File Name: CITIZEN’S PRESENTATION, BY ROBIN REITER,
Agenda Date: 1/22/2009
Agenda Item Number: 1E1
CITIZEN’S PRESENTATION, BY ROBIN REITER, CHAIRPERSON OF THE BUILDING BETTER COMMUNITIES GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND PROGRAM’S CITIZENS’ ADVISORY COMMITTEE REGARDING THE PROGRAM’S PROGRESS
Sally A. Heyman, Prime Sponsor
Board of County Commissioners
Chairperson Robin Reiter, Building Better Communities-General Obligation Bond (BBC-GOB) Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), expressed appreciation to Commissioner Heyman for inviting her to present this report today and to Commissioner Seijas for her courtesy extended when this report was presented before the Government Operations Committee. Ms. Reiter recognized Mr. Javier Salman, the newest member of the CAC. She noted the CAC consisted of 21 appointed members who tried to honor the Commissioners’ and the Administration’s commitment to ensure the citizens of Miami-Dade County that what they voted for would be implemented. Ms. Reiter noted the CAC recognized the BBC-GOB program was 15 to 20 years long and might need changes along the way. She also noted the CAC appreciated the County Commission’s commitment to honor the process by forwarding any proposed changes to the bond program by various agencies or organizations, to the CAC for review and recommendation. She noted the CAC took its obligation seriously by conducting a series of public forums and community meetings in all commission districts countywide and provided continual reports on the progress of this program.
Ms. Reiter noted over 90% of the projects promised in the first bond sale of the BBC-GOB program were completed on time and within or under budget. She also noted the CAC was unsure what the outcome of the next bond sale would be given the current economy, but understood the challenges and had been provided with tremendous guidance by the County’s Office of Strategic Business Management. She said the CAC members felt it was vital to expedite capital projects as much as possible to keep the economy moving, and were committed to responsibly expediting BBC-GOB dollars for affordable housing, workforce housing projects, and larger projects such as museums, parks, the Florida Marlin’s Baseball Stadium and the Seaport Tunnel. The CAC’s primary concern, she noted, was projects with operational issues, such as libraries that might need to be postponed to the end of the bond program. Ms. Reiter noted the CAC applauded the efforts of the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) for several years with the Greater of Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Beacon Council to fast-track over $800 million in capital projects at the State, Local and Federal levels. She noted the CAC also applauded the BCC for adopting the expedite ordinance and supporting this process.
In conclusion, Ms. Reiter noted the CAC would encourage the BCC to expedite as many capital projects as possible; to delay the use of interest earned on the BBC-GOB program for completing projects promised to the voters until the end of the program; and to inform the public of the status of those projects with operational/capital issues and whether they would move forward. Ms. Reiter expressed appreciation to the County Commission, the Administration and staff, and to the Office of Capital Improvements (OCI) for their true professionalism. She noted the CAC members did not benefit from the projects supported by the BBC-GOB program in any way, nor did they receive any funding from the program funds, which had helped to ensure the integrity of this process.
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