Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 050164
   

File Number: 050164 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-97-05 Control:
File Name: SPECIAL ELECTION - SLOT MACHINES Introduced: 1/24/2005
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 1/20/2005
Agenda Date: 1/20/2005 Agenda Item Number: 10A23
Notes: THIS IS FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED. (also see 043546) Title: RESOLUTION CALLING SPECIAL ELECTION IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2005 FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITTING TO THE ELECTORS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY THE QUESTION OF WHETHER TO AUTHORIZE SLOT MACHINES IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY AS PROVIDED IN ARTICLE X, SECTION 23 OF THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 043546]
Indexes: SPECIAL ELECTION
Sponsors: Bruno A. Barreiro, Prime Sponsor
  Carlos A. Gimenez, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
  Dorrin D. Rolle, Co-Sponsor
  Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

County Attorney 1/24/2005 Assigned Jess M. McCarty 1/24/2005

Board of County Commissioners 1/20/2005 10A23 AMENDED Adopted as amended P
REPORT: County Attorney Greenberg read the foregoing resolution onto the record. He noted that it was cross referenced with 11A4. Commissioner Moss noted that Agenda Item 10A24 could not be placed on the ballot until March 22, 2005. He proposed the County Commission wait until March 22, 2005 to place Agenda Item 10A23 on the ballot. Discussion ensued regarding the date of the election. Chairman Martinez opened the meeting for public input. Mr. Ronald Book, PA, 2999 NE 191 St, Penthouse 6, said that he represented the Gaming Industry. He said that in the November 2004 election this issue was about: 1. The right to vote in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, and put the slot machines in already existing, licensed, and taxed pari-mutuel facilities with gaming; 2. The guarantee that at least 30% of gross revenue would be supplemental funding for education Statewide; 3. The excess jobs that would total 5,000 in the first year plus 9,000 related jobs in the first year, with an average starting salary around $37,000 per year. He noted that each facility was estimated to spend over $200 million for capital infrastructure improvements; that the facilities would each generate gross revenue between $220-280 million per year; that this Industry would make the community vibrant for tourists to come and spend money. He said this was about creating real jobs. Responding to Commissioner Sorenson’s inquiry why he opened the meeting for public input, Chairman Martinez noted the high public interest in the matter. The following individuals appeared before the Board in support of this proposed resolution: 1. Mr. Jim Horn, 1675 Peckerwood Dr., Orange Park, FL. 2. Mr. Mark Richard, 2200 Biscayne Blvd. 3. Mr. Fred Havenick (phonetic), 369 Lucedenda Dr., Coral Gables. 4. Mr. Daniel Leshardi (phonetic), Vice-President, Miami Jai Alai. 5. Mr. Zachary Wilcox, 3525 NW 82 St. 6. Mr. Harry Benson, Hialeah. 7. Mr. Joan Shiner, 8180 Irwin Rd, Coral Gables. 8. Ms. Florence Hick, 3 Grove Isle, Coconut Grove. Mr. Danny Crew, City of Miami Gardens, said that Miami Gardens was not taking a side on any of the issues. He commented that Calder Race Track was an asset to Miami Gardens and recommended the agreement between Miami Gardens and the Track. The following individuals appeared before the Board in opposition to this proposed resolution: 1. Camille Gighton Gethin (phonetic), Miami. 2. Paul Sego, 3 N Hampton Ave, Orlando, FL. There being no other people to appear before the Commission, Chairman Martinez closed the meeting for public input. Commissioner Jordan asked that she be listed as a co-sponsor. Commissioner Heyman explained that she co-sponsored the foregoing resolution because of the perils that faced the pari-mutuels and to send a message to the State Legislature. Following further discussion, Commissioner Souto recommended the County ask for 5% of the revenue rather than 1.2%. Chairman Martinez clarified that the County Commission was discussing two items: 1. whether or not to allow the issue be placed on the ballot 2. contract considerations. Commissioner Sorenson compared funding education through slot machines to legalizing other practices to fund health care. She commented that this would increase many undesirable businesses. Commissioner Sorenson noted the results of gambling were proven to be negative. She suggested funding education through the legislature, the School Board, and Property Taxes. She said that she would not support the resolution; that it was poor public policy, it was not good for the community or economy, and it was unknown what the legislature would do. County Attorney Greenberg advised that November 2004 election results permitted, not mandated, an election, and the County Commission was not obligated to place this issue on the ballot. Commissioner Gimenez explained that he was a co-sponsor because the people voted for it. He said that the will of the people would be served by placing it on the ballot. In response to Commissioner Gimenez asking for his recommendation on the proposed agreement, County Manager Burgess recommended that the County and Industry have an agreement. He noted that the agreement in the agenda kit preceded adjustments made by Broward County on Tuesday, January, 18, 2005. He said that the County Manager’s Office drafted a supplement that recommended about 4 changes to accept for consistency with Broward County. Pursuant to Chairman Martinez’s request, Mr. Book agreed to give Miami-Dade County the same percentage of the revenues as Broward County. County Manager Burgess explained the revenue percentages in Broward’s agreement and noted the supplemental report had other modifications that were incorporated into a modified agreement to ensure that Miami-Dade County had language similar to Broward. Discussion ensued regarding aspects of the municipalities in this proposal. Following comments by County Manager Burgess concerning the media misquoting his level of satisfaction of the proposal, Commissioner Sosa said the Communications Department needed to send the correct information about the County Manager’s views of the proposed resolution. She asked County Manager Burgess to ensure that the County received a percentage of the revenue that was fair and made tax relief possible, and to ensure that the Cities enter into agreements. Following further discussion, Commissioner Rolle asked to be a co-sponsor to this proposed resolution. He asked the Auditor General to monitor the progress of job opportunities produced by business groups. Following comments by Commissioners Barreiro and Carey-Shuler, County Manager Burgess explained the revenue assumptions and Mr. Book explained the timeline for installation and operation of the slot machines. Discussion ensued regarding which day the election would be held and the impacts of this proposal on tourism. Following further discussion on the terms of the contract, Commissioner Seijas engaged in discussion with Assistant County Attorney Greensburg about amending the language that would be used on the ballot. Commissioner Seijas conducted a straw vote for amending the language that would be used on the ballot. Commissioner Heyman expressed concern about over simplifying the language and not satisfying the parameters required by law. County Attorney Greensburg read a proposed amendment to the language of the question on the ballot with the following language: “Shall slot machines be permitted in authorized facilities in Miami-Dade County with any taxes that the Florida Legislature may impose on slot machine revenues being spent to supplement public education funding Statewide.” He said, responding to Chairman Martinez, that the initial clause of the ballot question was crystal clear and only the pari-mutuels in the Constitutional Amendment would be authorized. He explained that other institutions could petition for slot machines, but the language on the ballot did not allow anyone else besides pari-mutuels to benefit. In response to Commissioner Jordan’s concern, Mr. Book clairified the percentages for municipalities in Broward were identical to the agreement with the City of Miami Gardens. Chairman Martinez expressed concern that the Governor and State Legislature would not support the agreement. He confirmed with the owners of the three pari-mutuel owners that they would sign the agreement. Following discussion regarding the most favored nation clause of the proposal, Mr. Book agreed to reopen the agreement with Miami-Dade County if it was reopened with Broward and to designate Flagler Dog Track as an emergency hurricane shelter for people with pets. Chairman Martinez asked County Manager Burgess to contact the Office of Emergency Management and have the Flagler Dog Track listed as an emergency shelter in all County brochures, notify the City of Miami, and the District Commissioner of the Area. Commissioner Heyman asked the County Manager to ensure that Ms. Torriente, work with Mr. Book and Mr. Wilbur Brewton from Calder Race Track to facilitate efforts in North Miami-Dade for animal shelter for horses during hurricanes evacuation. Responding to Commissioner Gimenez’s concern regarding removal of the most favored nations clause, Mr. Book consented to reopen the agreement if any County in Florida negotiated a different agreement. Mr. Book clarified that the agreement to provide emergency animal shelter applied to pari-mutuels. Regarding Chairman Martinez’s explanation of the health care needs of elementary school children, Mr. Book said the three facilities would make a contribution to the health care needs of uninsured children. Discussion ensued regarding how to collect the health care contributions. Chairman Martinez clarified that the health care contributions were intended to take a little to help each Commissioner’s communities, and that they were outside the agreement and were signs that Industry was genuinely interested in the Coummunity. Following further discussion concerning how to collect the health care contributions and the revenue figures in the contract regarding education, it was moved by Commissioner Sosa to amended the election date to March 22, 2005. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Moss. Chairman Martinez attempted to take a straw ballot on the motion by Commissioner Sosa. Subsequent to Mr. Book noting that the agreement between the Industry and the County was based on March 8, 2005, Chairman Martinez changed the issue of the straw ballot to whether or not to put the issue of commissioner salary on the ballot. A lengthy discussion ensued regarding the affect of the election date on the actions of the State Legislature and possible losses or delays in revenue; the Industry’s preference for March 8, 2005; and the commissioners’ thought regarding Agenda Item 10A24. It was moved by Commissioner Moss to adopt Agenda Item 10A24 Alternate #2 as amended to have an independent party appoint the members of the citizens board. Assistant County Attorney Greenberg advised that the resolution was legally sound. Discussion ensued in connection with the proposed language to use on the ballot. Upon concluding their discussion, Commissioner Moss withdrew his motion on Agenda Item 10A24 Alternate #2. It was moved by Commissioner Moss to adopt Agenda Item 10A24. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Sorenson. Following discussion regarding the language of the ballot question in Agenda Item 10A24, it was moved by Commissioner Moss to adopt Agenda Item 10A24, as amended to delete the following language: “used by other Florida Counties, including Broward County.” This motion was seconded by Commissioner Sorenson. Prior to the County Commission voting on the foregoing motion, Mr. Book expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the County Commission and staff. He said the Industry was uncomfortable with March 22, 2005, and requested the County Commission not put the slot machine question on that ballot. Commissioner Moss expressed his unwillingness to hold a separate election on March 22, 2005, for commissioners' salaries and on March 8, 2005, for slot machines, whereupon no vote was taken on the foregoing motion, and it failed to carry. 10A23 It was moved by Commissioner Barreiro that the Committee adopt Agenda Item 10A23, as amended with the following ballot language: “Shall slot machines be allowed in authorized pari-mutuel facilities in Miami-Dade County with any taxes the Florida Legislature may impose on slot machine revenues being spent to supplement public education funding Statewide, as required by law.” This motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman, and upon being put to a vote, passed 11-1 (Commissioner Sorenson voted “no,” Commissioner Diaz was absent). 11A4 It was moved by Commissioner Heyman to adopt Agenda Item 11A4, as amended that Miami-Dade County would receive the same percentage of the revenues as Broward County; that Flagler Dog Track would be designated as an emergency hurricane shelter for people with pets; and that the agreement could be reopened if any County in Florida negotiated a different agreement. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Barreiro. Following discussion between County Manager Burgess and Commissioner Sosa regarding the revenue percentage the County would receive, Commissioner Sosa asked County Manager Burgess to explore the possibility of using the funding received by the County to alleviate property taxes for Senior Citizens over 65 by increasing their homestead exemption. The Commission proceeded to vote on Agenda Item 11A4, as amended, and upon being put to a vote, passed 11-1 (Commissioner Sorenson voted “no,” Commissioner Diaz was absent). It was moved by Commissioner Barreiro that Agenda Item 10A23 be reconsidered. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman, and upon being put to a vote, failed to carry.

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION CALLING SPECIAL ELECTION IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2005 FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITTING TO THE ELECTORS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY THE QUESTION OF WHETHER TO AUTHORIZE SLOT MACHINES IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY AS PROVIDED IN ARTICLE X, SECTION 23 OF THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION

BODY
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. A Countywide special election is hereby called and shall be held in Miami-Dade County, Florida on Tuesday, March 8, 2005 for the purpose of submitting to the qualified electors of Miami-Dade County the question of whether to authorize slot machines in existing pari-mutuel facilities as provided in Article X, Section 23 of the Florida Constitution.
Section 2. The question shall appear on the ballot in substantially the following form:
SLOT MACHINES IN PARI-MUTUEL FACILITIES

SHALL SLOT MACHINES BE ALLOWED IN AUTHORIZED PARI-MUTUEL FACILITIES IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, WITH ANY TAXES THAT THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE MAY IMPOSE ON SLOT MACHINE REVENUES BEING SPENT TO SUPPLEMENT PUBLIC EDUCATION FUNDING STATEWIDE AS REQUIRED BY LAW?


YES

NO

Section 3. Such question shall appear on the ballot as a separate question or proposal. Those qualified electors desiring to adopt or approve such proposal shall be instructed to vote "YES." Those qualified electors desiring to reject or disapprove the proposal shall be instructed to vote "NO."
Section 4. This special election shall be held and conducted in accordance with applicable provisions of the general laws of the State of Florida and the provisions of the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Charter and Code.



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