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AMENDMENTS TO MIAMI-DADE COUNTY CHARTER

The following amendments are proposed to the Miami-Dade County Charter. Provided is a synopsis or each question, as well as the results of a YES or NO vote.The majority of voters decides.


No. 1: Amend the County Charter with regard to special purpose districts, known as Special Taxing Districts.
 

Synopsis:  The Miami-Dade County Home Rule Charter, Section 1.01 (A) (11), provides that the Board of County Commissioners (Board) shall be the governing board of special taxing districts.  Special taxing districts are created in the Miami-Dade County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 18, to provide services for street lighting, security services, maintenance and other services that provide a special benefit to properties located within the district. This would amend the County Charter, allow the Board to authorize municipal governing bodies to serve as the governing boards of special taxing districts entirely within the respective municipal limits.


A YES vote would:

  • Allow for municipalities, the city council, to establish the annual rates to be assessed with the special taxing district for that municipality.
  • Allow decision making process to be more localized so that tax paying citizens within that municipality for the taxing district would have a more direct say.  
  • Create a new responsibility and cost for the city council to manage and operate the special taxing district
  • Municipalities would not be required to follow County contracting rules, including that contractors must pay workers a living wage.


A NO vote would:

  • The process for operating special taxing districts would remain the same, changes to the annual rates to be assessed for the specific municipality and special taxing district would be made by the Board of County Commissioners .  
  • Miami-Dade County would continue to be responsible for the management and operation of the special taxing district for the respective municipalities, and all related costs would be the responsibility of Miami-Dade County
  • All contractors and vendors hired by the County must comply with County contracting rules, including that they pay their workers a living wage.

No.2: Amend the County Charter with regard to amending the Citizens’ Bill of Rights with regard to Public Records.

 

Synopsis:  Presently, the Citizens’ Bill of Rights allows for inspection of public records.  This change to the County Charter would also allow copying public records, consistent with requirements to copy public records under Florida public records laws (Florida Statutes 119). The Citizens’ Bill of Rights in the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Charter provides the public with full and accurate information, to promote efficient administrative management, to make government more accountable, and to insure to all persons fair and equitable treatment, all audits, reports, minutes, documents, and other public records of the County and municipalities and their board, agencies, departments and authorities shall be open for inspection.  This would now include that public records may be open for inspection AND also copying consistent with the requirements of the State of Florida’s public records laws, at reasonable times and places convenient to the public.  


A vote YES means:  

  • The County Charter would be consistent with State of Florida public records law that allows citizens with the right to both inspect and copy public records.
  • This will provide private citizens with the ability to enforce public records laws through the Commission on Ethics and the Public Trust, which is less costly and more accessible than via private action, litigation.

 

A vote NO means:

  • Citizens who may want to copy any public record may do so through a private action (litigation) or a complaint made to the Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, making securing these records costly for the average citizen
  • County Charter is not consistent with same access to public records under Florida law.