Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 100081
Printable PDF Format Download Adobe Reader  Clerk's Official Copy   

File Number: 100081 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-01-10 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: SPEC ITEM NO. 1 ASSIST HAITI IN RECOVERING FROM EARTHQUAKE Introduced: 1/15/2010
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 1/14/2010
Agenda Date: 1/14/2010 Agenda Item Number:
Notes: SEE ORIGINAL ITEM #100075 SPECIAL ITEM NO. 1 Title: RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO ASSIST HAITI IN RECOVERING FROM THE JANUARY 12, 2010 EARTHQUAKE; DECLARING THAT AN EMERGENCY SITUATION EXISTS IN HAITI; WAIVING THE PROCEDURES FOR DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PROPERTY AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 2-11.21 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY; AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING COUNTY MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO IMMEDIATELY ALLOW COUNTY EMPLOYEES AND THE PUBLIC TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE COUNTY’S EMERGENCY DISASTER RELIEF FUND ESTABLISHED BY RESOLUTION R-1071-05; AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO IMMEDIATELY DEPLOY COUNTY EMPLOYEES TO ASSIST IN THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY EFFORTS; AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY MANAGER TO USE EMERGENCY PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES AUTHORIZED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 3-38 FOR HAITI EARTHQUAKE RELIEF EFFORTS; DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO IMMEDIATELY DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A HAITI EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY ACTION PLAN AND TO REPORT TO THE BOARD (SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 100075)
Indexes: EARTHQUAKE
  HAITI
Sponsors: Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
  Bruno A. Barreiro, Co-Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, 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
  Dorrin D. Rolle, Co-Sponsor
  Natacha Seijas, 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

County Attorney 1/15/2010 Assigned Eric A. Rodriguez

Board of County Commissioners 1/14/2010 SPECIAL ITEM NO. 1 AMENDED Adopted as amended P
REPORT: Chairman Moss noted the purpose of today’s (1/14) emergency meeting was to discuss how to coordinate and mobilize the efforts of the various municipalities, organizations, and groups to provide medical treatment and supplies, food, water, and other essentials to the people of the Nation of Haiti in the aftermath of a major earthquake. He noted individuals from other entities were invited to participate in this discussion with members of the County Commission, the Mayor, and members of the County Administration. Each commissioner would be given an opportunity to voice their concerns and recommendations on the record today, particularly to share their thoughts on how these essential resources should be allocated as well as the logistics of how to open up the distribution channels and the supply chain into the devastated island of Haiti, Chairman Moss noted. He reiterated that the primary goal of today’s (1/14) meeting was to coordinate and mobilize the Haitian Relief Efforts and come up with creative strategies on how to get critical resources and supplies to the people so desperately in need of them. Chairman Moss noted that he had appointed Commissioner Edmonson as the County’s Coordinator for the Earthquake Relief Efforts. Commissioner Edmonson also extended her thoughts and prayers to the people of Haiti. She noted many people living in South Florida had family members and friends who were killed, unaccounted for, or seriously injured. Others had friends and/or family members who were homeless and without basic food and water as a result of the earthquake. Commissioner Edmonson noted the people of Haiti were in dire need of assistance. She also noted this was a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations, business, and religious institutions, etc., to mobilize and respond quickly to prevent the further loss of lives in Haiti. She emphasized the importance of coordinating the individual, governmental, and community efforts with that of the County Commission, the Mayor, and the County Administration. Suggestions and recommendations were welcomed from everyone, Commissioner Edmonson noted, and the proposed resolution before the Board today (1/14) would be amended to include County facilities. Commissioner Edmonson noted a press conference was scheduled later today (1/14) at the Emergency Management Center to update County residents on the status of relief efforts. She also noted a meeting of all elected municipal officials would be held after the press conference to discuss mutual cooperation and the pooling of resources. Chairman Moss recognized the Honorable Harvey Ruvin, Clerk of County and Circuit Courts, Mr. Pedro Garcia, Property Appraiser; Mayor Carlos Alvarez and County Manager George Burgess. Commissioner Rolle expressed appreciation to his colleagues for coming together during this difficult time. He noted one of the primary concerns was how to get supplies to Haiti considering the infrastructure on the Island was largely destroyed by the earthquake. Commissioner Rolle said t-shirts, first aid supplies, tents, blankets and body bags were desperately needed. He reminded commissioners of Resolution No. 05-114, adopted on January 14, 2009, waiving the procedures for disbursement of surplus property, and asked the County Mayor or his designee to determine whether any surplus earth-moving equipment was available to donate to Haiti and report back to the County Commission within 15 days. Commissioner Rolle noted Odebrecht, a contractor for the Miami-Dade Airport, had mobilized earth-moving equipment from the Dominican Republic for use in Haiti. Commissioner Sosa expressed her sincere sympathy to County employees and local residents with family and friends in Haiti. She commended Chairman Moss for appointing Commissioner Edmonson to coordinate the relief efforts and noted she would be available to assist in anyway possible. Commissioner Sosa asked that she be added as a co-sponsor to this proposed resolution, and suggested the focus of relief efforts should be saving lives and transporting earth-moving equipment and other resources to rebuild Haiti. She also suggested efforts be made to accommodate County employees who lost family members in Haiti, and suggested lines of communication be established to enable people to contact family and friends on the Island. She emphasized the need for everyone to join forces in this combined effort. Commissioner Sorenson noted the people of Haiti were experiencing difficulties and asked that commissioners be careful not to exert too much leadership. She suggested that commissioners assist in the logistical operations and yield to the expertise of those most qualified to lead this operation. Commissioner Sorenson noted monetary contributions were critical at this time. Chairman Moss recognized City of Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and State of Florida Representative Luis Garcia. Commissioner Seijas said she felt that Commissioner Edmonson would provide excellent leadership in the coordination of efforts. She noted according to the media, 5,500 United States Marines and other troops had been deployed to Haiti; the death toll exceeded 100,000 deaths; and over 300,000 people were impacted. Commissioner Seijas said the Catholic charities were considering bringing orphans to the United States for adoption. She noted the United Nations and the federal government were diligently working as well as the University of Miami, Holy Cross Hospital, and other hospitals under the leadership of Dr. Barth Green, to provide triage medical care to victims. Commissioner Seijas expressed concern that Haitians were not treated fairly under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Policy, and that Haitian people seeking asylum in the U.S. have not been embraced as were people from Cuba and others nations. She spoke in support of the need for a long-term policy consideration. Commissioner Seijas expressed concern whether a plan was developed for Haitian migration to Miami-Dade County that would provide appropriate shelter, food, medical treatment, education and to assist local residents who were of Haitian descent in locating their families and friends in Haiti. She noted the County should embrace the Haitian community and provide them with the same liberty the Cuban people have enjoyed for many years. Commissioner Jordan noted she extended her thoughts and prayers to the people of Haiti and suggested County employees and all residents of this community extend a helping hand to their colleagues, friends, and neighbors from Haiti by calling them and asking what they needed and offering support. She commended Chairman Moss for his quick response and for appointing Commissioner Edmonson to coordinate the earthquake relief effort and to mobilize the community. She also commended Mayor Alvarez and the County Administration for their initiative, and suggested County owned land at the Homestead Air Force Base be readied in anticipation of a mass migration of Haitian people to South Florida. She noted the devastation and destruction caused by the earthquake was unimaginable and was significantly more devastating than that caused by the major hurricane that struck the island one year earlier. Commissioner Jordan extended her heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all County employees who were unable to communicate with loved ones in Haiti. She recommended the Board entertain a motion to waive tariffs for goods shipped to support the earthquake relief effort at the Seaport. She also recommended the shipping fees and other costs for shipping goods to Haiti be waived or reduced at the airport if possible. County Manager George Burgess and Seaport Director Bill Johnson concurred that with Port approval they believed the tariff fees could be adjusted at the Seaport. Commissioner Jordan expressed sincere appreciation to Chairman Moss and members of the County Commission, the County Administration, and the community; as well as all County employees who extended their thoughts and prayers to her during her daughter’s life threatening illness. Commissioner Barreiro, on behalf of his staff and his family, extended his thoughts and prayers to the people of Haiti. He emphasized the importance of expediting the relief effort, and asked the County Manager to ensure that representatives of the Miami River Marine Group were included in these efforts as their expertise would be critical. Commissioner Gimenez also extended prayers to victims and their families, both here and in Haiti. He noted he was pleased that the Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami Urban Search and Rescue (USR) Teams' had already been deployed to Haiti. Commissioner Gimenez noted he shared Commissioner Sorenson’s concern that the logistical support was in place in Haiti to take advantage of assistance the County was providing. One of the biggest challenges, he noted would be to transport and distribute resources, i.e., food, clothing and materials to the people most in need. Commissioner Gimenez noted he concurred with Commissioner Seijas that the situation would get worse before it gets better; and efforts should be made to start migrating people in most need to the United States for assistance; that the County administration should initiate efforts to plan for an influx of Haitians to South Florida in conjunction with the federal government. He offered his support to Commissioner Edmonson in coordinating the relief effort. Commissioner Heyman extended her thoughts and prayers to the people of Haiti. She acknowledged Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen whom she noted were looking for ways to bring orphans to the United States for adoption. Commissioner Heyman noted federal and state funding was needed for Jackson Memorial Hospital to continue providing medical treatment to earthquake victims. Additionally, Commissioner Heyman recommended a coordination of efforts among Miami-Dade County, all municipalities, and community organizations; and that municipalites hold on to food, clothing and other supplies collected as part of the relief effort until all community efforts were coordinated and mobilized through the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the Fire Rescue Department, the American Red Cross, and other agencies. She noted that monetary donations were urgently needed and that the America Red Cross would ensure that funds were distributed as intended. Commissioner Heyman noted she also extended her support to Commissioner Edmonson. Commissioner Souto extended sympathy to individuals who were wounded and/or lost family members and friends in the earthquake. He noted Jackson Memorial Hospital was recognized worldwide for providing quality medical treatment and that additional federal funding was needed for Jackson to continue treating earthquake victims. He said it was important to use County resources efficiently and effectively; to avoid duplication of services; and to coordinate all efforts. Commissioner Souto noted it would take considerable time, effort and economic resources to rebuild Haiti. Commissioner Martinez offered his thoughts and prayers to the people of Haiti and to their family and friends in South Florida. He noted he wanted to hear what the County was doing operationally. Commissioner Diaz noted that the Haitian community needed our prayers and offered his support to Commissioner Edmonson in coordinating the earthquake relief efforts. He said that Miami-Dade County had always supported those in urgent need, and the County had the best emergency response team in Haiti. Commissioner Diaz noted that logistical information was needed from the emergency response team and County administration before undertaking the humanitarian effort. Mayor Alvarez extended his prayers to the Haitian people and to those who had lost loved ones in this horrible tragedy. He noted he was looking forward to working with Commissioner Edmonson and the entire County Commission to assist the people of Haiti. Mayor Alvarez said the County had the largest concentration of Haitians in the United States with over 200,000 living in our community making this disaster extremely personal. He noted the EOC was activated yesterday (1/13) on a modified basis so that any entity the EOC Director deemed appropriate would be represented at the EOC. He also noted that the USR Team left Miami International Airport earlier today (1/14) followed by two planes loaded with equipment. Mayor Alvarez also noted that the Edison Little River Neighborhood Center on NW 79th Street and 1st Avenue would serve as a communications hub for the Haitian community. He said that according to former President Bill Clinton, monetary assistance was the highest priority. Additionally, Mayor Alvarez noted that the EOC Director was securing locations for the eventual collection and storage of food and supplies. He reiterated the need for financial assistance to support immediate earthquake relief efforts and noted that supplies could be provided after the infrastructure and logistical operations were in place. Mayor Alvarez assured the County Commission that the Administration was willing and able to assist with the coordination of the earthquake relief efforts. First Assistant County Attorney Abigail Price-Williams read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Chairman Moss introduced Mr. Karlo Pelissier, representing the Haitian Consulate General and invited him to provide an update on the essential needs of the people of Haiti. Mr. Karlo Pelissier, Attache Commercial appeared before the Board and expressed his sincere appreciation to the Mayor, members of the Commission and County administration for their support. He said he wished all people in Haiti could witness the kindness and generosity extended by the South Florida community on their behalf. Mr. Pelissier said he believed that his brothers and sisters in Haiti would be rescued with the help of this community. Chairman Moss recognized Cutler Bay Mayor Paul Vrooman and Town Manager Steven Alexander along with Palmetto Bay Village Manager Ron Williams. Mr. Patrice Michel, Community Council Member, Area 14, Sub Area 142, recommended Mayor Alvarez provide time-off for County employees who volunteered to assist in Haiti relief efforts without using their accrued leave. He noted that a 2,000 square foot warehouse in the northwest portion of the County was available to store food and other items collected as a part of the coordinated effort. County Manager George Burgess asked Mr. Curtis Sommerhoff, Director, Emergency Management & Homeland Security, to provide the Commission with a status report followed by an update from Chief Herminio Lorenzo, Director, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, on the USR Team in Haiti. Mr. Sommerhoff noted he had briefed Commissioner Edmonson on the status of efforts underway at the federal level which was the basis of today’s (1/14) presentation. He said the United States Coast Guard had deployed two C-130 aircrafts to Haiti to conduct an assessment and early indications suggested that the major devastation was concentrated in the Port-au-Prince area. Mr. Sommerhoff noted that all significant Coast Guard assets had been diverted to Haiti and assessments were underway to determine whether deep draft vessels could enter the port. He said that supply ships were unable to dock because the main commercial port was completely destroyed. Mr. Sommerhoff noted that the U.S. Coast Guard was in command of humanitarian operations and it was anticipated these efforts would be assumed by the United States Southern Command (Southcom). He said the Port-au-Prince Airport was closed to commercial traffic; however, it remained open for official use. Mr. Sommerhoff noted the United States Navy was also deploying an aircraft carrier and several other ships to Haiti. He indicated the immediate priority was to provide relief to Haiti and to return approximately 45,000 United States citizens home. Mr. Sommerhoff noted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was mobilizing resources, including search and rescue teams, communications equipment and other commodities. He noted the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) requested the Homestead Air Reserve Base become the hub; and that FEMA had international medical surgical teams as well as disaster medical assistance, incident response coordination, and fatality management assessment teams staged in Atlanta and ready for deployment. He noted that FEMA Director W. Craig Fugate authorized State of Florida officials to provide resources to assist Haiti. Mr. Sommerhoff said he advised FDEM Director David Halstead that the South Florida Community was in the best position to provide essential resources to Haiti. Mr. Sommerhoff said the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated to Level 2 at 8:00 a.m. today (1/14). He noted the EOC was coordinating a response to provide relief supplies for Haiti and to support the Edison Little River Neighborhood Center by providing information, counseling and telephone assistance for local residents to communicate with friends and families on the island. Mr. Sommerhoff also noted a second center would be opened in South Dade, and the EOC was working with its partners, the County Administration, community organizations and the local business community to collect donations and resources for this effort which was becoming an international disaster relief mission. Mr. Sommerhoff said that the Fire Rescue Department, General Services Administration and other County departments provided the EOC with a list of surplus items. He noted the County’s goal was to enhance the disaster relief framework provided through FEMA, the Coast Guard, the American Red Cross, the United Way, Food for the Poor, Catholic Charities, Southcom, and other organizations. Mr. Sommerhoff said that volunteer agencies were currently requesting only monetary donations. He read the following excerpt from correspondence prepared by the Chief Executive Officer, United Way: “It was not our intent to organize any collection drives of donated goods. In all our outreach, we were not able to identify an organization in Haiti that was accepting donated goods. We have created a Haiti info center on our website and will post information about donated goods, collection drives as we learn about them; however, we are not endorsing or encouraging any at this time.” Commissioner Gimenez suggested Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s) be sent to Haiti. Mr. Sommerhoff noted a supply of MRE's and water which were pledged by FDEM Director Halstead, were ready to be sent to Haiti. Chief Lorenzo noted a call from FEMA Director Fugate early yesterday (1/13) morning requesting the County deploy the USR Team to Haiti. He said logistical planning to move the Team was coordinated through FEMA, the State Department, and the Office of Domestic Foreign Assistance. Chief Lorenzo noted the Team was ready to be deployed last night (1/13); however the Port-au-Prince Airport was closed to traffic and clearance for takeoff was not granted. He said 80 members of the USR Team departed today at 8:05 a.m; however, the aircraft did not land in Haiti until approximately 11:00 a.m. due to delays in take offs and landings. Chief Lorenzo noted the USR Team was establishing their base camp on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Haiti. He said equipment was being delivered on two additional aircrafts, one of which was diverted to the Dominican Republic because the airport was closed to civilian aircrafts and the other had not received clearance to take off from Miami International Airport. Chief Lorenzo noted he spoke with representative(s) from U.S. Senator George LeMieux’s office that put him in contact with Captain Grant from the U.S. Coast Guard Command in Miami-Dade, who facilitated the clearance through Southcom for both aircrafts to fly into Port-au-Prince. Chief Lorenzo said orders have been given to Assistant Chief of Operations, Karls Paul-Noel, who was of Haitian descent, to establish communications and to serve as the Department’s contact person in Haiti to ensure that resources were accepted and distributed appropriately. He noted that Chief Paul-Noel had contacts in Haiti; and had participated in several missions within Haiti. In addition, he noted Chief Paul-Noel was very familiar with the conditions on the island and was an experienced USR Team member specializing in logistic capabilities. He said the first update from the USR Team would be available at 2:00 p.m. today (1/14). He noted the Team was on the ground and awaiting equipment to begin work. Chief Lorenzo said the Fire Rescue Department had compiled a list of surplus equipment that could not be sold for fire protection purposes in the United States; however, would be useful for fire protection forces in Haiti. He noted that Fire Rescue Department employees had volunteered their assistance in anyway necessary, and commended all County departments and employees for their assistance in collecting resources and coordinating the efforts. Commissioner Gimenez, on behalf of himself, the Mayor and members of the Commission commended the USR Team for their quick response. He questioned whether transport vehicles and equipment had been deployed to Haiti for the Team. Chief Lorenzo said the coordination and deployment of resources and equipment was different on the international versus the domestic level; that the Office of Foreign and Domestic Assistance was the regulatory agency that provided ground transportation to deploy the USR Team in cooperation with the United States government and military. Chief Lorenzo said he offered to assist the City of Miami’s USR Team since this was its first time deployed on an international level. He noted immediate concerns were how to provide food, transportation, and security for both Teams. In closing, Chief Lorenzo noted the Teams’ base camp was within close proximity to the U.S. Embassy and that the Embassy would likely be the base of operation. Commissioner Gimenez asked Chief Lorenzo to obtain additional details from the USR Team leader regarding transportation issues. He also inquired whether any fire assessment had been conducted and whether sufficient fire fighting resources were available in Haiti. Chief Lorenzo responded that many large fires had occurred within the devastated areas. He noted that fire fighting resources in Haiti were extremely limited prior to the earthquake. Chief Lorenzo noted he had asked Chief Paul-Noel to reach out to the Delmas community which is part of the Port-au-Prince Metropolitan area to assess the current fire fighting capabilities. He said the County’s surplus equipment would be useful and would provide a limited degree of fire protection and rescue operations. He noted the USR Team would assess current fire hazards and risks and provide appropriate protection for Team members and the general population. Commissioner Gimenez noted tankers were necessary to supply water to fire locations and any surplus tankers should be deployed to Haiti. Commissioner Martinez questioned whether Chief Lorenzo had compiled a list of surplus equipment and whether he had the list compiled by GSA. Chief Lorenzo noted he had the list compiled by the Fire Rescue Department, but not by the GSA. Commissioner Martinez noted surplus equipment must be approved by this Commission first. County Manager Burgess noted members of the Administration were in the process of evaluating surplus equipment. He noted a resolution was before the Board today (1/14) and if approved, it would allow the Administration to deploy surplus equipment to Haiti expeditiously. Commissioner Martinez asked that he be provided the surplus equipment list so that he would be aware of the type of equipment available. He noted shoes and tents were among the essential items so desperately needed. Mr. Sam Tidwell, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross South Florida Region, acknowledged the Mayor, members of the County Commission, and the Administration for taking a coordinated approach to this well planned and executed international earthquake relief effort. He noted food and other resources were being donated around the world, and emphasized the need for people to provide financial assistance (donations) to trusted organizations. Mr. Tidwell noted the American Red Cross had already provided $10 million to the earthquake relief effort and delegations of people providing assistance from throughout the world were already on the ground in Haiti. Mr. Tony Ojeda, Executive Director, International Trade Consortium (ITC), noted he was pleased to announce that the Consortium in consultation with Commissioner Seijas, Mr. Walter Lloyd, the new Chairperson of the Sister Cities Committee, and under the leadership of the ITC Board, had allocated $1,000 from the Sister Cities Trust Account toward the earthquake relief effort. Mr. Ojeda also noted that the ITC Board of Directors was represented by key economic development agencies throughout the community who were also ready to assist. Ms. Retha Boone-Fye, Program Officer, Black Affairs Advisory Board noted that D.J. Fabian, Executive Director of the Haitian American Emergency Relief Committee was currently in Haiti with a news crew. She also noted Commissioner Martinez invited her to attend a Southern Baptist Association meeting with Haitian ministers. Ms. Boon-Fye said D.J. Fabian asked that Commissioner Edmonson be informed that he was willing to provide hands-on assistance and that he planned to assist in efforts to find the missing students in Haiti. Ms. Boone-Fye said that according to D.J. Fabian, the infrastructure was devastated and cranes were in the water. Chairman Moss asked that all Commissioners be listed as co-sponsors of this proposed resolution. First Assistant County Attorney Price-Williams noted that the sponsor of the previously mentioned add-on Special Item No. 4 had agreed to amend this proposed resolution to include information regarding the waiver of port fees. First Assistant County Attorney Price-Williams read the following amendment to the proposed resolution into the record: This Board hereby authorizes and directs the Mayor or the Port Director as the Mayor’s designee to waive or discount vessel and/or cargo charges imposed under Port of Miami Terminal Tariff #010, Implementing Order #4-4 or otherwise solely to the limited extent those charges pertain to cargo constituting humanitarian relief and supplies bound for delivery to Haiti for purposes of assisting in Earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti. In addition, this authorization provided to the Seaport Director in this resolution shall exist for a period of six months unless extended or otherwise modified by further action of this Board. Assistant County Attorney Eric Rodriguez read the following additional amendments to the proposed resolution into the record: To replace the language in Section 1 (d), handwritten Page 6 with the following language: “…to use County employees, facilities and property for Earthquake recovery and assistance efforts including, but not limited to, community collection drives for Haiti Earthquake recovery assistance...” To incorporate the following language at the end of Section 1 (e), handwritten Page 6: “County facilities shall be made available promptly for Earthquake relief efforts upon the direction of the Mayor or his designee or upon the submission of a written request to the Mayor by the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners or by a majority of the members of the Board of County Commissioners.” First Assistant County Attorney Price-Williams read the following additional amendment to the proposed resolution into the record: To incorporate appropriate language urging The Obama Administration, specifically the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, to grant Temporary Protective Status to Haitian Nationals living in the United States; and instructing the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of this resolution to the members of the Congressional Delegation and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and instructing the County’s Federal Lobbyists and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include the proposal to grant Temporary Protective Status to Haitian Nationals living in the U.S. as a priority in the 2010 Federal Legislative Packages, as recommended by Commissioner Seijas. Assistant County Attorney Eric Rodriguez read the following additional amendment to the proposed resolution into the record: To insert the word, “existing” to Section 4, line 5 on handwritten page 7, to correct the language to read as follows: “the members present, hereby waives the procedures for the donation of existing surplus property.” Commissioner Edmonson read the following additional amendments to the proposed resolution into the record: To provide that up to 75 acres of land be reserved at the Homestead Air Force Base (HAFB) for shelter, and as a center for the provision of food, medical treatment, equipment, and a place to connect Haitian-Americans with friends and family, if possible. She also asked that the Mayor and the County Manager initiate efforts to develop a plan and identify and pool the necessary resources, including the readiness of the Homestead Air Force Base to facilitate the migration of Haitian people to the South Florida area, as proposed by Commissioner Seijas. To include language providing for special counseling for County employees whose family members were missing or killed during the earthquake; and that County employees with families in Haiti be given priority in the event that County employees are deployed to Haiti as volunteers or as staff support, as proposed by Commissioner Sosa. It was moved by Commissioner Edmonson that the foregoing proposed resolution be adopted with the amendments read into the record by Commissioner Edmonson, First Assistant County Attorney Price-Williams, and Assistant County Attorney Eric Rodriguez. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Rolle. Commissioner Edmonson asked each commissioner to assign one of their staff members as a liaison to coordinate the earthquake relief efforts with her staff. First Assistant County Attorney Price-Williams noted that commissioners assigning staff liaisons would be acceptable. Commissioner Rolle questioned whether the Board should recommend that donations be made to a specific group(s) to ensure that it was distributed for the purposes as intended. Ms. Marleine Bastien, Executive Director, Haitian Woman of Miami, noted the Red Cross, World Vision, and Food for the Poor were reputable organizations that had established connections in Haiti and could be trusted. She expressed her appreciation to Mayor Alvarez for establishing the communications hub at the Edison Little River Neighborhood Center. Ms. Bastien said the Haitian Task Force had been reinstated and the members of that group were meeting regularly since the earthquake to assess community resources and to re-establish contacts with organizations in Haiti. She said a coalition was being readied that included mental health professionals, doctors, nurses, technicians, and individuals from the business community to provide assistance. Ms. Bastien said the Obama Administration and the Department of Homeland Security were being encouraged to release over 3,000 Haitians who were detained without criminal records or who did not pose a flight risk. She noted the current Temporary Protective Status (TPS) policy did not allow entry back into the United States and efforts should be made to relax travel restrictions to Haiti so that Haitians living in South Florida could travel to and from Haiti to locate family members. She suggested the Board make this one of their priorities. Ms. Bastien noted a Website had been developed to assist local residents in locating family members and friends in Haiti; that by going to www.haitifamilyfinder.org, individuals could post the names and photos of missing family members and friends. In addition, Ms. Bastien noted that two warehouses were opened earlier today (1/14) and Mayor Tomas Regalado, the City of Miami, had opened the City’s fire stations to accept donations. According to the Haitian Consulate, the people of Haiti were in desperate need of water, baby formula, blankets, protein bars, sardines, dry beans, oil, coffee, tea, medical equipment, wheelchairs, tents, radios that operate without batteries and mental health professionals, said Ms. Bastien. She expressed sincere appreciation for the County’s earthquake relief efforts on behalf of the Haitian community and extended her continued support. Upon being put to a vote, the motion to adopt the foregoing proposed resolution as amended passed by a vote of 13-0. Commissioner Jordan asked that the Wyclef Jean Foundation in partnership with Channel 7 and Michael Baisden be included on the list of organizations to accept cash donations. She noted they were encouraging $5.00 text donations to the Yele Haiti Foundation. Commissioner Gimenez noted he would not be attending today’s (1/14) press conference. He asked Chairman Moss to make this announcement on his behalf. Commissioner Edmonson requested that the Mayor and the County Manager assign staff person(s) from the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security to serve as a contact person(s). Commissioner Souto inquired whether the County Administration had any conversation with federal officials that would be useful during today’s (1/14) discussion. Mr. Joe Rasco, Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, advised that he had engaged in conversations with members of the Congressional Delegation who had expressed that they supported relaxing the TPS policy. He noted the Delegation had assisted the USR Team in resolving travel related difficulties and that requests for additional funding to treat earthquake victims at Jackson Memorial Hospital had been forwarded to County lobbyists in Washington. Ms. Fran Bohnsack representing carriers from the Miami River Marine Group, noted they were prepared to assist with the earthquake relief efforts. Ms. Bohnsack said that the U.S. Coast Guard would deliver an assessment of the Port-au-Prince Seaport tomorrow (1/15). She noted the Group would willingly divert shipments to alternative ports if the Port-au-Prince Seaport was not cleared. Ms. Bohnsack noted that the Group was prepared to donate services; however, money for fuel or to utilize smaller vessels would be appreciated. Mr. Bruce Brecheisen, Seaboard Marine, noted the Seaport in Port-au-Prince was the primary entry and the piers at the port had completely collapsed and cranes were submerged under water. A complete assessment had not yet been made to determine the severity of the damage to the infrastructure; however, it was devastated according to the photographs taken of the area. He noted that it would probably be several weeks or months before vessels could enter the Port and it would be necessary to find alternative solutions, said Mr. Brecheisen. He noted one option would be to discharge cargo in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, provided the roads were clear, safe and adequate fuel supplies were available. The other option would be to utilize a smaller dock located approximately ten miles outside Port-au-Prince. Mr. Brecheisen explained that ground assessment could occur tomorrow (1/15); however, a variety of logistical concerns needed to be evaluated collectively. He noted the tariff reductions were appreciated by Seaboard Marine and the other carriers associated with the Miami River Marine Group. Mr. Brecheisen noted the Miami River Marine Group was committed to working cooperatively with the County and other groups to develop creative solutions to aid in the recovery. Commissioner Rolle acknowledged Seaboard Marine and the Miami River Group for their coordinated assistance in the Haiti relief efforts. Chairman Moss asked Commissioner Diaz, as the County’s Military Liaison, to work with Commissioner Edmonson to coordinate military resources. Mr. Domminick Barbera, President, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Union Local 1403, presented a $5,000 donation from the South Florida Council of Firefighters and a $5,000 donation from the Local 1403 Union. Ms. Maggy Perez, on behalf of the Chairman and Members of the Public Health Trust, extended her thoughts and prayers to those affected by the earthquake both in this community and in Haiti. She noted 11 patients were admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital and additional patients were anticipated. Ms. Perez noted the Hospital was ready, willing, and able to assist in providing medical treatment. She said Jackson’s medical staff was capable of handling trauma and injuries of this nature and that University of Miami Doctors were currently caring for the wounded in Haiti. Ms. Perez said cooperative efforts were underway with the Department of Health to create a tele-medicine site where the Ryder Trauma Center could assist triage patients located in Haiti. She noted that any federal or state funding support would be helpful, and that various locations had been identified throughout the hospital to enable people to make donations on site.

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO ASSIST HAITI IN RECOVERING FROM THE JANUARY 12, 2010 EARTHQUAKE; DECLARING THAT AN EMERGENCY SITUATION EXISTS IN HAITI; WAIVING THE PROCEDURES FOR DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PROPERTY AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 2-11.21 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY; AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING COUNTY MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO IMMEDIATELY ALLOW COUNTY EMPLOYEES AND THE PUBLIC TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE COUNTY’S EMERGENCY DISASTER RELIEF FUND ESTABLISHED BY RESOLUTION R-1071-05; AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO IMMEDIATELY DEPLOY COUNTY EMPLOYEES TO ASSIST IN THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY EFFORTS; AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY MANAGER TO USE EMERGENCY PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES AUTHORIZED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 3-38 FOR HAITI EARTHQUAKE RELIEF EFFORTS; DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO IMMEDIATELY DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A HAITI EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY ACTION PLAN AND TO REPORT TO THE BOARD

BODY


WHEREAS, many residents of Miami-Dade County have family members, friends and business relationships in Haiti such that the social, cultural and economic life of Miami-Dade County is inextricably intertwined with events in Haiti; and
WHEREAS, as a result of the devastation wrought by the Earthquake, this Board hereby finds that an emergency situation currently exists in certain parts of Haiti that demands immediate action in the manner authorized and directed herein; and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County has previously adopted resolutions to assist other communities devastated by natural disasters including communities in Texas, Louisiana, and the Caribbean [Resolution numbers R-1031-07, R-972-08, & R-1103-08]; and
WHEREAS, to provide a mechanism for providing assistance to other communities, the Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution Number R-1071-05 for the purpose of establishing an Emergency Disaster Relief Fund so that County employees could contribute earned annual and holiday leave time and anyone could contribute money to benefit victims of natural disasters and in rebuilding communities affected by natural disasters; and
WHEREAS, generous County employees took advantage of the fund established by Resolution Number R-1071-05 and contributed their earned holiday and annual leave to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina relief fund and are likely to be generous to victims of the Earthquake in Haiti; and
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners wishes to permit such
contributions; and

WHEREAS, in 2005, the Board of County Commissioners adopted Ordinance No. 05-114 to amend Section 2-11.2.1 of the Code of Miami-Dade County for the express purpose of permitting the waiver of procedures relating to the disposition of surplus property “in the event of an emergency situation outside of Miami-Dade County,” if approved by a two-thirds vote; and
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners finds and declares that an emergency situation currently exists in portions of Haiti affected by the Earthquake that demands action and assistance from governments and non-governmental agencies and that warrants the waiver of the procedures for disposition of surplus County property pursuant to Section 2-11.2.1 of the Code of Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, in addition to the specific immediate action this Board is directing herein, the Board of County Commissioners also finds that the County Mayor must immediately develop and implement a Haiti Earthquake Recovery Action Plan to provide and coordinate recovery assistance to Haiti; and
WHEREAS, immediately taking the specific actions described herein as well as developing and promptly implementing a Haiti Earthquake Recovery Action Plan is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of Miami-Dade County,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that:
Section 1. This Board hereby authorizes and directs the County Mayor or Mayor’s designee to immediately: (a) allow the donation by County employees of earned annual and holiday leave time to the County’s Emergency Disaster Relief Fund authorized by Resolution Number R-1071-05 for the purpose of assisting in the Earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti; (b) allow the donation of money by County employees and members of the public to the County’s Emergency Disaster Relief Fund authorized by Resolution Number R-1071-05 for the purpose of assisting in the Earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti; (c) deploy the Miami-Dade County Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team, emergency responder and emergency management personnel, and such other County personnel as is deemed appropriate to Haiti for Earthquake recovery efforts; (d) to use County employees and property to engage in Earthquake recovery and assistance efforts including, but not limited to, community collection drives for Haiti Earthquake recovery assistance; (e) use County employees to provide any other technical, logistical or humanitarian assistance that would assist Haiti in recovering from the Earthquake; and (f) immediately develop and implement a Haiti Earthquake Recovery Action Plan that shall include, but not be limited to: (1) a plan for the use of the 75-acre County-owned property at the Homestead Air Reserve Base to provide shelter, food, medical care and humanitarian assistance to victims of the Earthquake that arrive in Miami-Dade County; and (2) a provision for allowing prioritization of leave requests of County employees for the purpose of engaging in Earthquake relief efforts and, in the Mayor or the Mayor’s designee’s discretion, the use of administrative leave to facilitate such leave requests. County facilities and property shall be made available promptly for Earthquake relief efforts upon the direction of the Mayor or the Mayor’s designee or upon written request to the Mayor by the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners or a majority of the members of the Board of County Commissioners.
Section 2. The County Mayor or Mayor’s designee shall publicize and make available forms for employees to complete in order to authorize such earned annual and holiday leave contributions. The authorization forms to be distributed by the County Mayor or Mayor’s designee should include: (a) an explanation of the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities and Food for the Poor; and (b) a statement that the Board of County Commissioners has approved contributions of leave time and money to the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities and Food for the Poor for the purpose of assisting Haiti in recovering from the Earthquake.
Section 3. This Board directs the County Mayor or Mayor’s designee to arrange for the allocation of funds from the various departments whose employees contributed leave time and money to the County’s Emergency Disaster Relief Fund, and authorizes the County Mayor or Mayor’s designee to make the donation of such funds to the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities and Food for the Poor in the name of the employees of Miami-Dade County and to designate such donations to be used exclusively to assist Haiti in recovery from the Earthquake and its aftermath. This Board directs the County Mayor or Mayor’s designee to make the donation of any funds received from the public to the County’s Emergency Disaster Relief fund to the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities and Food for the Poor in the name of the residents of Miami-Dade County. The County Mayor or Mayor’s designee shall give as much notice as possible but in any event at least twenty-four (24) hours notice to this Board of Mayor’s intention to present the funds to the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities or Food for the Poor, so that all interested members of this Board may attend the presentation.
Section 4. This Board declares that an emergency situation exists in parts of Haiti affected by the Earthquake that warrants the waiver of the procedure required for the disposition of surplus County property and in accordance with the provisions of Section 2-11.2.1 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida this Board, by a two-thirds vote of the members present, hereby waives the procedures for the donation of existing surplus property set forth in Section 2-11.2.1 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida and authorizes and directs the County Mayor or Mayor’s designee to donate such surplus property to eligible entities as set forth in Sections 274.05 and 274.06, Florida Statutes, for the sole purpose of Earthquake relief efforts.
Section 5. This Board authorizes the County Mayor or Mayor’s designee to use the emergency purchase procedures in County Administrative Order (AO) 3-38 to purchase any goods or services necessary for the Earthquake recovery effort within the limits set forth in AO 3-38.
Section 6. This Board authorizes and directs the County Mayor or Mayor’s designee to submit the following at the January 21, 2010 Board of County Commissioners meeting: (a) a status report of the actions that have been taken pursuant to this resolution and (b) the County’s Haiti Earthquake Recovery Action Plan. Thereafter, the County Mayor or Mayor’s designee shall provide weekly status reports to the Board of County Commissioners on the actions taken pursuant to this resolution and the Haiti Earthquake Recovery Action Plan and any adjustments to the plan for a period of sixty (60) days.
Section 7. This Board hereby authorizes and directs the County Mayor or the Port Director as the County Manager’s designee to waive or discount vessel and/or cargo charges imposed under Port of Miami Terminal Tariff 010 [Implementing Order 4-4] or otherwise, solely to the limited extent those charges pertain to cargo constituting humanitarian relief and supplies bound for delivery to Haiti for the purpose of assisting in the Earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti. This authorization provided to the Seaport Director shall exist for a period of six (6) months unless extended or otherwise modified by further action of this Board.
Section 8. Urges the Obama administration, including the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, to grant Temporary Protected Status to Haitian nationals living in the United States.
Section 9. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Florida Congressional Delegation and the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Section 10. Directs the County’s federal lobbyists to advocate for the action set forth in Section 8 and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include the item in the 2010 Federal Legislative Packages.



Home  |   Agendas  |   Minutes  |   Legislative Search  |   Lobbyist Registration  |   Legislative Reports
2014 BCC Meeting Calendar  |   Miami-Dade County Code of Ordinances   |   ADA Notice  |  

Home  |  Using Our Site  |  About Phone Directory  |  Privacy  |  Disclaimer

E-mail your comments, questions and suggestions to Webmaster  

Web Site © 2014 Miami-Dade County.
All rights reserved.