Wednesday , 22 October 2014
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Two Wrongs ‘Make’ a Right!

By Michael Miller….

Michael Miller

Let’s be open about the recall of Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

In child-like retribution, a wealthy automotive dealer rallies an Anglo-Latin taxpayer base to oust Alvarez for pushing Marlin baseball stadium funding, then tacks on budget policy and staff issues that guarantee a recall turnout of voters, mostly incensed about County Commission dalliances.

Now, Norman Braman and supporters – almost as an after-thought — seek to abolish the ‘Strong Mayor” form of government. In other words, throw out the baby (Alvarez) with the bathwater (“Strong Mayor government”}.

So do two wrongs (motive and recall votes) make a right? Begrudgingly, they do.

A Florida legislative act created the Metropolitan Charter Board and “Home Rule” for Miami-Dade County November 6, 1956 by voter referendum.

“The Miami Metropolitan Experiment” (Indiana University Press, 1963), details objectives of providing a fast-growing county area with a government that could effectively overcome interplay of a hodgepodge of 26 city administrations and state agencies, all with murky hands in growing countywide affairs. The enabling legislation as digested by expert author Prof. Edward Sofen: “

…Under the home rule charter, the right to create, merge, consolidate, and abolish municipal corporations, special taxing districts, boards, and other governmental units or offices whose jurisdiction lay totally with Dade County could be transferred from the state to the local level. Only the County Commission, as it might be reorganized, the Board of Public Instruction, the superintendent of public instruction, and the state court system within the county were exempt from such transfer.”

In effect, a new county political structure would be empowered to replace state or local city controls of the Port of Miami (rather than the City), miscellaneous taxing agencies, transportation bus routes and all other jurisdictions better administered by the overall authority of an elected Commission.

Now, more than a half-century later, voters see-saw between a strong executive vs. legislative (Mayor vs. Commission) empowerment to run the county’s business effectively. Clearly, it was the intent of the Home Rule charter to keep authority within the Commission, the legislative branch of county government.

A responsible Charter Review Committee has already come up with a planned agenda of reform to strengthen the role of the Commssion.

Now, that may come about with the recall of Alvarez simply serving as a catalyst for long overdue action to create a “Strong” Commission, sufficiently paid to attract ethical individuals, hopefully above suspicion of lobby deals or similar shenanigans behind closed doors.

MPO (Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization) co-hosting two-day “Think Bike Workshop” with The Netherlands and the City of Miami, bringing together Dutch bike experts with local politicians, sez a press release…for which there’s gotta be a joke about putting the ‘right spin’ on things lurking around there somewhere. For interested bike folks, the session will be held Monday, May 2 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the conference room at the downtown Clark Center, 111 Northwest First Street. For details, call 305-375-4507 or visit www.miamidade.gov/mpo.

We’re told demolition of the Keiser University’s building next to Kohl’s at Town & Country Center (renamed “The Palms”) is next, now that the college has transferred itself and 1,000 students to its new location at 2101 NW 117th Avenue at the Dolphin Commerce Center professional business campus. It all began in.

Kendall in 2001 with nine students, now claims 18,000 students worldwide with 14 Florida campuses and a “branch campus” in Shanghai, China.

Schools ‘Supt’ Alberto Carvalho busy making the rounds in Kendall, first at Hammocks Middle School, Wednesday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. for a Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations meeting (free and open to the public) in what KFHA Veep Don Kearns calls a “Budget Battle Briefing.” Then Carvalho shows up again at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 28, at West Kendall Business Association’s monthly networking session ($35 per lunch) at Killian Palms Country Club, 9950 SW 104 Street, addressing “Business and Schools.” Both appearances slated to rally opposition to pending legislative cuts in county school funding. For details on the WKBA meeting, tel. 305- 386-4030 or visit www.westkendallbusiness.com.

Thought for the Day:

Think like a man of action, and act like a man of thought.

— Henri Bergson

Gary Alan Ruse contributed to this column.

Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to michael@communitynewspapers.com.

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