Miami Dade County Community Forum

Monday, March 28, 2011

Carlos Gimenez wants to take two Charter Amendments off the upcoming ballot.

The Miami Herald reported that County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez wants 2 charter changes proposed by the Miami Dade County Commission last week, tossed from the ballot. They are: that asks voters to end the strong mayor form of county government instituted in 2007 that asks voters to impose 12-year term limits on commissioners starting next year, coupled with pay increases and a ban on outside employment.

Another County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro said this weekend:

...he’s seeking a special meeting Thursday to take another look at charter reform. Barreiro said he would like to remove all six proposals from the ballot and start over, with the aim of having a charter review committee make recommendations and then have the proposals voted on in the presidential primary in January, when a larger turnout is expected. Such a plan risks reform being killed by waiting so long before the public votes. Barreiro has yet to circulate a memo formally requesting the special session.

We have debated and had charter task force hearings for almost a year in 2007-2008. The question is do we need more time? The ones remaining on the ballot, are positive and should remain, the lobbying ban falls short but it is a good start:

Doesn't go far enough:

1. Set 12-year term limits for county commissioners and ban outside employment in exchange for boosting commissioner salaries to $92,097 a year.

Voters want the Strong Mayor:

4. Eliminate the strong-mayor form of government created in 2007.


2. Make voter ballot initiatives easier by eliminating a requirement that signatures be notarized.

3. Allow the Charter Review Task Force to bring proposals approved by two thirds of the panel directly to voters.

5. Ban elected officials from lobbying at County Hall for two years after leaving office

6. Put the Inspector General’s Office in the county charter, in a bid to help insulate it from commission meddling.

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