. Incorporation can be good, bad and or ugly, but the people should be allowed to meet and discuss the pros and cons and be allowed to vote. The 20% rule is way out of line. When only 14% of registered voters turned out for the recent election in district 40 it is ludicrous to have a 20% petition requirement for a MAC. I'm sure some communities would be better off to incorporate depending on the need for better services. The thought process with the city charter and consensus of the citizenry should be well established. One example would be incorporating Redland to insure the charter is written to protect and serve agriculture. To keep the city rural with city services to mainly support agriculture and therefore keep low taxes and to keep development at a minimum so only those businesses ancillary to agriculture are allowed. Other communities have their ideas, but all should be allowed to have a MAC.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the statement that "we all know that Opa Locka is a city that should have never been formed".

Opa Locka was once a thriving, productive safe and contributing city to this County and State. It has remarkable architecture, good public buildings and spaces and a nice tree cover in many sections.

Should Miami Springs, Coral Gables, Hialeah never have been "formed" ?

They all came about in the same era, I think the Springs and Opa Locka share the same main developer (Curtiss?).

Anonymous said...

Incorporations can have great advantages that many people don't understand.

We must remember that existing cities like to annex areas of (Unincorporated) --UMSA and create dissension with residents that don't want to be in a city with a higher tax rate and the possibility of having to pay for water and sewer lines where city officials demand hook-ups. City Officials will always seek growth and add to automobile gridlock of new areas annexed.

If a MAC for a new city is in process then an existing city couldn't annex what's stated above.

Commissioner Martinez and those voting for this are selfish in not letting a MAC with a 10 percent vote petition prevail.