Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 122043
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File Number: 122043 File Type: Ordinance Status: Amended
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: RULES OF PROCEDURE INVOCATION REGARDING PRAYER Introduced: 10/4/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 12/4/2012 Agenda Item Number: 7F
Notes: SEE FINAL VERSION 122411. BCC RULES Title: ORDINANCE RELATING TO RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE COUNTY COMMISSION; AMENDING SECTION 2-1 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, REGARDING THE INVOCATION; PROVIDING PROCEDURES REGARDING PRAYER BEFORE COUNTY COMMISSION AND COMMITTEE MEETINGS; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: RULES OF PROCEDURE
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
  Lynda Bell, Co-Sponsor
  Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, 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

Board of County Commissioners 12/4/2012 7F Amended
REPORT: (See Agenda Item 7F Amended; Legislative File No. 122411)

Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee 11/14/2012 1E1 Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty read the foregoing proposed ordinance and its Supplement into the record. Chairwoman Bell noted Speaker’s comments would be limited to two minutes seeing that there were no Speaker’s Cards against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Chairwoman Bell opened the public hearing on the foregoing proposed ordinance. The following individuals spoke in favor of the foregoing proposed ordinance: ~ Patrick Fiore, Village of Palmetto Bay City Council Member, 13805 SW 77 Court, Palmetto Bay ~ Julissa Yanes, 9285 SW 125 Avenue, 205, Miami, 33186 ~ Esperanza Martinez, Family Life Center Executive Director, 5900 SW 125 Avenue #3204, Miami, FL 33183 ~ Reverend Richard Ledgister, 495 NW 191 Street, Miami Gardens ~ Ronald Coyle, 11524 Griffing Boulevard, Biscayne Park ~ Dr. Eladio Jose Armesto, Florida Democratic League, PO Box 350002, Jose Marti Station, Miami ~ Jack Hakimian, 65 NE 118 Street, Miami, 33161 ~ Karl Erik Johansson, Christian Family Coalition, 3716 Prairie Avenue, Miami Beach ~ Lourdes Lozano, City of Hialeah Council Member, 501 Palm Avenue, Hialeah ~ Ed Quinton, 457 NE 95 Street, Miami Shores, 33138 ~ Phil Nicholas, 1479 NW 113 Way, Pembroke Pines ~ Nathanial Wilcox, People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality Executive Director, 3111 NW 135 Street, Miami ~ Keith Nellis, Christian Family Coalition, 10312 SW 128 Place, Miami ~ Pastor AD Lenoir, 13301 NW 24 Avenue, Miami 33167 ~ Jorge Rodriguez, 12510 SW 125 Terrace, Miami ~ Sandy Bolden, 1945 NW 185 Street, Miami Gardens ~ David Vega, 13080 SW 132 Court, Miami, 33186 ~ Pastor Diego Jonathan Agueno, Church of Jesus Christ the Almighty & Waves of Love Channel 43, 6050 W. 20 Avenue, Hialeah, 33016 ~ Teresita Miglio, 310 SW 67 Court, Miami, 33144 ~ Robert Van Name, 11381 NW 64 Terrace, Doral 33178 ~ Anthony Verdugo, Christian Family Coalition Founder and Executive Director, 300 E 1 Avenue, Hialeah, 33010 ~ Renita Holmes, 5800 NW 7 Avenue, Miami The following individuals submitted Speaker’s Cards in favor of the foregoing proposed ordinance; however, they did not speak: ~ Derek Forero, 11262 SW 74 Street, Miami, 33173 ~ Reverend Eddie Rivero, 610 Raven Avenue, Miami Springs Commissioner Bell closed the public hearing after no other persons appeared wishing to speak. Chairwoman Bell congratulated participants at today’s meeting on their demeanor throughout the consideration of this proposed ordinance. Commissioner Diaz acknowledged speakers for taking the time to support this proposed ordinance and expressed his appreciation to Anthony Verdugo for suggesting this proposal. Commissioner Diaz noted his support for this foregoing proposed ordinance and explained his rationale for its sponsorship. Commissioner Suarez read three quotes relating to consideration of the proposed ordinance. Commissioner Bovo noted the foregoing proposed ordinance was timely; that the City of Hialeah and the State of Florida legislature started every meeting with prayer; and expressed his appreciation to Commissioner Diaz for his sponsorship. Commissioner Jordan noted Commission meetings previously opened with prayer and that she did not understand why this practice was discontinued. She said she supported the proposed ordinance. Commissioner Edmonson commended Commissioner Diaz for his sponsorship and asked to be listed as a co-sponsor to the foregoing proposed ordinance. She encouraged everyone participating in today’s meeting to once again show their support by attending the Board of County Commissioners meeting when this proposal is considered. Commissioner Diaz also acknowledged Pastor Vega and also encouraged everyone participating in today’s meeting to attend the upcoming County Commission meeting. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote on this proposed ordinance as presented.

Board of County Commissioners 10/23/2012 Tentatively scheduled for a public hearing Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee 11/14/2012

Board of County Commissioners 10/23/2012 4A Adopted on first reading 11/14/2012 P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed ordinance was adopted on first reading and scheduled for a public hearing before the Internal Management and Fiscal Responsibility Committee on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.

County Attorney 10/4/2012 Referred Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee 11/14/2012

County Attorney 10/4/2012 Assigned Bruce Libhaber

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE RELATING TO RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE COUNTY COMMISSION; AMENDING SECTION 2-1 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, REGARDING THE INVOCATION; PROVIDING PROCEDURES REGARDING PRAYER BEFORE COUNTY COMMISSION AND COMMITTEE MEETINGS; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
WHEREAS, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners (“the Board”) is an elected legislative and deliberative public body, serving the citizens of Miami-Dade, Florida; and
WHEREAS, the Board wishes to continue a tradition, followed by legislative bodies throughout the United States, of solemnizing its proceedings by allowing for an opening invocation before each meeting for the benefit of the Board; and
WHEREAS, the Board desires to adopt this formal, written policy to clarify and codify its invocation practices; and
WHEREAS, such invocations before deliberative public bodies have been consistently upheld as constitutional by American courts, including the United States Supreme Court; and
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court acknowledged in Holy Trinity Church v. United States, 143 U.S. 457, 471 (1892), that the American people have long followed a “custom of opening sessions of all deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer...,”; and
WHEREAS, in Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983)(hereinafter “Marsh”), the United States Supreme Court validated the Nebraska Legislature’s practice of opening each day of its sessions with a prayer by a chaplain; and
WHEREAS, this Board intends to adopt guidelines that are consistent with the guidance provided by the United States Supreme Court in Marsh; and
WHEREAS, the Board intends to adopt a policy that does not proselytize or advance any particular faith, or show any purposeful preference of one religious view to the exclusion of others,

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 2-1 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:1
CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
CHAPTER 2. ADMINISTRATION
ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL

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

* * *


PART 5. CONDUCT OF MEETINGS; AGENDA

* * *

Rule 5.05 Agenda.

(a) Order of business.

(1) There shall be an official agenda for every meeting of the Commission, which shall determine the order of business conducted at the meeting. The order of business for Tuesday meetings shall be as follows:

1. roll call
Invocation >>as provided in Rule 5.05(g)<<
pledge of allegiance
special presentations
citizen's presentations
reports of official county boards
motion to set agenda
commission auditor
office of intergovernmental affairs

2. mayoral vetoes
mayoral reports

3. consent agenda

4. ordinances for first reading

5. public hearings, which shall be scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

6(a). chairperson of the board of county commissioners

6(b) policy matters for discussion by the board

7. ordinances for second reading

8. departments

9. additional departmental items

10. authorities, boards, councils and trusts

11. county commissioners

12. county manager

13. county attorney

14. items subject to "4-day rule"

15. clerk of the board.

Items shall be considered in the order in which they are placed on the agenda unless a majority of the commissioners determines to deviate from the printed agenda or in the discretion of the chairperson, certain matters should be taken out of order to help eliminate logistical concerns or exigent circumstances which would impede the proper functioning of the commission. During a commission meeting, commissioners may identify certain items for individual consideration (i.e., the "pull list"). Agenda items not selected for individual consideration may be approved in a single vote.

The commission shall not take action upon any matter when it is first presented to the commission in a report or reports made by the County Commissioners

* * *

>>(g) Invocations before the County Commission and Committees.

(1) It is the policy of the Board to allow for an invocation, which may include a prayer or a short solemnizing message, to be offered before its meetings for the benefit of the Board.

(2) Although the invocation shall be listed in the agenda, it shall not be considered an agenda item for the meeting or part of the public business.

(3) No member or employee of the Board or any other person in attendance at the meeting shall be required to participate in any invocation that is offered.

(4) The invocation shall be voluntarily delivered by an eligible individual selected by members of the Board on a rotating basis. Eligible individuals shall be selected in the following manner:

(a) The Clerk of the Board shall compile and maintain a database of the religious congregations with an established presence within Miami-Dade County.
(b) The database shall be compiled by referencing the listing of religious assemblies, including houses of worship, in phone books published for Miami-Dade County, research from the Internet, and consultation with local chambers of commerce. A religious assembly can confirm its inclusion by specific written request to the Clerk of the Board.
(c) The database shall be updated, by reasonable efforts of the Clerk of the Board, January of each calendar year.
(d) Every reasonable effort shall be made to ensure that no individual is scheduled to offer an invocation at more than three meetings in any calendar year.

(5) No invocational speaker shall receive compensation for his or her service.

(6) Any invitation extended shall specify that the opportunity to offer a legislative invocation shall not be exploited to convert others to any particular faith, to advance any particular faith, or to disparage any other faith or belief.

(7) Neither the Board nor the Clerk of the Board shall engage in any prior inquiry, review of, or involvement in, the content of any prayer to be offered by an invocational speaker.

(8) This policy is not intended, and shall not be implemented or construed in any way, to affiliate the Board with, nor express the Board’s preference for, any faith or religious denomination. <<


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. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.



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