Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 073379
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File Number: 073379 File Type: Resolution Status: Before the Board
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: RCSE - POLICE DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR CHARTER AMENDMENT Introduced: 11/14/2007
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 7/18/2008 Agenda Item Number:
Notes: Special Item 18 Title: RESOLUTION CALLING A COUNTYWIDE SPECIAL ELECTION IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, IN CONJUNCTION WITH A GENERAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2008, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITTING TO THE ELECTORS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY THE QUESTION OF WHETHER TO AMEND THE HOME RULE CHARTER TO REQUIRE APPOINTMENT OF A POLICE DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR AND TO PROVIDE A METHOD OF APPOINTMENT, REAPPOINTMENT AND DISMISSAL OF SUCH DIRECTOR, AND TO REQUIRE THAT, EXCEPT FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSMITTING CONSTITUENT INQUIRIES, BUDGETING, AND FUNDING, THE POLICE DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR SHALL PERFORM HIS/HER DUTIES WITHOUT SUPERVISION OR INTERFERENCE FROM THE MAYOR OR COUNTY MANAGER
Indexes: HOME RULE CHARTER
  POLICE DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR
  SPECIAL ELECTION
Sponsors: Carlos A. Gimenez, Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, 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 7/18/2008 SPECIAL ITEM NO. 18 Motion to adopt failed
REPORT: It was moved by Commissioner Gimenez that the foregoing proposed resolution be adopted. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman. Commissioner Gimenez spoke in support of the foregoing proposed resolution. He noted once the Police Department Director was appointed by the Mayor that individual would perform his/her duties without interference from the Commission, the Mayor or the Manager, and would only report to the Commission for budgetary and other purposes. Commissioner Gimenez said this would provide a level of insulation for that individual versus an elected official which the Charter Review Task Force felt would be too political. He noted this recommendation also applied to the Supervisor of Elections. In response to Commissioner Moss’ inquiry, Commissioner Gimenez said the Mayor would appoint the Police Director and the County Commission would be required to ratify the appointment or could reject the appointment by a two-thirds vote. He noted the Mayor could fire the individual with approval of the majority of the Commission and the Commission could fire the individual with a two-thirds majority vote. Commissioner Sosa expressed concern regarding the Police Department Director performing his/her duties without supervision. She noted she was not opposed to creating the checks and balance for the supervision but was concerned about allowing an individual to be completely free in such a powerful position. Commissioner Gimenez noted there would be no interference from the Mayor or the County Commission regarding day to day operations. He noted the ultimate supervision would be the Mayor or the County Commission. Commissioner Gimenez noted the intent was to avoid political interference. Chairman Barreiro noted he would not be supportive of the foregoing proposed resolution and felt the person would be an elected official at the end of the day. Commissioner Seijas noted she could not support the foregoing proposed resolution because she had not seen an individual who had served as Police Director who was not professional and who did not possess integrity. Commissioner Gimenez noted this issue was raised because of the change in government and he felt this was the right way to ensure checks and balances. Commissioner Sosa agreed with Commissioner Seijas and noted she could not support this resolution. Commissioner Sorenson noted she felt it was not necessary to make any changes to the Police Department Director’s position. Upon being put to a voice vote, Chairman Barreiro announced that the motion failed by a majority vote of those members present. (Commissioners Diaz, Edmonson, Martinez, Rolle and Jordan were absent).

Board of County Commissioners 4/3/2008 N Presented
REPORT: Commissioner Sosa noted she felt the Public Safety Director (PSD) aka Sheriff or Police Chief should not be an elected position. Commissioner Heyman spoke in support of the foregoing proposed resolution, but noted her concern regarding two (2) four-year term appointments, explaining that she believed the appointment should be consistent with the terms of the Mayor or the Manager. She expressed concern with the potential impact of a four-year term on severance, and concurred with not filling this position by election. Commissioner Gimenez noted the intent was to run the PSD and Supervisor of Elections’ terms concurrent with the Mayor’s term so that each succeeding mayor would have the right to appoint a different individual. He said he would ensure the language was corrected to reflect the intent. He noted the Task Force felt this would alleviate some problems with direct reporting and eliminate political interference by County Commissioners or the Mayor once an individual was appointed/confirmed, except for budgetary purposes. Commissioner Gimenez further noted that after the four year term was completed, a Mayor could re-appoint the individual or appoint someone else, and could dismiss an individual at anytime, as long as the action was affirmed by the Commission. He noted the Commission could also dismiss the individual by a 2/3s vote. Commissioner Jordan agreed the PSD, Supervisor of Elections and Tax Collector positions should remain appointed; however, she disagreed with running their terms in conjunction with an election cycle because it might politicize the positions. She noted if the intent was to fill the position with a professional, then the Board should be able to terminate the person for cause. She also expressed concern that the County Commission reaffirming the appointee every four years would politicize the position. Commissioner Sorenson noted she opposed this recommendation, but agreed the PSD position should remain appointed, and not be elected. She said she felt this proposal would give too much power to the PSD, and the Commission should not try to fix an unbroken system. Commissioner Seijas concurred with the comments of her colleagues. She noted it appeared the proposed positions to be elected did not fit with the County’s current governmental structure. She also noted she felt an appointment from the Mayor could become too political, and concurred that the Property Appraiser should be elected, but not the Tax Collector. Chairman Barreiro said he felt the PSD, Supervisor of Elections and the Tax Collector positions should be appointed. He noted appointing these positions would consolidate government with an economy of scales. Commissioner Moss said he felt all of these positions should be appointed and filled with professionals. Regarding the provision for terms, he said he felt the County should continue operating as it now operates, except to address issues of concern involving the Commissioners or Mayor’s influence over the PSD and Supervisor of Elections. Commissioner Moss noted he felt the overall structure did not need to be changed, but safeguards should be in place to protect everyone in this process. Commissioner Gimenez noted at one time, individuals were appointed by a professional manager, not the Mayor. He also noted to say politics were not involved in this process would be an inaccurate statement since the Mayor was a politician. Commissioner Gimenez also noted the possibility of a non-professional being appointed as the PSD in the future, and once appointed, could only be removed by the Mayor. He noted the foregoing proposal was about establishing a “balance of powers” and giving the County Commission the ability to confirm or remove the PSD appointment, if the individual abused its power and the Mayor did nothing about it. He also noted that many CRTF members wanted the PSD to be an elected position for a separation of police and political powers. Chairman Barreiro said he felt appointments should be discussed early in the process before being made, and should be dealt with in the Charter. He also said he felt the County Commission should have the power to dismiss any Department Director by a super majority vote. In response to Commissioner Jordan’s inquiry regarding whether a proposal initiated by the Commission to return to an executive mayor form of government was prohibited, County Attorney Cuevas advised that the County Commission could ultimately initiate a proposed amendment to the Charter to undo the strong mayor form of government, but it might involve some timeframe constraints. Commissioner Jordan asked the County Attorney to research the potential timeframe limitations and to prepare appropriate legislation to this effect. She said she felt that if the Commission chose not to place her suggested proposal on the ballot, then language should be changed in the CRTF’s foregoing proposal to reflect all references to the County Manager as ‘Deputy Mayor.’ In response to Commissioner Jordan’s inquiry regarding whether the County could give its Appraiser more oversight or enforcement authority over matters concerning private appraisers working in coercion with the developers and banking industries to inflate some housing appraisals, County Attorney Cuevas advised that the Property Appraiser must follow state-mandated criteria for assessing property values, and that some elements in the market were reflected in his assessments. In response to Commissioner Jordan’s question regarding whether State law standards had any provision that would prohibit counties from strengthening their Appraisers’ roles under the conditions she stated, County Attorney Cuevas noted he believed the Property Appraiser would be subject to State law. Commissioner Sorenson advised that the County’s Property Appraiser and the Mayor’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force were currently addressing cases of inflated property appraisals that impacted the entire neighborhood to determine whether those appraisals should be reduced, and whether additional legislation was needed to address this issue. Commissioner Sorenson noted she felt it was too soon to reverse the Strong Mayor form of government, and believed the Mayor could go after the Commissioners in other ways, though they always had the recall provision. She noted she opposed electing a Police Chief, and supported the PSD, Supervisor of Elections, and Tax Collector positions remaining appointed, and not tied to any terms. Commissioner Sosa noted she felt that reversing the strong mayor government would be detrimental to this community who voted for it; and felt the Commission should respect the peoples vote and allow this form of government to work. She noted the Commission needed to ensure due process was given for positions with influence so that no one abuses the system. She also noted she did not agree with re-appointing the PSD every four years.

Board of County Commissioners 11/19/2007 Special Item No. 8 No Action Taken
REPORT: See Report Under Agenda Item Special Item No. 1, Legislative File No. 073309.

County Attorney 11/14/2007 Assigned Monica Rizo 7/9/2008

Governmental Operations and Environment Committee 11/13/2007 3K SUBSTITUTE AMENDED Forwarded to BCC without recommendation with committee amendments P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed resolution was read into the record by Assistant County Attorney Geri Bonzon-Keenan. Assistant County Attorney Monica Rizo noted scrivener’s errors existing within the title of the resolution; within the third bullet point of the ballot question; within the first paragraph of Article-21, Section 2.02 D; and within the provisions of Article-9, C, pertaining to the Police Department Director, that should be corrected as follows: Line 6 in the title of the final resolution shall read as follows: “…Home Rule Charter to require appointment of a police department director and …” Additionally, Ms. Rizo noted the word “constituent” should be inserted in the third bullet point of the ballot question and the language shall read as follows: *EXCEPT FOR CONSTITUENT INQUIRIES, BUDGETING, AND FUNDING, SHALL PERFORM HIS/HER DUTIES WITHOUT SUPERVISION OR INTERFERENCE FROM THE MAYOR OR MANAGER? The language contained within the first line of Article -21, Section 2.02, D, first paragraph, shall read as follows: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter, the Mayor shall appoint a Police Department Director…” , and that the word “and” be deleted and replaced with the word “or” on the last line of this paragraph. Article 9, C, provisions pertaining to the Police Department Director, shall read as follows: “…The Mayor shall delegate to a Police Department Director the powers and functions of such office and such director shall carry out the policy directives of the Board of County Commissioners. The powers and functions delegated to the Police Department Director shall not include those which pertain to corrections and the operation of the County jails and detention facilities, The Mayor may delegate to a suitable person or persons the powers and functions which pertain to corrections and the operations of the County jails and detention facilities.” Hearing no objection, the foregoing proposed resolution was forwarded to the BCC without a recommendation, with amendments as stated by Assistant County Attorney Rizo.

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION CALLING A COUNTYWIDE SPECIAL ELECTION IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, IN CONJUNCTION WITH A GENERAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2008, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITTING TO THE ELECTORS OF MIAMI DADE COUNTY THE QUESTION OF WHETHER TO AMEND THE HOME RULE CHARTER TO REQUIRE APPOINTMENT OF A POLICE DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR AND TO PROVIDE A METHOD OF APPOINTMENT, REAPPOINTMENT AND DISMISSAL OF SUCH DIRECTOR, AND TO REQUIRE THAT, EXCEPT FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSMITTING CONSTITUENT INQUIRIES, BUDGETING, AND FUNDING, THE POLICE DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR SHALL PERFORM HIS/HER DUTIES WITHOUT SUPERVISION OR INTERFERENCE FROM THE MAYOR OR COUNTY MANAGER

BODY
WHEREAS, on November 6, 2007, the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Charter Task Force submitted its initial recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners (“Board”); and
WHEREAS, those initial recommendations advised that the County’s Police Department Director (i.e. Sheriff, Police Chief) should remain an appointed position, albeit one with a four-year renewable term, with other requirements and restrictions; and
WHEREAS, among those requirements and restrictions were that the Board, by a two-thirds vote, could disapprove the Mayor’s initial four-year term appointment and any subsequent renewals of the Police Department Director, and the Board could, by a two-thirds vote, dismiss the Police Department Director at any time, as could the Mayor with a majority vote of the Board; and
WHEREAS, another restriction was that, except for the purposes of transmitting constituent inquiries, budgeting, and funding, the Mayor would be prohibited from supervising and interfering with the performance of the official duties of the Police Department Director,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. A countywide special election, to be held in conjunction with a statewide election, is hereby called and shall be held in Miami-Dade County, Florida on November 4, 2008 for the purpose of submitting to the qualified electors of Miami-Dade County the proposal for amendment to the Home Rule Charter in the form attached hereto and made a part hereof.
Section 2. Notice of such election shall be published in accordance with Section 100.342, Florida Statutes.
Section 3. The result of such election shall be determined by a majority of the qualified electors of Miami-Dade County voting upon the proposal. The polls at such election shall be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on the day of such election. All qualified electors of Miami-Dade County, Florida shall be entitled to vote at said election. The County registration books shall remain open at the Office of the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections until twenty-nine (29) days prior to the date of such election, at which time the registration books will close in accordance with the provisions of general election laws. The question shall appear on the ballot in substantially the following form:
HOME RULE CHARTER AMENDMENT
RELATING TO APPOINTMENT, DISMISSAL, AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR

SHALL THE CHARTER BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE THAT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR:

* BE APPOINTED BY THE MAYOR TO A RENEWABLE FOUR-YEAR TERM, UNLESS DISAPPROVED BY A TWO-THIRDS VOTE OF COMMISSIONERS;

*
CAN BE DISMISSED FROM OFFICE BY THE MAYOR WITH A MAJORITY VOTE OF COMMISSIONERS, OR BY A TWO-THIRDS VOTE OF COMMISSIONERS;

* EXCEPT FOR CONSTITUENT INQUIRIES, BUDGETING, AND FUNDING, SHALL PERFORM HIS/HER DUTIES WITHOUT SUPERVISION OR INTERFERENCE FROM THE MAYOR OR MANAGER?


YES

NO

Section 4. The form of the ballot shall be in accordance with the requirements of general election laws.
Section 5. Early voting shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of general election laws.
Section 6. Absentee paper ballots may be used by qualified electors of Miami-Dade County for voting on this question. The form of such absentee ballot shall be in accordance with the requirements prescribed by general election laws.
Section 7. A sample ballot showing the manner in which the question or proposal aforesaid will appear at this election shall be published and provided in accordance with the applicable provisions of general election laws.
Section 8. This special election on the proposal aforesaid shall be held and conducted in accordance with applicable provisions of the general laws relating to elections and the provisions of the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Charter. The County Manager, the Finance Director, the Supervisor of Elections and the Clerk of the County Commission are hereby authorized and directed to take all appropriate actions necessary to carry into effect and accomplish the provisions of this resolution. This election shall be a nonpartisan election. Election officials in connection with this election shall be appointed in accordance with the provisions of general election laws.
Section 9. This election shall be canvassed by the County Canvassing Board, in accordance with the provisions of Section 3.07 of the Home Rule Charter.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY HOME RULE CHARTER

ARTICLE-21


MAYOR

* * *

Section 2.02. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MAYOR

The Mayor shall serve as head of the county government with the following specific powers and responsibilities:

* * *

>>D. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter, the Mayor shall appoint a Police Department Director to a renewable four-year term, unless the appointment or any renewal is disapproved by a two-thirds vote of those Commissioners then in office at the Commission’s next regularly scheduled meeting. The Police Department Director can be dismissed by the Mayor, with the consent of a majority vote of those Commissioners then in office, or by the Commission with a two-thirds vote of those Commissioners then in office. Except for the purpose of transmitting constituent inquiries, budgeting, and funding, the Police Department Director shall perform his or her duties without supervision or interference from the Mayor or the County Manager.<<

[[D]] >>E.<< Unless otherwise provided by this Charter, the Mayor shall have the power to appoint all department directors of the administrative departments of the County. Appointment of these department directors shall become effective unless disapproved by a two-thirds majority of those Commissioners then in office at the Commission’s next regularly scheduled meeting. The Mayor shall also have the right to suspend, reprimand, remove, or discharge any administrative director, with or without cause.

[[E]] >>F.<< The Mayor shall within ten days of final adoption by the Commission, have veto authority over any legislative, quasi-judicial, zoning, master plan or land use decision of the Commission, including the budget or any particular component contained therein which was approved by the Commission; provided, however, that (1) if any revenue item is vetoed, an expenditure item in the same or greater dollar amount must also be vetoed and (2) the Mayor may not veto the selection of the chairperson or vice-chairperson of the commission, the enactment of commission committee rules, the formation of commission committees, or the appointment of members to commission committees. The Commission may at its next regularly scheduled meeting after the veto occurs, override that veto by a two-thirds vote of the Commissioners present.

[[F]] >>G.<< The Mayor shall prepare and deliver a report on the state of the county to the people of the county between November 1 and January 31 annually. Such report shall be prepared after consultation with the Commissioners and the Manager.

[[G]] >>H.<< The Mayor shall prepare and deliver a budgetary address annually to the people of the county in March. Such address shall be prepared after consulting with the Manager and budget director and shall set forth the Mayor's funding priorities for the County.

* * *

ARTICLE-9

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 9.01. ABOLITION OF CERTAIN OFFICES AND TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS

* * *

C. On November 9, 1966, the Office of Sheriff is hereby abolished and the powers and functions of such office are hereby transferred to the Mayor, who shall assume all the duties and functions of this office required under the Constitution and general laws of this state. >>The Mayor shall delegate to a Police Department Director the powers and functions of such office and such director shall carry out the policy directives of the Board of County Commissioners. The powers and functions delegated to the Police Department Director shall not include those which pertain to corrections and the operation of the County jails and detention facilities. <>which pertain to corrections and the operations of the County jails and detention facilities<<.
1Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.



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