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2012-004-277 - Proposed Boundary Amendment 1515 NW 167 Street, Building 5 Suite 200 Miami Gardens, Florida 33169 City of Miami Gardens Agenda Cover Memo Council Meeting Date: March 14, 2012 Item Type: (Enter X in box) Resolution Ordinance Other X Fiscal Impact: (Enter X in box) Yes No Ordinance Reading: (Enter X in box) 1st Reading 2nd Reading X X Public Hearing: (Enter X in box) Yes No Yes No X Funding Source: City Clerk – General Fund Advertising Requirement: (Enter X in box) Yes No X Contract/P.O. Required: (Enter X in box) Yes No RFP/RFQ/Bid #: X N/A Strategic Plan Related (Enter X in box) Yes No Strategic Plan Priority Area: Enhance Organizational Bus. & Economic Dev Public Safety Quality of Education Qual. of Life & City Image Communcation Strategic Plan Obj./Strategy: (list the specific objective/strategy this item will address) N/A X Sponsor Name Sonja K. Dickens, City Attorney and Ronetta Taylor, City Clerk Department: Office of the City Attorney and Office of the City Clerk Short Title: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI MIAMI GARDENS, PROVIDING FOR AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 2.3(C), OF THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, TO AMEND THE BOUNDARY DESCRIPTIONS FOR RESIDENTIAL AREA SEATS ONE AND FOUR TO REPLACE THE REFERENCE TO 191ST STREET IN THE DESCRIPTION OF THE SOUTHERN BOUNDARY OF RESIDENTIAL SEAT ONE TO 178TH STREET AND TO REPLACE THE REFERENCE TO 191ST STREET IN THE NORTHERN BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION OF SEAT FOUR TO 178TH STREET TO REAPPORTION SEATS AS A RESULT OF THE DECENNIAL CENSUS; SUBMITTING THE QUESTION FOR APPROVAL OF THE ELECTORATE OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS AT THE SPECIAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON AUGUST 14, 2012; PROVIDING FOR THE CALL OF THE ELECTION ON THE ISSUE TO BE PRESENTED ON THE BALLOT; PROVIDING FOR AUTHORITY TO THE CITY ATTORNEY AND CITY CLERK; PROVIDING FOR ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; REPEALING ALL ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS IN CONFLICT; PROVIDING A SEVERABILITY CLAUSE; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. ITEM I-1) ORDINANCE SECOND READING/PUBLIC HEARING Residential Boundary Amendment 1515 NW 167 Street, Building 5 Suite 200 Miami Gardens, Florida 33169 Staff Summary: Public Law (P.L.) 94-171, enacted by Congress in December 1975, requires the U.S. Census Bureau to provide state legislatures with the small area census population tabulations necessary for legislative redistricting. This redistricting data from the 2010 U.S. Census has also been provided to cities and counties for their use in analyzing and potentially redistricting to insure proper and fair apportionment of voting districts. Because of the 2010 Census, City Planning and Zoning staff undertook an analysis of the Census numbers to determine population growth in the City. Section 2.3(C) of the City of Miami Gardens Charter provides for four (4) Residential Areas. The boundaries for those Residential Areas are designated in the Charter. An analysis of the 2010 Census results has indicated that the population for those seats is currently as follows: Seat 1 – 24,427 Seat 2 -27,531 Seat 3 – 26,066 Seat 4 – 29,143 There is what has been referred to as the ten percent (10%) rule to be used by governments when deciding whether to redistrict. This is not a statutory requirement; however, this rule has been developed in case law as one of the benchmarks to analyze when determining to redistrict. Ideally, districts should be as close in population to each other as possible. A staff analysis has indicated, that there is a disparity between the sizes of Residential Area 1 and 4. Based upon staff analysis, Area 4 is “too big by 2,348 people”, and Area 1 is “too small by 2,368 people”. While the ten percent analysis is a guide, there are other considerations when determining whether to undertake the redistricting process. State and local governments have been given more leeway by the federal courts when determining whether to redistrict, than the federal government. The decision to redistrict or not is likely to be upheld, so long as the City Council considers principles such as protecting incumbents, community of interests, compactness, and and respect for existing political subdivisions (not dissecting a municipality unless necessary). Historically, redistricting was required because of the Voting Rights Act. The purpose of the Act was to ensure that voters were not being discriminated and the votes of certain racial groups were not diluted. This does not appear to be an issue for the City of Miami Gardens in that each voter in the City votes for the same number of persons. In addition, the City’s boundaries were drawn in the Charter when the City was first created, and as mentioned above, compactness, respecting municipal boundaries, and preserving the core of prior districts can be considered when deciding whether to redistrict. Moreover, the City is a majority-minority City. These are all issues that can be considered by the City Council in determining whether it wants to redistrict. In addition, there is no statutory mandate in the State of Florida for the City to undertake redistricting. It is purely an operation of case law. In the event, the City Council chooses not to undertake the redistricting process, the districts as currently laid out in the Charter will remain 1515 NW 167 Street, Building 5 Suite 200 Miami Gardens, Florida 33169 the same. Any group seeking to challenge the current boundaries based upon the fact that they have been discriminated against could still seek redress in court. If there were a challenge based upon a racial disparity, the City would be required to show that the decision does not dilute any voting rights. If there was such a challenge, and the parties prevail, the court would then review and approve a proposed redistricting plan. In the event the City Council proposes to redistrict, the proposed Ordinance upon approval would be transmitted to the Miami Dade County Supervisor of Elections and the voters in the City of Miami Gardens will have to vote on this matter during the next regularly scheduled General Election on August 14, 2012. Proposed Action: That the City Council approves the attached Ordinance. Attachment: