Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 111929
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File Number: 111929 File Type: Ordinance Status: In Committee
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee
File Name: AUTHORITY TO SPONSOR ITEMS TO THE BOARD Introduced: 9/12/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 9/20/2011
Agenda Date: 9/20/2011 Agenda Item Number: 4B
Notes: BCC RULES - NOTE TO CAO: ITEM FILED IN BCC 9-20-11 Title: ORDINANCE REGARDING RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS; AMENDING SECTIONS 2-1 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO AUTHORITY TO SPONSOR OR PRESENT ITEMS ON COMMISSION AGENDA; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: RULES OF PROCEDURE
Sponsors: Sally A. Heyman, Prime 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

Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee 10/25/2011 1E1 Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation F
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Chairwoman Bell opened the public hearing and called for persons wishing to appear before the Committee in connection with this proposed ordinance. After hearing no one wishing to speak, Chairwoman Bell closed the public hearing. It was moved by Commissioner Edmonson that the foregoing proposed ordinance be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) with a favorable recommendation. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Diaz. Chairwoman Bell noted that staff worked for the Mayor and questioned why it would not be considered a conflict for him to direct staff to sponsor Agenda items after an Ethics Commission ruling. Assistant County Attorney Oren Rosenthal responded that it would be an appropriate insulation of the conflict in cases where the Executive Director of the Ethics Commission had already opined. He also noted that the staff member submitting recommendation(s) to the Board must have final decision-making authority over the matter and thus remove the Mayor from the decision-making process. Chairwoman Bell said she was philosophically opposed to this ordinance, noting that all staff ultimately worked for the Mayor under the Strong Mayor form of government. Commissioner Diaz withdrew his second to the motion on the floor, and Commissioner Jordan seconded the motion. Commissioner Diaz noted he believed the Mayor controlled all employees with exception of those under the County Commission and the Office of the Chair’s purview. He said separation between the Administrative and legislative bodies were necessary to maintain clearly defined lines of authority. Commissioner Diaz noted he questioned the need for this proposed ordinance because commissioners could sponsor agenda items. Deputy Mayor Ed Marquez noted the Administration was aware of items that would present a conflict. He noted that the Board had the right to scrutinize the Deputy Mayor’s recommendations the same as they would the Mayor’s, and that staff, rather than the County Commission, needed to evaluate the business points of those recommendations in the event of a conflict. The Deputy Mayor would present these Agenda items directly to the County Commission for final review at which time commissioners could question the rationale for the recommendation. Commissioner Diaz noted he believed Agenda items should be signed by the Mayor and not by deputy mayors. Commissioner Jordan noted this proposed ordinance was presented in an abundance of caution since the Deputy Mayors would be required to sign Agenda Items before presenting them to the Mayor. Following Deputy Mayor Marquez’ comment, Commissioner Jordan clarified that the actual recommendations did not come directly from the Mayor. She noted the requirement that deputy mayor’s sign-off on agenda items was intended to prevent potential conflicts and as proposed, the directive would flow from the bottom up rather than top down. Budget Director Jennifer Moon clarified that the process followed today was different from the process followed by the previous Administration; that the current Mayor reviewed agenda items and signed-off on them before they were placed on the County Commission’s agendas. Assistant County Attorney Rosenthal responded to Commissioner Jordan’s question regarding the impact of this proposal on the Mayor’s ability to submit recommendations to the County Commission. He explained that under the existing Rules of Procedures, the Mayor could only sponsor a certain number of agenda items, and his/her authority would be limited to those items sponsored by the Mayor. In the event, the Mayor was unable to sponsor an item(s) due to a Conflict of Interest (COI), the Deputy Mayor would have the authority to do so pursuant to this proposed ordinance. Commissioner Jordan noted in the past, commissioners excused themselves when they had a COI on an item. She noted she supported the proposed ordinance because the COI would apply to the Mayor as well. Chairwoman Bell requested clarification whether the ordinance changed the Rules of Procedure regarding the Mayor’s authority. Assistant County Attorney Rosenthal reiterated that the proposed ordinance would require the Deputy Mayor(s) to sponsor agenda items that would be normally be sponsored by the Mayor, which would not expand the Mayor’s responsibilities or the number of items sponsored by the Mayor. Chairwoman Bell noted she understood the need for this proposed ordinance since departments and committees could no longer sponsor agenda items. She said she would support forwarding this proposal to the BCC so that she could understand the sponsor’s intent. Commissioner Edmonson questioned whether a commissioner could sponsor an Agenda item when they had a COI and if not, whether the commissioner’s staff could sponsor that item. Assistant County Attorney Rosenthal explained that a commissioner could not sponsor an item when they had a COI; however, a ruling would be made by the Ethics Commission based upon the nature of the conflict. He pointed out that a commissioner’s staff did not have the authority to sign-off on legislation pursuant to the Board’s Rules of Procedure. Commissioner Edmonson questioned whether a commissioner could sponsor legislation if the Mayor had a COI, rather than the Deputy Mayor. Assistant County Attorney Rosenthal responded that there was no limitation for a commissioner sponsoring an Agenda item brought to their attention by a member of the Administration, with the exception of a bid waiver, which required the Mayor’s signature. He explained that this proposal did not involve a bid waiver. Deputy Mayor Marquez noted, in response to Commissioner Edmonson’s question, that it was sometimes difficult for the Administration to get a commissioner to sponsor an item and as proposed, the Deputy Mayor would be able to sign-off in these rare instances. Commissioner Edmonson said she supported forwarding this proposal to the County Commission. Commissioner Bovo questioned—and Assistant County Attorney Rosenthal explained—that an example of a COI for the Mayor would be due to the involvement of a family member. He also concurred with Commissioner Bovo that deputy mayors were not elected officials. Commissioner Bovo noted this proposal would circumvent any potential COI and would hinder the County Commission’s effort to regain public trust. He said he would not support this proposed ordinance today, although he understood the Mayor’s intent was to create a firewall, which he believed was insufficient. Chairwoman Bell noted that deputy mayors reported directly to the Mayor under a Strong Mayor form of government. She clarified that Commissioner Heyman proposed this ordinance, not the Mayor. Commissioner Diaz noted the Mayor was elected as a Strong Mayor with the responsibility to administer County government; however, deputy mayors were appointed. He said although the deputy mayor was not elected, he/she fulfilled specific functions on behalf of the Mayor. Commissioner Diaz noted; however, that he was concerned regarding the potential ethical issues and specifically, whether the deputy mayors would use their discretion to act independently or whether they would be compelled to advance the Mayor’s position. Continuing, Commissioner Diaz noted he questioned whether there was sufficient checks and balances in the current governmental structure to prevent COI’s. Additionally, he noted the Ethics Commission, the Inspector General, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Public Corruption Unit, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation currently scrutinized potential COI’s by elected officials, but he questioned whether a process existed to scrutinize members of the County Administration. Commissioner Jordan pointed out that a commissioner could sponsor an item while being fully aware that another commissioner had a COI, and the commissioner with the COI could recuse him/herself from the vote. She expressed concern that a discrepancy existed either in the opinions issued by the Ethics Commission or in this Commission’s Rules of Procedure that needed to be addressed. Commissioner Suarez asked that the motion on the foregoing proposed ordinance be restated and clarified. Assistant County Attorney Rosenthal noted the proposed ordinance involved the County Commission’s Rules of Procedure and provided that a deputy mayor could introduce legislation on behalf of the Mayor in the event of a COI. Commissioner Suarez noted he questioned whether a COI would exist unless the individual involved was living with the Mayor or was his/her dependent; and noted he did not support the deputy mayors or anyone else introducing legislation on behalf of the Mayor. Following further clarification by Assistant County Attorney Rosenthal regarding the intent of this proposed ordinance, it was then moved by Commissioner Edmonson that this ordinance be deferred, pending her obtaining a further understanding of the COIs. This was motion was seconded by Commissioner Suarez, and upon being put to a vote, resulted in a tie vote of 3-3. (Chairwoman Bell and Commissioners Bovo and Jordan voted “No”). Assistant County Attorney McCarty clarified that the foregoing motion resulted in a tie vote and thus failed. He said another motion was in order. Hearing no other questions or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote on the foregoing motion.

Board of County Commissioners 9/20/2011 Tentatively scheduled for a public hearing Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee 10/25/2011

Board of County Commissioners 9/20/2011 4B Adopted on first reading 10/25/2011 P
REPORT: First Assistant County Attorney Abigail Price-Williams read the title of the foregoing ordinance into the record. There being no comments from the members of the Board or the administration, the Board proceeded to vote. The foregoing proposed ordinance was adopted on first reading and scheduled for a public hearing before the Internal Management and Fiscal Responsibility Committee (IMFRC) on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, at 2:00 p.m.

County Attorney 9/12/2011 Referred Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee 10/25/2011

County Attorney 9/12/2011 Assigned Oren Rosenthal

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE REGARDING RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS; AMENDING SECTIONS 2-1 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO AUTHORITY TO SPONSOR OR PRESENT ITEMS ON COMMISSION AGENDA; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA

Section 1. That Section 2-1 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is amended to read as follows:1
CHAPTER 2. ADMINISTRATION

ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL

Sec. 2-1. Rules of Procedure of County Commission.

* * *

Rule 5.05 AGENDA.

* * *

(b) AUTHORITY TO SPONSOR OR PRESENT ITEMS ON AGENDA


(1) Anything to the contrary notwithstanding, matters may only be presented or sponsored by a county commissioner, a commission committee, the county attorney and the clerk of the commission, except that the Mayor shall be able to present or sponsor: (1) reports which do not amend any policy established by the County Commission; (2) mayoral appointments; (3) solicitations for the purchase of goods and services, leases, construction contracts and debt obligations; (4) contracts for the purchase of goods and services and amendments thereto; (5) grant applications, grants and sub-grants; (6) leases and amendments thereto; (7) debt obligations and amendments thereto; (8) construction contracts and amendments thereto; (9) labor agreements and amendments thereto; (10) special taxing districts initiated by petition; (11) certificates of public convenience and necessity; (12) certificates of transportation; (13) quasi-judicial items; and (14) other matters where the presentation or sponsorship by the Mayor is required by the Home Rule Charter or state or federal law. >>In the event that the Mayor, pursuant to a written opinion from the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust (“Ethics Commission”) or from the Executive Director of the Ethics Commission, has a conflict of interest preventing him from presenting or sponsoring a matter, such matter may be presented or sponsored by a designee of the Mayor who has been delegated final decision-making authority over such matter.<<


Section 2. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 3. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section," "article," or other appropriate word.
Section 4. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.

1 Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. The remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.



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