Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 112255
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File Number: 112255 File Type: Resolution Status: Before the Board
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: REDUCE AMT OF SIGNED INITIATORY PETITIONS(SPECIAL ELECTIONS) Introduced: 10/24/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 11/3/2011 Agenda Item Number: 11A35
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION CALLING A COUNTYWIDE SPECIAL ELECTION IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2012, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITTING TO THE ELECTORS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY THE QUESTION OF WHETHER TO AMEND THE HOME RULE CHARTER TO DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF SIGNED INITIATORY PETITIONS REQUIRED TO CALL A SPECIAL ELECTION TO PROPOSE A CHARTER AMENDMENT FOR APPROVAL BY THE VOTERS FROM THE CURRENT TEN PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF REGISTERED ELECTORS IN THE COUNTY TO FIVE PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS IN THE COUNTY
Indexes: PETITION
  SPECIAL ELECTION
Sponsors: Xavier L. Suarez, 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

Board of County Commissioners 11/3/2011 11A35 Deferred
REPORT: SPECIAL NOTE: See Agenda Item 11A34 AMENDED, Legislative File No. 112352 for preliminary comments and discussion prior to the consideration of resolutions calling for a Countywide Special Election to amend the Home Rule Charter. See Agenda Item 11A20, Legislative File No. 112265 for additional comments relating to the foregoing proposed resolution. Commissioner Suarez noted a Charter revision vote would not be held until the General Election if a petition drive succeeded. He said that gathering 10 percent of qualified voters’ signatures would require 137,500 signed petitions and that no candidate recently seeking a countywide election had received this number of votes. Commissioner Suarez proposed reducing the number of signed petitions required to call a Special Election from 10 percent of registered electors to five-percent. It was moved by Commissioner Suarez that the foregoing proposed resolution be adopted as presented. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Diaz. Chairman Martinez pointed out that low voter turnouts between eight and 15 percent were common and a further reduction to the number of required signatures to five-percent would not provide a sufficient voter sampling. He suggested that this item be discussed in a public forum before being placed on the ballot. Commissioner Diaz noted this proposed resolution would reduce the number of signatures required to amend the Charter to five-percent of all registered voters. He said that he supported both lowering the number of signatures needed to amend the Charter and extending the time to collect signatures. Chairman Martinez clarified that this proposed resolution was not just a question of recall and should be taken seriously as it would change the County’s Home Rule Charter; and would determine how the County Commissioners governed into the future. He pointed out that once a five-percent requirement to amend the Charter was approved, any future change would require a 15 percent plus 1 vote for a future repeal. Commissioner Diaz noted colleagues in Tallahassee were currently initiating efforts to gather petition signatures allowing them to make changes to the Miami-Dade County Charter by placing questions on the local ballot. Responding to Commissioner Moss’ question, Mayor Gimenez noted the Task Force members believed extending the time requirement was the right thing to do, but did not support lowering the ten percent signature requirement. Commissioner Moss noted he did not support the foregoing proposed resolution. Commissioner Sosa noted she concurred with Commissioner Moss that she would not support the proposed resolution. She pointed out that the Commission had established many rules and regulations in response to previous election problems which later needed to be rescinded. Commissioner Sosa said she supported the collection of signatures to place questions on the ballot; however, this could lead to additional Charter elections being held in the future without consideration of the costs associated with conducting those elections. She stressed that the Task Force members recommended increasing the number days to gather signatures to increase participation in the process but not reducing the number of required signatures. Commissioner Monestime questioned the number of signatures the State of Florida required to place a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot. He noted Commissioner Bovo made a valid argument that increasing the number of days to obtain ballot signatures allowed additional participation, especially for citizens who were not tied to deep pockets or special interests. Commissioner Monestime expressed support for the proposed resolution, since lowering the threshold to five-percent would facilitate the process by requiring fewer signatures at a reduced expense. Commissioner Bovo noted he concurred with Commissioner Monestime; however, he indicated that the commissioners wished to follow the Task Force members’ recommendations to the extent possible. He stated that the item was presented with good intentions, and would probably receive his support at a future date; however, presently he could not support the foregoing proposed resolution. The foregoing proposed resolution was withdrawn by Commissioners Suarez and Diaz.

County Attorney 10/24/2011 Referred Infrastructure and Land Use Committee 11/9/2011

County Attorney 10/24/2011 Assigned Oren Rosenthal

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION CALLING A COUNTYWIDE SPECIAL ELECTION IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2012, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITTING TO THE ELECTORS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY THE QUESTION OF WHETHER TO AMEND THE HOME RULE CHARTER TO DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF SIGNED INITIATORY PETITIONS REQUIRED TO CALL A SPECIAL ELECTION TO PROPOSE A CHARTER AMENDMENT FOR APPROVAL BY THE VOTERS FROM THE CURRENT TEN PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF REGISTERED ELECTORS IN THE COUNTY TO FIVE PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS IN THE COUNTY

BODY
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. A countywide special election is hereby called and shall be held in Miami-Dade County, Florida on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 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:
CHARTER AMENDMENT
DECREASING AMOUNT OF SIGNATURES REQUIRED TO PROPOSE CHARTER AMENDMENT AND CHANGING ELECTION DATE

SHALL THE CHARTER BE AMENDED TO DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF SIGNED INITIATORY PETITIONS REQUIRED TO CALL A SPECIAL ELECTION TO PROPOSE A CHARTER AMENDMENT FOR APPROVAL BY VOTERS FROM THE CURRENT TEN PERCENT OF THE REGISTERED ELECTORS IN THE COUNTY TO FIVE PERCENT OF SUCH ELECTORS AND SHALL SUCH SPECIAL ELECTIONS BE HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE NEXT AVAILABLE GENERAL ELECTION RATHER THAN WITHIN 60 TO 120 DAYS OF PRESENTING CERTIFIED PETITIONS TO THE BOARD?

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 Mayor or his or her designee, the Finance Director, 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.

OTHER
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY HOME RULE CHARTER

ARTICLE-91


GENERAL PROVISIONS

* * *

Section 9.07. AMENDMENTS

A. Amendments to this Charter may be proposed by a resolution adopted by the Board of County Commissioners or by petition of electors numbering not less than [[ten]] >>five<< percent of the total number of electors registered in Dade County at the time the petition is submitted. An initiative petition to amend this Charter shall be submitted, together with proposed ballot language, to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, who shall without delay approve as to form a petition for circulation in one or several copies as the proposer may desire. Initiatory petitions shall be certified in the manner required for initiatory petitions for an ordinance.

B. Amendments to this Charter may be proposed by initiatory petitions of electors. The Board of County Commissioners shall call an election to be held >>at the next General election held more than 60 days after the date that a certified petition is presented to the Board.<<[[within 60-120 days of the date that a certified petition is presented to the County Commission. Such election shall be called in conjunction with a countywide election; however, if no countywide election is scheduled to occur within 60-120 days of presentation, a special election on the petition shall be called.]]

* * *

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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