Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 060530
   

File Number: 060530 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted as amended
Version: 0 Reference: R-226-06 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: URGE CONGRESS DETERMINE SECURITY PORT IMPACT BY SALE TO P&O Introduced: 2/23/2006
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 2/23/2006
Agenda Date: 2/23/2006 Agenda Item Number: 14A9
Notes: THIS IS FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED. ALSO SEE #060501 Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE U.S. CONGRESS TO HOLD HEARINGS TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE SECURITY OF THE DANTE B. FASCELL PORT OF MIAMI-DADE AND OTHER U.S. PORTS WILL BE JEOPARDIZED BY THE SALE OF PENINSULAR AND ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY TO DUBAI PORTS WORLD; URGING CONGRESS TO OPPOSE FEDERAL APPROVAL OF THE SALE UNTIL SUCH HEARINGS ARE HELD AND FURTHER ASSURANCES PROVIDED; AND URGING CONGRESS TO INCREASE FEDERAL FUNDING TO DEEP WATER PORTS FOR PURPOSES OF COMPLYING WITH POST-9/11 SEAPORT SECURITY REQUIREMENTS [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 060501]
Indexes: PORT OF MIAMI
  PORT SECURITY
Sponsors: Dorrin D. Rolle, Prime Sponsor
  Bruno A. Barreiro, Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Carlos A. Gimenez, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Joe A. Martinez, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
  Katy Sorenson, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, 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

Board of County Commissioners 2/23/2006 14A9 AMENDED Adopted as amended P
REPORT: Commissioner Gimenez questioned the company purchasing the control of Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P & O). Responding to Commissioner Gimenez’ inquiry, Mr. Charles Towsley, Director, Miami-Dade Seaport Department stated P & O was the name of the operating company which owned 50% of the government-owned Dubai Ports World of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Commissioner Gimenez noted Port operators must have a security plan approved by Department of Homeland Defense, Florida Department of Law Enforcement or a similar entity. He pointed out the sensitivity of the security plan for obvious reasons and the allowance of this government-owned company of Dubai Ports having access to the security plan, not only for the Port of Miami, but also other six Ports located in the State of Florida. Following Commissioner Sosa’s comments regarding inclusion of the Board’s opposition on this issue in the proposed resolution, Commissioner Rolle noted the intent of the foregoing proposed resolution was to urge the United States (U.S.) Congress to hold hearings to determine whether the security of the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade and other U.S. ports would be jeopardized by the sale of P & O to Dubai Ports World; also, to urge the Congress to oppose Federal approval of the sale until such hearings were held; and to urge Congress to increase Federal funding to deep water ports for purposes of complying with post-9/11 Seaport security requirements. He indicated he shared the same concern as his colleagues regarding access of the security plan by Dubai Ports World. Assistant County Attorney Steven Bass stated the Board could state its position on the issue in the proposed resolution. Commissioner Rolle indicated he would accept the amendment offered by Commissioner Sosa for the Board to state its opposition of the federal approval of the proposed sale until the Congress conducted additional hearings to ensure that the proposed sale of P & O to UAE would not compromise or jeopardize security at the Port of Miami. Responding to Commissioner Gimenez’ comments regarding terminating services with the Terminal operators, Assistant County Attorney Bass provided an overview of the current ownership for Port of Miami Terminal Operating Company, LLC (POMTOC) which currently operates, maintain and provides services at the Port. Mr. Bass informed the Board of the assignment clauses outlined in the Terminal Agreement and indicated if POMTOC wished to assign some of their rights or privileges under the Agreement to a third party, the assignment would require prior written approval of the Port Director. He noted two of the four members that constitute POMTOC had parent companies which had shares and one of the parent companies incorporated under the laws of the United Kingdom. The parent company P & O was proposing to sell its shares to UAE. Chairman Martinez noted he along with six other Board members would be traveling to Tallahassee for the legislative session; therefore, if it was the will of the Board the Board members would convey the County’s position on the proposed sale of P & O to the legislators. Commissioner Heyman offered the following language to amend the proposed resolution as follows: “…the Board opposes a business transaction that may result in a change in the County’s security at the Port, if this business entity whether its shareholders or the principal to have Port access which may or may not impact Port operations…” Commissioner Sosa reiterated her amendment to the foregoing proposed resolution. Commissioner Barreiro expressed support for the proposed resolution as presented and allowing the Congress to make the determination regarding whether the security of the Port of Miami and other U.S. ports would be jeopardized by the sale of the P & O to Dubai Ports World. Following Commissioner Jordan’s comments expressing her concern with contract renewals or changes in assignments of interest/ownership authorized by the Port Director, First Assistant County Attorney Robert Cuevas stated if it was the will of the Board, a provision for future contracts could require the Board’s approval for changes in ownership. Commissioner Jordan asked the County Attorney to prepare appropriate legislation which would require option for contract renewals and/or change in assignment of interest/ownership by companies doing business with the County for its economic engines whether its at the airport, seaport and other areas be subject to the Board’s approval, and requested a report outlining this information. Mr. Joe Rasco, Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, informed the Board that Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, recently appeared at a press conference expressing her opposition to the proposed sale outlined in the resolution and was urging the same intent of the foregoing proposed resolution. Chairman Martinez stated that in 1993 Congress enacted a law stating that if any interest were to be sold to a foreign government, hearings should be conducted for 45 days. He noted the proposed resolution should require that the regulations enacted in 1993 be followed. Commissioner Edmonson spoke in support of the foregoing proposed resolution and supported the inclusion of a clause stating the Board’s opposition on the issue. Commissioner Moss spoke in support of the foregoing proposed resolution. He expressed opposition of the proposed transaction between P & O and Dubai Ports World until additional Congressional hearings were held and additional information was presented that would provide assurance to the Board and the community that this transaction would not jeopardize Port security. Following discussion among Board members and Mr. Towsley regarding the security plan for the Port, Homeland Security and the use of the radiation detection system for inspection of items, Commissioner Gimenez supported the recommendation to state the County’s position in the proposed resolution pending submittal of additional information to this Board. Commissioner Gimenez asked the Miami-Dade Seaport Department Director to inspect (via the radiation detection system) all containers floating on the Miami River at Port terminals. Commissioner Rolle accepted and moved that the Board adopt the foregoing proposed resolution as amended by Board members: 1. to oppose any business transactions that would jeopardize the security of Port; 2. to follow the rules and regulations enacted by Congress to conduct hearings for 45-days; and 3. to oppose the transaction until such time as hearings are held with additional information to the Board. Commissioner Sosa seconded the motion for discussion. Chairman Martinez asked the County Attorney to contact Mayor Carlos Alvarez to request a waiver of his veto powers on the foregoing proposed resolution. Subsequently, the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs will distribute a copy of this resolution to each Board member. Chairman Martinez announced this resolution should reflect the following Board members who were present at today’s proceeding as cosponsors: Commissioners Barreiro, Edmonson, Gimenez, Heyman, Jordan, Moss, Sosa, Souto and himself. Commissioner Souto referenced and provided an overview of Article 1, Section 1.01 of the Home Rule Amendment and Charter regarding the Board power to provide and operate air, water, rail, and bus terminals, port facilities, and public transportation systems. Commissioner Sosa asked the Attorney to review the contract with Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P & O) for regulation of assignment clauses; for legal sufficiency that the County could act upon regarding regulations for parent companies; for time extensions; to include legal language for contract buy out provisions; and to present to the Board for approval contracts that include critical structures (i.e. seaport and airport) which may impact the safety of Miami Dade County residents. Commissioner Moss clarified his amendment that the Board would oppose the proposed sale going forth until such time as congressional hearings were held and information was provided to the Board and the community that would give assurance that the Port security would not be compromised. Following discussion regarding the amendments, First Assistant County Attorney Cuevas advised the Board of the insertion of a whereas clause to read as follows: “…Whereas this Board is opposed to the proposed Sale until such time as additional hearings and information are provided to assurance that the Sale does not jeopardize security at the Port of Miami…” Commissioner Rolle added that the letter of law in terms of the 45-days (1993 Congressional Law) be adhered to by Congress regarding this matter. Following clarification on the amendments to the foregoing proposed resolution, the Board adopted the foregoing proposed resolution as amended to add the following language: (1) “Whereas, this Board is opposed to the proposed Sale until such time as Congressional hearings are held and assurances provided that Port of Miami security will be compromised or jeopardized; and…”, (2) to change in Section 1, the word “undermined” to read “jeopardized” and (3) “…Opposes federal approval of the proposed Sale until such time as Congressional hearings are held and additional assurances provided that the proposed sale of P & O to a UAE-controlled firm will not compromise or jeopardize security at the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade County.” Chairman Martinez asked the County Attorney to review the contract to determine if the County had the authority to terminate the sale if the County was not satisfied. In addition, he asked that the County Attorney inform each Board member of this information.

County Attorney 2/23/2006 Assigned Steven B. Bass

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE U.S. CONGRESS TO HOLD HEARINGS TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE SECURITY OF THE DANTE B. FASCELL PORT OF MIAMI-DADE AND OTHER U.S. PORTS WILL BE JEOPARDIZED BY THE SALE OF PENINSULAR AND ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY TO DUBAI PORTS WORLD; URGING CONGRESS TO OPPOSE FEDERAL APPROVAL OF THE SALE UNTIL SUCH HEARINGS ARE HELD AND FURTHER ASSURANCES PROVIDED; AND URGING CONGRESS TO INCREASE FEDERAL FUNDING TO DEEP WATER PORTS FOR PURPOSES OF COMPLYING WITH POST-9/11 SEAPORT SECURITY REQUIREMENTS

BODY
WHEREAS, the British firm Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P & O), with the approval of the Bush administration, has been sold to the government-owned Dubai Ports World of the United Arab Emirates (UAE); and
WHEREAS, the $6.8 billion sale gives the UAE company a substantial role in the terminal operations at six major ports in this country, including the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade; and
WHEREAS, homeland security experts have long identified seaports as targets for potential terrorist attack and the Port of Miami-Dade has been considered a particular target given its size and location; and
WHEREAS, the UAE is a U.S. ally, but also served as a base for some of the hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks; and
WHEREAS, the acquisition of P & O by an UAE controlled company (the "Sale") may cause the Port of Miami-Dade to incur additional security related costs; and
WHEREAS, these additional security expenses will be necessitated by the Port's mandatory compliance with numerous federal security mandates, the costs of which are predominantly unfunded by the federal government; and
WHEREAS, this Board is opposed to the proposed Sale until such time as Congressional hearings are held and assurances provided that Port of Miami security will not be compromised or jeopardized; and
WHEREAS, maintaining security at the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade and other U.S. ports is of primary importance,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the U.S. Congress to hold hearings to determine whether the security of the Port of Miami-Dade and other U.S. ports will be jeopardized by the sale of P & O to Dubai Ports World.
Section 2. Opposes federal approval of the proposed Sale until such time as Congressional hearings are held and additional assurances provided that the proposed sale of P & O to a UAE-controlled firm will not compromise or jeopardize security at the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade County.
Section 3. Urges the U.S. Congress to increase federal funding to deep-water ports, like the Port of Miami-Dade, for the purpose of funding compliance with post 9/11 federal security requirements.
Section4. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the members of the Miami-Dade County Congressional Delegation and the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.



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