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Task Force Recommendations 2007

On January 28, 2008, the Charter Review Task Force made the following final recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners regarding the Miami-Dade Home Rule Charter.

The Task Force recommends that:

  1. The Public Safety Director should remain an appointed position. However, the Task Force recommended that the electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether they wish to amend the Home Rule Charter to provide that: the Public Safety Director (i.e. Sheriff, Police Chief) shall be appointed by the Mayor for a period of four (4) years, at the expiration of each term subject to re-appointment; that the appointment can be vetoed by a super majority (two-thirds) vote of the County Commission; that the Public Safety Director could be removed by the Mayor subject to the consent of a simple majority vote of the County Commission; or by the County Commission subject to a super majority (two-thirds) vote. Once appointed, that person shall carry out the functions of the office independent of the Mayor and County Commission except for funding and budgeting matters. (Motion passed: 10-5)

  1. The Supervisor of Elections should remain an appointed position. However, the Task Force recommended that the electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether they wish to amend the Home Rule Charter to provide that: the Supervisor of Elections shall be appointed by the Mayor for a period of four (4) years, at the expiration of each term subject to re-appointment; that the appointment can be vetoed by a super majority (two-thirds) vote of the County Commission; that the Supervisor of Elections could be removed by the Mayor subject to the consent of a simple majority vote of the County Commission; or by the County Commission subject to a super majority (two-thirds) vote. Once appointed, that person shall carry out the functions of the office independent of the Mayor and County Commission except for funding and budgeting matters. (Motion passed: 10-5)

  1. The position of Property Appraiser becomes an elected position. (Motion passed: 12-4)

  1. The Task Force recommends that the electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether they wish to amend the Home Rule Charter to provide that County Commissioners shall receive a population based salary provided by Florida’s Statutory formula (approximately $91,995); Commissioner’s terms in office shall be limited to two, four-year terms; and Commissioners shall be prohibited from having outside employment. (Motion passed: 14-0)

  1. The Tax Collector remain an appointed position. (Motion passed unanimously: 14-0)

  1. The manner in which the Board of County Commissioners is currently comprised shall remain as is, with 13 single-member Commission Districts. (Motion passed: 14-1)

  1. The County Commission appoint an independent Task Force to prepare and submit a comprehensive plan in 2009 for countywide incorporation, accomplished through annexation and/or incorporation, subject to amendments or changes by two-thirds vote of the County Commission, and that such plan be placed on the ballot for all citizens to vote on at a general election in 2010. (Motion passed: 9-5)

  1. The electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether the Home Rule Charter should be amended to empower future Charter Review Task Forces to place proposed Charter amendments directly on the ballot, if the proposed Charter amendment is approved by a two-thirds vote of the Task Force members present; and to provide that the appointment process for future Task Force members be the same as contained in Sections 1 and 2 of the resolution creating the current Charter Review Task Force, with the exception that the provision allowing Commissioners to appoint themselves to the Task Force be deleted.  (Motion passed: 9-5)

  1. The electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether the Home Rule Charter should be amended to provide that the time period to collect signatures for proposed Charter amendments and citizens’ initiatives be extended to 120 days and that proposed Charter amendments must only be placed on the ballot during a general election.  (Motion passed: 14-0)

  1. The electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether the Home Rule Charter should be amended to require the County Commission to hold a public hearing on any citizen initiated changes to the Home Rule Charter on the date the County Commission sets the election date on the proposed Charter amendment.  A public hearing shall also be required for any Charter amendment initiated by the County Commission. (Motion passed: 14-0)

  1. The electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether of the Home Rule Charter should be amended to provide that the County Commission hold a public hearing on the proposed initiative at the time a citizen initiative petition is presented to the County Commission for possible passage or repeal of an ordinance. (Motion passed: 14-0)

  1. The electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether the Home Rule Charter should be amended to provide that the County Commission shall adopt no resolutions or ordinances regulating the citizen petition procedures as defined in the Home Rule Charter.  (Motion passed: 14-0)

  1. The electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether the Home Rule Charter should be amended to reflect that the certification and petition gathering provisions contained in Article 8 of the Home Rule Charter should also govern citizen initiative petition procedures to amend the Home Rule Charter.  (Motion passed: 14-0)

  1. The electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether the Home Rule Charter should be amended to provide that the Clerk of the Court, rather than the County Commission, approve as to form any citizen initiative petition.  (Motion passed: 14-0)

  1. The electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether the Home Rule Charter should be amended to provide that bid protests shall be heard by hearing officers charged with making final determinations based on findings of facts and conclusions of law; that the appeal process shall be governed by the rules of procedure set forth in State of Florida’s Administrative Procedure Act; and that the findings of the hearing officer would be final, subject to appeal by a disappointed bidder to the County Commission solely on an abuse of discretion standard. (Motion passed: 8-6)

  1. The electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether the Home Rule Charter should be amended to provide that any Comprehensive Development Master Plan application requesting that the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) line be moved must be approved by a vote of at least ¾’s of the County Commissioners then in office; that every five years an independent body shall be constituted to conduct a comprehensive and holistic study as to where the UDB line should be drawn; and that if a change in the location of the UDB line is recommended by such independent body and such change in location is approved by a simple majority vote of County Commissioners present, such recommendations must be submitted for approval by the electorate in the form of a referendum.  (Motion passed: 9-5)

  1. The electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether the Home Rule Charter should be amended to provide that all zoning applications, including variances and setbacks, be heard first by the Community Councils with any appeals from those decisions being heard by hearing officers charged with making final determinations based on findings of fact and conclusions of law, that the appeal process shall be governed by the rules of procedure set forth in the State of Florida’s Administrative Procedure Act and that the findings of the hearing officer would be final subject to appeal to the County Commission solely on an abuse of discretion standard. (Motion passed: 14-0)

  1. That the electors of Miami-Dade County be asked whether Section 9.07 of the Home Rule Charter shall be amended in the following manner (Motion passed: 17-0):
  1. Amendments to this Charter may be proposed by a resolution adopted by the Board of County Commissioners or by petition of electors numbering not less than ten percent of the total number of electors registered in Dade County at the time the petition is submitted to the Clerk.
  1. Amendments to this proposed by initiatory petitions of electors shall be governed by the following procedure:

1.     The person proposing the amendment shall submit to the Clerk a proposed petition, in the form specified in section (2) below, and proposed ballot language, including a title. The Clerk shall without delay approve as to form a petition for circulation in one or several copies as the proposer may desire.

2.     The petition shall be printed in 14-point font and contain the following information: (a) the title and text of the proposed amendment, printed in English, Spanish and Creole; (b) a statement in each petition circulator's own handwriting, setting forth his or her own name, both in printed and signature form; (c)the residence address of the circulator; (d) dates between which all the signatures on each individual petition were obtained; and (e) a sworn statement that the circulator personally circulated the petition and witnessed each signature as it was being written.

3.     Initiatory petitions shall be certified in the manner required for initiatory petitions for an ordinance.

4.     The Board of County Commissioners shall call an election to be held within 60-120 days of the date that a certified petition is presented to the County Commission.  Such election shall be called in conjunction with the next scheduled general election.

C.    Amendments to this Charter may be proposed by the Board of County Commissioners at any time. Elections on charter amendments proposed by the Board shall be held not less than 60 nor more than 120 days after the Board adopts a resolution proposing any amendment.

D.    The result of all elections on charter amendments shall be determined by a majority of the electors voting on the proposed amendment.

E.     All current ordinances and resolutions regulating initiative petitions shall be repealed.

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