Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 132027
Printable PDF Format Download Adobe Reader  Clerk's Official Copy   

File Number: 132027 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-920-13 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: PUBLIC WORKSHOP PRIOR TO GOB REFERENDUM ON BALLOT Introduced: 10/16/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 11/5/2013
Agenda Date: 11/5/2013 Agenda Item Number: 11A5
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING COUNTY POLICY REQUIRING DISCLOSURE OF CERTAIN FINANCIAL INFORMATION TO ELECTORS AT PUBLIC WORKSHOPS PRIOR TO PLACEMENT OF ANY GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND REFERENDUM ON BALLOT [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 131879]
Indexes: GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND PROGRAM
Sponsors: Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Prime Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, 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 11/5/2013 11A5 Adopted P

County Attorney 10/16/2013 Assigned Gerald T. Heffernan 10/16/2013

Finance Committee 10/8/2013 2A AMENDED Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation with committee amendment(s) P
REPORT: Chairman Bovo relinquished the floor to Commissioner Heyman. Assistant County Attorney Geri Bonzon-Keenan read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Commissioner Bovo explained that information pertaining to the payback on bond issues should be made available to residents, noting that this information would not be included on the ballot language. Commissioner Moss noted that ballot language was limited to 75 words and questioned the intent of this legislation. Commissioner Bovo responded that the information would not be included in the ballot language because it would be confusing; noting however, that the intent was for this information to be provided to educate voters at public hearings. Commissioner Moss inquired whether any other municipality or governments had a similar policy. Deputy Mayor Edward Marquez explained that other governments have held public hearings on bond issues and provided printed materials with information about bond referendums. He noted no one could predict the future and to some extent the information was a guestimate as to the costs and certain assumptions were made to come up with the financial data. Deputy Mayor Marquez was not aware whether other governments had passed similar resolutions. Assistant County Attorney Gerald Heffernan noted that he was aware of other cities that presented information on the overall costs and the impact upon a homeowners assessed value. He said that this information was based upon current market conditions and that the amounts could either increase or decrease at the time the bonds were purchased. Assistant County Attorney Heffernan pointed out that the proposed information was to be included in printed materials but not in the ballot language. Acting Chairwoman Heyman noted that the information should not be included in the ballot because of the 75 word limitation for the ballot language. She pointed out that fixed costs needed to be disclosed as part of the legislation, pursuant to Florida statute, noting that the County ordinance required that costs be disclosed. Acting Chairwoman Heyman noted that the printed materials needed to disclose that the information provided was an assumption, the terms of the bond was subject to change, and that the Board could refinance the bond at a later date. Commissioner Bovo pointed out that he envisioned a dialogue with voters so that they could fully understand the terms associated with the bonds, using the Jackson Memorial Hospital (JMH) and their pending bond referendum as an example. He clarified that the information would not be included in the ballot language but would be available at public hearings. Acting Chairwoman Heyman commented that the printed materials for the JMH bond referendum contained pertinent information about the hospital’s accomplishments and how they intended to utilize the additional public funding. She noted concern about providing specific financial information on printed campaign materials. Commissioner Zapata noted his support for providing additional information to the public. Commissioner Bovo commented that campaign disclosures were precise with exact information, noting that the disclosures being considered in this proposed resolution were not as exact. He said that providing voters with a range of interest rates would be more informative than they currently received. Commissioner Bovo noted that campaign materials were created to entice voters to support the issue. He said general information such as interest rates and terms would allow voters to make informed decisions. Commissioner Moss inquired whether the County could be held liable because of the broad language used in this resolution. Assistant County Attorney Heffernan responded that anyone could make the allegation that they did not receive sufficient information after being not happy with the results of an election. He noted there was no legal requirement to give information; however, the County could make a policy decision to do so and disseminate such information in accordance with the estimates known at the time it was compiled. Commissioner Bovo concurred that the portion of the foregoing proposed resolution relating to printed materials could be removed. He noted the goal would be accomplished by informing the voters of the specific criteria at public meetings. The foregoing proposed resolution was forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners with the following Committee amendments: 1) to include the disclosure of certain financial information at public workshops but not in any printed materials; and 2) to exclude this information from the ballot language. Chairman Bovo resumed the chair.

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING COUNTY POLICY REQUIRING DISCLOSURE OF CERTAIN FINANCIAL INFORMATION TO ELECTORS AT PUBLIC WORKSHOPS PRIOR TO PLACEMENT OF ANY GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND REFERENDUM ON BALLOT

BODY
WHEREAS, from time to time, this Board finds it necessary and appropriate and in the best interest of the County and its citizens, to submit a bond referendum to the electors of Miami-Dade County to authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds (''Bonds'') payable from ad valorem taxes collected within the County; and
WHEREAS, the County may issue such Bonds only after a majority of the County’s qualified electors have voted in favor of the Bonds and this Board subsequently approves such issuance in accordance with State and local law; and
WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of the electorate that prior to voting on the Bonds, the voters be informed of the financial impact the Bonds, if approved, will have on the amount of ad valorem taxes they will pay annually; and
WHEREAS, this Board wishes to establish a policy that will facilitate the distribution of information related to the financial impact of the proposed Bonds,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that:
Section 1. This Board ratifies and adopts the matters set forth in the foregoing recitals.
Section 2. It shall be the policy of this Board, that prior to placing a Bond referendum on a ballot, the County shall (1) inform the electors [[in any printed materials used to describe the bond referendum and]]1 at any public workshops of the total estimated principal and interest cost of the Bonds and the potential impact such cost would have on their annual ad valorem tax bill >>since such information shall not be included in the ballot language<<; and (2) conduct at least two public workshops at which such total cost and financial impact shall be discussed.

1 Committee amendments are indicated as follows: Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] are deleted, words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< are added.

This item was amended at the Finance Committee meeting on October 8, 2013. The references to printed materials in the title and Section 2 of the resolution were deleted. New language was also added to Section 2 which makes it clear that the financial information to be provided the public would not be included in the ballot language.



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.