Loading...
April 8, 2009CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MINUTES APRIL 8, 2009 (A) CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL The City Council for the City of Miami Gardens, Florida, met in regular session on Wednesday, April 8, 2009, beginning at 7:20 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, 1515 NW 167th Street, Building 5, Suite 200, Miami Gardens, Florida. The following members of the City Council were present: Mayor Shirley Gibson, Vice Mayor Barbara Watson and Council members Aaron Campbell Jr., Andre Williams, Melvin L. Bratton, Sharon Pritchett and Oliver G. Gilbert III. Also in attendance were: City Manager Dr. Danny O. Crew, City Attorney Sonja K. Dickens, and City Clerk Ronetta Taylor. (B) INVOCATION Invocation delivered by Mr. Pitman (C) PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Recited in unison. (D) APPROVAL OF MINUTES D-1) Regular City Council Minutes -March 25, 2009 (E) ORDER OF BUSINESS (Items to be pulled from Consent Agenda at this time) Motion offered by Councilwoman Pritchett, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to pull Item J-1 from the Consent Agenda. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. Motion offered by Mayor Gibson, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to pull Item J-3 from the Consent Agenda. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. Motion offered by Councilwoman Pritchett, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to pull Item J-4 from the Consent Agenda. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. Motion offered by Councilman Bratton, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to pull item J-7 from the Consent Agenda. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson seconded by Councilman Gilbert to approve the Official Agenda with the necessary changes. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. Regular City Council Minutes April 8, 2009 Page 1 (F) SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS (5 minutes each) F-1) City of Miami Gardens Monthly Police Report Chief Boyd recognized Thaddeus Knight as Civilian Employee of the Quarter. Chief Boyd recognized Detectives Arthur King, Talibah Kinsey and Jeffrey Spokony as Officers of the Month for the Month of March 2009. Chief Boyd presented the monthly Statistical Comparison March 2009. He stated during the month of March there was an 8% increase in crime. The increase in crime was between property crimes and personal crimes, with the largest increases in Aggravated Battery and vehicle burglary. There were no sexual battery crimes during the month of March. There were only 17 robberies during the month of March. Chief Boyd stated in comparing March 2008 to March 2009 the police department has achieved a crime reduction of 24%. Year-to-date, there has been an overall reduction of 21 %, in all categories with the exception of homicides and thefts. All other categories have seen double digit decreases. Chief Boyd referenced the increase in homicides. He said one incident involved the police and is still under investigation. Six of the seven remaining incidents are where the victims were targeted by the offenders. Without discussing the specifics of the cases, these incidents involve drug disputes, domestic disputes, and gang related problems. Chief Boyd stated officers and detectives continue to aggressively pursue individuals committing crimes throughout the City. Although the total numbers of arrests were down, specific apprehensions were made for the crimes of homicides and robberies. Domestic incidents continue to occur and several of the assault and battery arrests were a result of domestic issues. The department realizes the need to address all crimes including property crimes. A significant increase in vehicle burglaries and thefts has been seen. Those can be attributed to these economic times. Crime Prevention flyers are being distributed throughout the community. Chief Boyd reported the Special Operations Unit continues to be very effective in preventing crimes and apprehending offenders. Two hundred and twenty-five (225) arrests were made within a month, in addition to 63 truants being returned to school. Three (3) search warrants were served on drug houses, and most importantly 15 firearms were seized. During a coordinated sweep with Code Enforcement in response to banquet halls, specialized personnel along with the US Marshalls and FBI made eleven (11) arrests and seized five (5) fire arms including Assault Rifle, eighty-eight (88) sale contacts were made and $2,700 was seized. Two new neighborhood crime watches have been initiated, for a total of thirty-three (33). Councilman Williams commended the police department, especially the Operations Division for doing a great job. He asked what happens to the money that is seized during the operations. Chief Boyd explained the money is split between the participating agencies after the case Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 2 is closed. The City's portion is then placed into a Law Enforcement Trust Fund. Councilwoman Pritchett referenced the "Top Four Accident Locations" (NW 27tH Avenue, NW 167tH Street -5; NW 167tH Street, NW 47~' Avenue - 3; NW 175tH Street, NW 27tH Avenue - 3; NW 183`d Street, NW 27tH Avenue -3, and asked whether it was know the kinds of accidents that have occurred at those locations. Chief Boyd in response to Councilwoman Pritchett's question stated that he did not have that information. However, he did share that during the month of January there were 297 accidents, in February there were 283 accidents and in March there were 287 accidents. He attributes the decrease from January through February and March to the implementation of the Red-Light Camera initiative. He further stated the major cause of accidents being dealt with is motorist following too closely. Councilwoman Pritchett inquired about the overtime paid out this fiscal year and asked that the information be provided to her. Councilman Bratton asked for clarification purposes whether the yellow light means stop or proceed with caution. Chief Boyd in response to Councilman Bratton said the yellow light means proceed with caution. Councilman Bratton asked for clarification on the Pawn Shop report. Chief Boyd in response to Councilman Bratton's question explained there is an officer that visits the Pawn Shops. Each Pawn Shop is required to provide a slip for all merchandise that has been pawned. Councilman Bratton asked about the number of stolen property seized from Pawn Shops. Chief Boyd said that information can be provided. He said the Pawn Shops in Miami Gardens are aware of the Police Department's requirements, which puts them on alert. Therefore, stolen property is now being pawned at pawn shops in neighboring cities. The Police Department has been contacting other police department in an effort to encourage them to enact a similar policy. Mayor Gibson asked for a list of those police departments not participating so that she can address this at the Dade League of Cities level. Chief Boyd said he would provide this information to Mayor Gibson no later than Monday of the following week. F-2) Miami Gardens Kiwanis Scholarship Award Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 3 Deputy Chief Miller appeared before the City Council as President of the Miami Gardens Kiwanis. He outlined the projects being undertaken by Miami Gardens Kiwanis. He solicited the Council sponsorship support of the Miami Gardens Kiwanis Golf Tournament scheduled for Friday, August 28, 2009. He further announced the Miami Gardens Kiwanis would be awarding scholarships to students from Miami Carol City and Miami Norland. He said the proceeds collected by the Miami Gardens Kiwanis go back into the community to assist with various community events where children are involved (e.g. shop with a cop program). Vice Mayor Watson thanked the Miami Gardens Kiwanis for sponsoring the tickets for the Norland Lady Vikings Basketball team's trip to attend a Miami Heat game. Councilwoman Pritchett commended the Miami Gardens Kiwanis for providing scholarships for those students attending Miami Carol City and Miami Norland. She shared Monsieur Pace High School also has students that are Miami Gardens residents. She asked whether the Kiwanis had considered Monsieur Pace High School students as well. Deputy Chief Miller said this has not been discussed with the Kiwanis. A City of Miami Gardens employee component has been added. He said perhaps a discussion to include Monsieur Pace High School could be done. Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to provide a $5,000 City sponsorship to the Miami Gardens Kiwanis Golf Tournament. This motion passed and carried by a 5-2 vote, with Councilmen Campbell and Bratton casting the dissenting votes. Mayor Gibson asked the City Manager to put this amount in next year's Fiscal Budget so the Kiwanis will know there is a possibility of getting this allocation from the City. (G) PUBLIC COMMENTS Sporty Young, 19025 NW 23`a Avenue, Miami Gardens, Florida, appeared before the City Council to express concern with the vote taken by the City Council at the last Zoning meeting against the rezoning of property to build a Senior Citizen complex. He said the residents present at that meeting did not understand why the project was turned down. Mayor Gibson shared although she was not a part of that discussion there was a lot of concerns raised by members of the Council about the proposed project. She asked in any community where there is housing and that housing has any governmental funding, particularly dealing with senior housing; because the housing is located in a geographical area does that community get to say that a majority of the individuals who reside in this particular area would get to live in the senior development once it is built. Or is it that anyone who may be on a list for housing will be eligible to get housing once the development has been built. Daniel Rosemond, Acting City Manager appeared before the City Council in response to Mayor Gibson's questions. He said a developer cannot restrict who goes into the housing. The eligibility list is in accordance when applications for that particular project are received. Regular City Council Minutes April 8, 2009 Page 4 Councilman Campbell in response to Mr. Young's concern said he was not present when this matter came before the Council. However, had he been present he would have voted against the application. He opined often times it is viewed that Miami Gardens is the place to put low-income or affordable housing. What happens is the City of Miami Gardens gets a disproportionate amount of that type of housing, which in term requires additional services. Most cities are in a position where the budgets are being cut. The City cannot afford to have additional police officers and provide additional services. Why is it that developers always seem to come to Miami Gardens? Why is it that they are not going to Miami Lakes, Coral Gables, or Pinecrest. He said he is not against affordable or low income housing however, it needs to be disbursed throughout Miami-Dade County. He opined it is unfair for all those types of housing to come to Miami Gardens. Councilman Williams shared he was the only Council member to vote in favor of the application. He said there are poor folks and seniors in Miami Gardens who need adequate housing. Councilman Bratton explained due to the fact that there were only four Council members present for that meeting, the applicant was given an option to defer the matter to a later date when more Council members would be present. The applicant declined to have the matter deferred. The final vote was 1-3, therefore the motion to approve failed. Councilman Gilbert stated he had voted against the application. As a practical matter he opined there are people in Miami Gardens who do need housing. However, the City of Miami Gardens already has enough affordable housing stock. He cautioned we need to be careful putting in things that looks good when they are built, however he always makes the observation that Scott Projects looked good when it was first built also. He said when you talk about sustaining a community for in perpetuity, something that is decent for residents, particularly African Americans; we have to be careful of what we put where and when we put it. Councilwoman Pritchett stated that she too was one of the individuals that voted against the application. She stated it is very important to note that in that area four of the proposed buildings were five stories high, with the others being three stories high, in that little concentrated area. The density could have the potential of other kinds of issues such as fire rescue, closeness to the Palmetto Expressway, ingress and egress. She stated that she wanted the residents to know that every single time this Council deliberates, it is done with civility. This Council has a discussion and dialogue and ultimately, the elected officials do what the residents have commanded them to do, which is to do the very best job they can based upon the information, input from residents and dialogue with each other. She stated each Council member takes his/her job very seriously. Vice Mayor Watson stated although she was not present when this vote was taken, and conveyed belief that if she had had a chance to vote on the issue she would have voted no. She stated that she was concerned when it comes to the education of our children. The Miami-Dade School Board has stated that it would waive the impact fees for students coming out of those kinds of developments. She stated we cannot have children going to school without the Regular City Council Minutes April 8, 2009 Page 5 resources to support them in the education process. This proposed project would have been exempted by the School Board. She emphasized we cannot educate children without money. Mayor Gibson shared that she is the president of the Miami-Dade League of Cities, which represents about 33 municipalities in Miami-Dade County. She shared when colleagues asked her about the issues of affordable housing in Miami Gardens; she answers when you decide that you will have it in your community with other issues and social economic issues, then you can talk to me about why we have some of the problems that we have. She shared that her colleagues also say to her that they are not going to allow people who are poor, and social economic conditions come into their community. She said you are not going to get this type of housing in Aventura, Sunny Isles, Miami Beach, Coral Gables or Kendall. She said when the developers come to Miami Gardens they come because: 1) land is cheaper; and 2) there are social economic numbers that drives their interest in this community. She shared when she has discussions with potential developers she ask where do they live, the answer is they do not live in Miami Gardens, and no they do not have this type of development in their communities. Mayor Gibson said the decisions made by this Council will not always be what the residents like. The Council will deliberate to make sure the residents get the very best. And ensure that those decisions can withstand after this Council leaves. She stated that this Council cares dearly about people and that is why some decisions are hard to make. Residents want to live in a first class city. Residents do not want to have a lot of social economic problems that impact their lives and make them afraid to go out into their neighborhoods; that they do not have the kind of businesses that they need. People will not come if there are bad schools. People will not come if there is a lot of crime. They will not come if there are a lot of social economic issues where people are not making the money to get you the services that residents would drive five or ten miles for going to other cities such as Aventura, Pembroke Pines and every other place. They will let you drive there but they will not bring the services here if all those social economic factors are here. She asked the residents to understand that the Council is trying to build something here that has never been before. She opined change is difficult for us to embrace. However, if the residents stay confident and focused they will find that they will continue to live in a great place. Mayor Gibson stated the City of Miami Gardens cannot afford to care for people no one else wants. She emphasized no one wants to take care of those who need a lot of services. And if you are not outside of this community, you will not hear those conversations. However, as the Mayor she hears those conversations. She shares that her response is "when you decided to take people who need services, like the City of Miami Gardens does, then we can have a conversation. She stated until those other municipalities do that, she tells them not to talk to her. Kadawn Russell, Deepu Pudasaina and Demetria Foster, Nursing Students from Barry University School of Nursing, 11300 NE 2°d Avenue Miami Shores, Florida, appeared before the City Council to expound on their Intervention Health Care Project they conducted in the City of Miami Gardens. One hundred people in Miami Gardens were interviewed. Information about health care and how to maintain healthy living was provided to those individuals. The project provided information on maintaining a healthy weight by changing their lifestyles and exercising. The survey conducted indicates the residents of Miami Gardens are 69% Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 6 overweight or obese. Councilman Gilbert thanked the nursing students for this comprehensive report. He asked out of the 100 people surveyed how many fell into the underweight category. Ms. Pudasaina said out of the 100 people interviewed only one person was underweight. Councilman Williams commended the nursing students for their community involvement. Councilwoman Pritchett thanked the nursing students for their report and for their valuable service to the community. She asked whether information about healthy eating and changing their lifestyles was provided to those individuals interviewed. Ms. Foster said information was provided however, many of the 100 people interviewed many said they did not have a way to get to a gym. Information was provided to them about the gym on NW 27th Avenue. Councilman Bratton asked whether afollow-up would be conducted for those individuals deciding to change their lifestyles. Ms. Padasaini said the information provided could be an instrumental tool providing valuable information for the City's Intervention program. Mayor Gibson asked where the students were in their nursing program. Ms. Padasaini said they would be graduating May 2009. Mayor Gibson shared Barry University has had a long standing history in this community even prior to the City's incorporation. She thanked the students for their community involvement. Mayor Gibson shared that insurance companying are screening applicants for insurance coverage, and those individuals with health issues are being denied health care insurance. She emphasized the importance of becoming healthier. Councilman Gilbert expounded on the Health Initiative being sponsored by the City of Miami Gardens Parks Department. Evelyn Peters, 2515 NW 166th Street, Miami Gardens, Florida, appeared before the City Council to comment on Item J-3. She commended Councilman Williams for taking this initiative and opined that this is very important for the City of Miami Gardens to become engaged in Financial Literacy. She said she would be interested in knowing how many foreclosures there are in the City of Miami Gardens; and how many of those foreclosures are moderate to low income; how many of those lending institutions listed to speak on foreclosures have already foreclosed on properties within the City of Miami Gardens. She expressed the importance of being sensitive with the practices of some of the lending institutions. She asked Regular City Council Minutes April 8, 2009 Page 7 whether this service could be offered to moderate income families as well. Ms. Peters addressed Item J-7, which relates to the Election being called for June 25, 2009. She asked would there be anything to preclude the City Council from other Charter issues on that ballot. Manager Crew in response to Ms. Peters' question said the Charter question on the June 25th ballot is at the request of Miami-Dade County. The Charter originally stated the City had to use Miami-Dade County's police for Specialized Services. Last year, Miami-Dade County agreed to let the City of Miami Gardens form its own Specialized Unit. All this Charter provision does is taking that requirement out of the City's Charter. Mayor Gibson further explained the reason this has to be a referendum is because the residents votes on the Charter. Therefore, it cannot be taken out without a vote from the residents. Attorney Dickens clarified the Miami Gardens Charter Revision Commission does not give its recommendations until July 2009. The election scheduled for June 25th will include the City of Miami Gardens and other municipalities that have this same provision on their Charters. Ms. Peters asked whether this June 25th date could be changed. Mayor Gibson said Miami-Dade County is paying for this election therefore the date cannot be changed. Vanessa Charles and Sara Jo-Philippe representatives of the Miami Gardens Junior Council appeared before the City Council to announce that the Junior Council will be sponsoring a Stop the Violence Rally, May 9th 2009. She invited the members of the City Council along with the residents to attend this event. Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Williams to support the Junior Council's Stop the Violence Rally scheduled for May 9th. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. Councilman Bratton announced that Ms. Vanessa Charles is Miss Miami Gardens for 2009. Fred Collins, 20635 NW 20th Avenue, Miami Gardens, Florida, appeared before the City Council to express concern with the lack of maintenance (ant problem) and irrigation in the City's parks. Wayne Weaver Jr., 3880 NW 71St Terrace, Miami Gardens, Florida, a representative of the Optimist Clubs of Miami Gardens appeared before the City Council to express concern with the lack of communication between the Clubs and the City of Miami Gardens' Parks Department. Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 8 Daryl Denson, 18921 NW 28th Place, Miami Gardens, Florida, a representative of the Optimist Clubs of Miami Gardens appeared before the City Council to express his concern with public safety, especially during Optimist Club events. He acknowledged there is an agreement between the Optimist Clubs and the City of Miami Gardens to provide police services during the events, at the expense of the Optimist Clubs. He questioned whether the City of Miami Gardens has a program such as youth crime prevention in place. Martin Maultsby, 2230 NW 190th Terrace, Miami Gardens, Florida, appeared before the City Council to further expound on the Optimist Club of Miami Gardens and its initiatives. He emphasized the Optimist Clubs want to be included in the process. He said there is 18 years of experience within the Optimist Club of Miami Gardens. A lot of that experience can help facilitate change in the City's Parks and Recreation Department. He asked for an open line of communication to utilize the resources available within the Miami Gardens Optimist Club. Councilwoman Pritchett asked whether there has been dialogue between the Miami Gardens Optimist Club and the City of Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation Department. Vernita Nelson, Acting Assistant City Manager appeared before the City Council to address the concerns raised by the Miami Gardens Optimist Club representatives. She informed the Council that Mr. Collins runs his program out of Risco Park, which is owned by Miami- Dade Public Schools. The elementary and middle schools have encroached onto the park area; therefore the park is really the backyard of those schools. Within the past five years, Carol City Middle School has had approximately four different principals. Each time a new principal has been assigned, staff has set up meeting to introduce themselves, as well as enlighten the principal of the activities being engaged on the park. Ms. Nelson shared during the Parks Master Plan process it was known that renovations would be going on in certain parks at certain times. There are five different Optimist Clubs operating in seven (7) of the City's parks. As a result of the pending budget cuts, the number of parks being maintained for the Optimist Clubs might be decreased. During the Master Plan process many of the Optimist Club members participated in the open discussion about what amenities would be offered at the parks. Ms. Nelson shared the Master Plan was approved by Council, she spent many hours visiting the various clubs informing them of what would be coming and what to expect. She stated that she is aware of what needs to be done and would be answering and addressing the Miami Gardens Optimist Clubs questions and concerns accordingly. Ms. Nelson said she would contract the principal of the school with the park irrigation issue. The City has spent over $12,000 this past year addressing the maintenance (fencing, lighting and plumbing). She emphasized that was $12,000 of taxpayer's money being put into a property not belonging to the City. Ms. Nelson said as far as communication, she had several meetings with the various clubs and asked that they bring a proposal. The clubs were told that the parks would decrease from seven (7) to five (5). The clubs were asked to merge their programs. She said the City has not Regular City Council Minutes April 8, 2009 Page 9 received this plan as of yet. Kara Petty, Interim Parks and Recreation Director appeared before the City Council to talk about inclusion, which was another concern raised by the Miami Gardens Optimist Club Members. She shared when the Academic Resolution was approved by the Council, staff met with the Miami Gardens Optimist Club members about the implementation of this criteria into their program. Deputy Chief Miller appeared before the City Council in response to the youth intervention initiative. He said the police department provides off-duty police officers for the various activities on the parks. There are times when there are no officers available for this duty because of the other details that come in prior. At that time a credit is given to the club because they are required to pay in advance for this service. On those occasions when there are playoff games overtime at the police department is mandatory. Renee Farmer, Deputy City Manager said staff will continue its efforts with the Miami Gardens Optimist Club, as well as address their concerns. She shared an effort to bring everyone together; staff has been conducting monthly meetings since January 2009. She stated with the anticipated budget cuts Risco Park may no longer be maintained by the City of Miami Gardens. Councilwoman Pritchett asked about the Plan for the Optimist Clubs merging. Ms. Petty said there have been discussions regarding a merger. Councilwoman Pritchett asked Mr. Maultsby about the status of their proposal to merge. Mr. Maultsby said the club members have been in discussions about the merger and what is entailed to make that happen. Staff has given the Miami Gardens Optimist Clubs until 2010 to finalize the merger. Mayor Gibson asked Mr. Maultsby if he could answer why there is a communication problem when staff along with members of the Optimist clubs stated tonight that they have been in contact with each other on various issues. Mr. Maultsby shared the president meets bi-monthly to deal with the various issues everyone has. Ms. Nelson was invited to those meeting and advised the Clubs of the various situations occurring in the parks. Monthly meetings have been occurring with Ms. Petty, and the essence of those meetings has been about the merger. He said the Clubs new construction would be taking place at certain parks and that certain parks would be coming offline. The Clubs were made aware of the resolution sponsored by Councilman Gilbert. However, the implementation of that resolution is of a concern to the Clubs. Councilman Gilbert opined the reason the mergers have not been taking place is because everybody is under the impression that they will still be able to utilize the parks they are currently using. Therefore, there is no urgency to merge. He conveyed understanding that no Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 10 contracts have been issued and no guarantees have been made. He said the Parks Department needs to know because otherwise, it would be left up to City staff to determine what programs best goes where. Councilman Gilbert addressed the communication issue and stated the Master Plan is a public document. If the Optimist Clubs need a copy of the Master Plan to review, a copy should be requested. He shared that he had an opportunity to visit the games being played at Scott Lake Park. He opined that park is clearly not suited for that type of activity. He said he is glad to know that Rolling Oaks Park is coming online and that the Optimist Clubs will be able to play at a better facility. Councilman Campbell shared the City has a Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and asked whether any member of the Optimist Clubs participated on that Committee. He said the communication would flow a lot better if there was a single representative communicating with the City. Mayor Gibson stated that she has an appointment she has to make to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, and if the Optimist Clubs can select one individual for that appointment; she would make the appointment. That way, the Miami Gardens Optimist Clubs would have someone that has their issues at heart and can bring those issues forward. Vice Mayor Watson asked for clarification on the merger. Ms. Nelson reappeared before the City Council to address Vice Mayor Watson's question. She explained staff has been meeting with four of the seven Optimist Clubs. Those clubs have asked for an extension from 2009 to 2010. Councilman Gilbert opined that each Optimist Club has its own set of priorities; therefore getting one Optimist Club Member to represent all seven Optimist Clubs might not be possible. Mayor Gibson stated as we grow this City and asks for volunteers, a lot of people do not want to volunteer, which makes it difficult to find individuals. Councilman Campbell opined the individual selected by the Optimist Clubs did not have to be the president of one of the Clubs; it could be an individual in the hierarchy. Councilman Bratton asked about the timeline. Ms. Farmer said the timeline for the Optimist season is 2010. Councilman Bratton asked if a calendar of events could be provided. Ms. Farmer said this can be done. Councilman Gilbert shared he had asked Attorney Dickens if there was a conflict with a member of the Optimist Club, who is doing business with the City, serving on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, and Attorney Dickens indicated that she did not think there Regular City Council Minutes April 8, 2009 Page 11 was. He continued to share that in fact, the vice president (Anthony Britt) of the North Dade Optimist Club currently serves on the City of Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Mr. Maultsby said this is the first he has heard of Mr. Britt being on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. If the Clubs had been aware of Mr. Britt's involvement with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, he would have been invited to the monthly Optimist Clubs' presidents meeting. He said the Parks and Recreation Department has been accessible. Mr. Wendell James, 18820 NW 29th Place, Miami Gardens, Florida, appeared before the City Council to address his comments to the Charter, He thanked Clerk Taylor for providing an excellent report (minutes) of the meetings. He shared that he was one of the original members of the Charter Committee. He expressed concern with the lack of diversity in the membership on the recently appointed Charter Committee. He opined one of the five appointed Charter members should have been from the original Charter committee. This individual would have been beneficial in providing valuable information as to why certain provisions were included in the original Charter. Mayor Gibson in response to Mr. James comments said she understands the importance of diversity. She shared that she had asked County Commissioner Ferguson to appoint Mr. James because she wanted someone from the Caribbean community to be on that original Charter Committee. A white resident was also appointed to that committee. She said Mr. James would have an opportunity for input during the Charter Revision Commission meetings. She said the Charter Committee has already been formed and meetings are taking place. Janice Coakley, 19681 NW 33`d Avenue, Miami Gardens, Florida, appeared before the City Council to ask whether a resident can serve on two committees. Mayor Gibson said there was nothing prohibiting a resident from serving on two committees. Ms. Coakley said she would be interested in serving on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. She asked whether the Junior Council was only for those students at Norland and Carol City High Schools. Mayor Gibson affirmed that only Norland and Carol City High School Students are eligible to serve on the Junior Council. Ms. Coakley suggested broadening the scope to include students who are residents of the City of Miami Gardens who might attend a school out of the boundaries of the City of Miami Gardens, more particularly as it relates to the Miami Gardens Kiwanis Scholarship awards. There are Miami Gardens students are in Magnet Schools, located throughout Miami-Dade County. Vice Mayor Watson explained the rationale for establishing the Junior Council and the Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 12 fact that the participating students are elected by their peers to serve on the Student Government Body of their respect school. Those students go through an electoral process in their respective schools. She invited Ms. Coakley daughter to become a member of the Progressive Adult Advisory Committee. Ms. Coakley asked that this criteria be looked at because the other schools have the same type of Student Government Body. Mayor Gibson emphasized the importance of keeping the best students in the local schools. She said there is really a bigger picture that is about having quality schools within the City of Miami Gardens, whereby other people would want to send their children here to come to school rather than sending them away from here. (H) ORDINANCE(S) FOR FIRST READING None (I) ORDINANCE(S) FOR SECOND READING/PUBLIC HEARING(S) None (,I) CONSENT AGENDA RESOLUTION N0.2009-74-1019 J-2) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, ESTABLISHING A POLICY TO ENCOURAGE GENERAL CONTRACTORS WHO PARTICIPATE IN THE CITY'S HOUSING REHABILITATION PROGRAM TO UTILIZE LOCAL VENDORS WHEN BIDDING ON REHABILITATION PROJECTS; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY COUNCILMAN OLIVER G. GILBERT III) RESOLUTION N0.2009-75-1020 J-5) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER AND CITY CLERK TO EXECUTE AND ATTEST, RESPECTIVELY, THAT CERTAIN AGREEMENT WITH THE LEARNING FOR LIFE ORGANIZATION IN ORDER TO CHARTER AN EXPLORER POST IN THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, A COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED HERETO AS EXHIBIT A; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CITY CLERK; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 13 RESOLUTION N0.2009-76-1021 J-6) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ISSUE A PURCHASE ORDER IN THE AMOUNT OF FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($40,000.00) TO ENTERPRISE LEASING COMPANY BY RELYING UPON THAT CERTAIN CITY OF MIRAMAR INVITATION TO BID #07-007; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) RESOLUTION N0.2009-77-1022 J-8) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CITY CLERK TO EXECUTE AND ATTEST, RESPECTIVELY, THAT CERTAIN AGREEMENT WITH MIAMI- DADE COUNTY AND MIAMI GARDENS FOR WATER AND SEWER FACILITIES ALONG WITH ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENTS IN SUBSTANTIAL FORM AS THOSE DOCUMENTS ATTACHED HERETO AS COMPOSITE EXHIBIT A, A COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED HERETO AS EXHIBIT B; PROVIDING FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CITY CLERK; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Motion offered by Councilman Williams, seconded by Councilman Bratton to approve the Consent Agenda. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. (K) RESOLUTION(S) RESOLUTION No. 2009-78-1023 J-1) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO TAKE ANY AND ALL STEPS NECESSARY TO APPLY FOR AND RECEIVE A 2009 URBAN AND COMMUNITY FORESTRY GRANT FROM THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES IN THE AMOUNT OF $20,000.00; AUTHORIZING A MATCH OF FUNDS OF UP TO $10,000.00 FOR THIS PURPOSE; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Councilwoman Pritchett asked for clarification purposes if this grant was afifty-fifty match. She said clarification was needed as to whether the amount was $20,000 or $10,000. Manager Crew said he would find out what the correct amount is and correct this item, as a scrivener's error. Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 14 Motion offered by Councilwoman Pritchett, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to approve this item. There being no discussion, the motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. RESOLUTION N0.2009-79-1024 J-3) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, APPROVING A CITY-WIDE FINANCIAL LITERACY INITIATIVE AND AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO EXECUTE ALL REQUIRED AGREEMENTS AND TAKE ALL NECESSARY STEPS IN ORDER TO IMPLEMENT COMPONENT 1 OF THE INITIATIVE; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY COUNCILMAN ANDRE WILLIAMS) Mayor Gibson passed the gavel to Vice Mayor Watson. She said she had a couple of questions for Councilman Williams. She opined this is a good initiative, something that the City has been talking about for a couple of years. She referenced her questions to Component One and the $44,000.00 cost attached. She said the reason she is questioning this because Component Two is the actual curriculum for the initiative, which requires the use of 501(C) 3 entities. She opined this initiative should be implemented using Component Two (2) without Component One (1) and having to go to the General Fund for $44,000. She opined this program could work without Component One (1). Councilman Williams in response to Mayor Gibson comments stated that we are all aware of the foreclosure rate in Miami Gardens. Folks in Miami Gardens are losing their homes in dramatic numbers. In 2007, more than 4,000 homes were in foreclosure. When individuals lose their homes they are four to five months behind in their mortgage payments. There is also the issue of unemployment, which is not often talked about. However there is a high unemployment rate in Miami Gardens (9.8%). For the moderate income household with a family of four, both husband and wife working, and one loses their job, they cannot maintain their expenses, therefore their home goes into foreclosure. Their lives fall apart. He opined they do not have the basic financial tools to be successful. A lot of these issues can be addressed by a comprehensive financial literacy campaign. He addressed Component Two (2) and opined just relying upon Non-profit agencies to undertake an initiative like this, in his mind, is not enough. He said these non-profit agencies have been in the business of doing this for quite some time and in his mind, they have not been doing a good job. He opined, people are still engaged in financial mismanagement. He opined Component One (1) is an expenditure from the City because, in his opinion, the City should put its money where its mouth is. He said we are certainly involved with many initiatives for the betterment of our community. He opined it is appropriate for the City to be engaged in providing financial literacy to the community, and not rely on non-profits. Mayor Gibson said that she would accept that explanation because Component One (1), if it is not done by the Marome Agency it will not have the impact on the financial literacy curriculum, which is what is being done. She opined, the education component is the most Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 15 important. She asked if Component One (1) does not happen, is Councilman Williams saying Component Two (2), will not happen? Councilman Williams in response to Mayor Gibson's question stated, "No". He clarified the education curriculum is very important. He said the City has had events before where no one has shown up. He said the best media to utilize in getting the word out is the print, radio and other medias. This is about helping, empowering and educating individuals. He opined the various medias are needed to reach these individuals. Mayor Gibson asked whether those no shows were during those outreach seminars sponsored by Councilman Williams. Councilman Williams in response to Mayor Gibson's question said the no shows were during the outreach seminars sponsored by the City. He shared the seminars he sponsored engaged the banks and their customers, which was an entirely different process. Mayor Gibson acknowledged that the City has good working relationships with several non-profit agencies throughout this community. Those agencies are doing an excellent job for the City. She asked Daniel Rosemond to come forward to further expound on the issue of whether Component Two (1) cannot happen without Component One (1). Daniel Rosemond, Acting Assistant Manager appeared before the City Council and stated Component Two (2) can happen independently of Component One (1), and can be incorporated as part of the curriculum or services the agencies would provide. Councilman Williams in his response opined this is something important the City should be involved with. He said the City goes to great lengths to promote other city sponsored events, which includes radio and print media, for example Jazz in the Gardens, which is great. He opined the city should devote just as much energy and resources to this endeavor. Councilwoman Pritchett asked whether the Marome Agency and Partnership for Self- Employment were agencies within the City of Miami Gardens. Councilman Williams said he was not sure whether Marome or Partnership for Self- Employment had offices within the City of Miami Gardens. Councilman Gilbert referenced page one, line 18 of the resolution, which indicated the amount to be $35,000. However, staff s analogy indicates the amount would be $44,000. Attorney Dickens made reference to the Agenda Memorandum more specifically staff's recommendations, which indicates a $35,000 cost. She said staff needs to clarify which is the correct amount. The resolution would then be amended accordingly. Councilman Gilbert asked whether the Marome Agency has sufficient resources to accomplish what needs to be done. Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 16 Daniel Rosemond in response to Councilman Gilbert's question replied, "Yes". They have the resources and would certainly be able to work with the City in recruiting the individuals that would participate in the program. Councilman Gilbert asked whether individuals have already been identified for this program. Mr. Rosemond said a list of approximately 60-70 individuals that completed a survey expressing an interest in participating in a Financial Literacy program has been provided. Councilman Gilbert asked whether this program would be limited to residents of Miami Gardens. Mr. Rosemond in response to Councilman Gilbert's question said yes, the program would be limited to Miami Gardens' residents. Motion offered by Mayor Gibson, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to approve this item. Councilman Bratton asked is there a formula to determine what is considered low- income. Mr. Rosemond said low to moderate income is anyone that is 80% or below of area income that is set by Miami-Dade County. That is how HUD defines a low to moderate income person. Councilwoman Pritchett asked, if this item is approved by the Council, how often would the City have a Family First Initiative, after that first pool has gone through the process. She asked it this would be re-occurring or a one-time program. Mr. Rosemond said the idea of this program was to give quarterly classes. The same individuals could go through all four sessions or a different group of individuals could go through each session depending on what the appeal is. The classes would stand independently but would also build on one another. Councilwoman Pritchett asked whether this program would only cover one year or would it be on a continuous basis. Mr. Rosemond said staff has not thought that far in advance. The intent is for a one year program. Councilman Williams asked if the City were to utilize the services of non-profit entities what media would be uses. Mr. Rosemond said letters and telephone calls were be utilized. Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 17 Councilman Williams commented that Mr. Rosemond had hosted a foreclosure seminar previously utilizing the non-profit entities. Mr. Rosemond said letters were sent out sixty to ninety days prior to the event. Councilman Williams asked how many individuals showed up for that seminar. Mr. Rosemond in response to Councilman Williams' question said three families showed up for the seminar. Councilman Williams said that is his point, if we want to reach people, we cannot rely on traditional means. He emphasized the importance of getting radio and the print media involved. Councilman Campbell suggested identifying those individuals that fall within that certain category and then go after those individuals rather than waiting for them to respond to advertising. He said this non-traditional method might be considered when addressing advertising costs. He said the City has advertised previously, with only two or three families responding. He commented it appears we are already doing something similar with another agency (Neighborhood Housing Services). Mr. Rosemond said this is something completely separate. He explained Neighborhood Housing Services provides home buying preparations through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, as well as providing services for individuals going through foreclosures. Councilman Gilbert asked whether Mr. Rosemond had any confidence in Partnership for Self-Employment, and whether he knew if they did a good job. Mr. Rosemond conveyed belief that everyone is capable of doing a good job. He opined his job as an administrator is to structure and administrator contracts the way they need to be. He said he is the type of person where he wants to see the results. Councilman Gilbert asked what is the number of individuals being targeted. Mr. Rosemond said one of the initial concerns was an issue of space. A decision was made to use the City Council Chambers as a facility that would make is easier and much more practical. Vice Mayor Watson commented for clarification purposes the resolution only talks about implementing Component One (1). There is no mention of implementing Component Two (2). Mr. Rosemond in response to Vice Mayor Watson's question said Component Two (2) would have to come back for Council approval. Councilman Williams reiterated this initiative is important there are families that are deteriorating. He opined this is something the City should engage in, very much like other initiatives and projects within the City. He said he was not comfortable with non-profit groups Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 18 and relying solely on them to do the work. He stated that he feels strongly about engaging in marketing medias where the City will get the best bang for its bucks. Mayor Gibson stated that she has confidence in the non-profit entities that have worked for the City in the past. They have been very effective. She shared that some of the non-profits are struggling in these tough economic times therefore the City should give as much help as it can assist. Mayor Gibson made reference to Jazz in the Gardens and stated it is an event that is sponsored by the Council, by resolution every year. She conveyed understanding that Jazz in the Gardens is not Financial Literacy however, it is financing people's pockets. There are vendors who make thousands of dollars from Jazz in the Gardens. There was 1.3 Million Dollars in ticket sales for Jazz in the Gardens. She said if there is 9.8% unemployment in the City, then 91 % of the residents are working. She said she did not want there to be the misconception that Miami Gardens is not doing well; that it is deteriorating. She acknowledged that Miami Gardens has some problems however, it is not to the point where the City is not going to survive. Motion offered by Councilman Williams, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to amend the resolution to state "in an amount not to exceed $45,000". This motion passed and carried by a 6-1 voice vote. Mayor Gibson cast the dissenting vote. There being no further discussion on the item as a whole, the motion to approve passed and carried by a 5-2 vote. Councilman Williams: Yes Councilman Bratton: Yes Councilman Campbell: Yes Councilman Gilbert: No Councilwoman Pritchett: Yes Mayor Gibson: No Vice Mayor Watson: Yes RESOLUTION N0.2009-80-1025 J-4) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER AND CITY CLERK TO EXECUTE AND ATTEST, RESPECTIVELY, THAT CERTAIN SUB-RECIPIENT AGREEMENT WITH THE SWITCHBOARD OF MIAMI, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF TWELVE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($12,500.00), A COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED HERETO AS EXHIBIT A; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CITY CLERK; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 19 Manager Crew explained this group had appeared before the City Council during the March 25th meeting to provide the Council information on the services they provide to the Community. The funding for this program will be allocated from CDBG Funding. The original request was for $25,000. This organization is being awarded $12,500. Mr. Rosemond appeared before the City Council to further expound on this item. He said the amount listed in the resolution is an amended amount based upon where in the year they are starting. It is prorated for the mid-year. Councilwoman Pritchett asked whether this program will be evaluated with a determination being made as to whether funding would be allocated for the next fiscal year. Mr. Rosemond said this application would need to apply for next fiscal year. This amount would only cover through to September 30, 2009. Councilwoman Pritchett shared this is a program that does reach out to the elderly and follow through. She voiced her approval of this resolution. Manager Crew said this agency will need to show that it provides services to Miami Gardens' residents. Mr. Rosemond clarified all of the CDBG funds are exclusively for Miami Gardens' residents. Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to adopt this item. There being no further discussion, the motion to approve passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. RESOLUTION N0.2009-81-1026 J-7) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, CALLING A SPECIAL ELECTION ON THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE CITY CHARTER TO BE HELD ON JUNE 25, 2009, PROVIDING FOR SUBMISSION TO THE ELECTORS FOR APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF TWO PROPOSED CHARTER AMENDMENTS; PROVIDING FOR REQUISITE BALLOT LANGUAGE; PROVIDING FOR MAIL BALLOT ELECTION; PROVIDING FOR NOTICE; PROVIDING FOR RELATED MATTERS; PROVIDING FOR EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Motion offered by Councilman Bratton, seconded by Councilwoman Pritchett to approve this item. Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 20 Councilman Bratton asked for clarification as to how the June 25th Election Day was established. Manager Crew explained this has to be done by July 1St. Also all three cities involved had to agree to this date. Miami-Dade County is paying for the election. Councilman Bratton asked what is the deadline for the Charter Revision Commission to make their recommendation to the City Council. Attorney Dickens said the deadline for the Charter Revision Commission to make their recommendations to the City Council is July 1St. The actual execution for the Charter amendments would take place 2010. Councilman Gilbert asked what does the Charter say right now about Specialized Services. Manager Crew said the currently the Charter says we will use the County's services. Councilman Gilbert asked if the City was currently using the County's Specialized Services. Manager Crew in response to Councilman Gilbert's question replied "no". Councilman Gilbert stated the City would want to correct its Charter as soon as possible because the City did not want to be in violation of its Charter. He emphasized the importance of amending the Charter to correct this situation, as soon as possible. Councilwoman Pritchett indicated that it is cost effective to do this so that the City will not incur the $90,000-$100,000 cost for acity-wide election. Vice Mayor Watson expressed concern with the ballot question and the fact that it is not being explained clearly. She said the City should be putting out an effort to ensure the residents understand what is being voted on. Manager Crew said he anticipates sending a letter explaining this Charter Amendment to every registered voter in Miami Gardens. This letter will be sent out prior to the mailing of the ballot question. Vice Mayor Watson expressed concern with the list of registered voters provided by Miami-Dade County. She said she has purchased this list during her campaigns and have found that her name is not even listed. Councilman Bratton asked whether the City Manager's letter would be written in English, Spanish and Creole. Manager Crew affirmed that the letter will be written in those languages. Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 21 Councilman Gilbert suggested that the Manager consult with someone who actually does election mail outs. He places emphasis on the fact that the City will be violation of its Charter it this matter is not passed June 25~'. There being no further discussion, the motion to approve passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. RESOLUTION N0.2009-82-1027 K-1) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO TAKE ANY AND ALL STEPS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THE "FUTURE MEN OF MIAMI GARDENS" MENTORING PROGRAM; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY COUNCILMAN OLIVER G. GILBERT III) Councilman Gilbert stated this is the item Dr. Brown has asked the Council to start. He shared that he has been working with Kara Petty and Vernita Nelson in putting this program together. The program is scheduled to start June 2009. He asked for the Council's approval. Motion offered by Councilman Campbell, seconded by Councilman Williams to approve this item. There being no discussion, this motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. (L) REPORTS OF CITY MANAGER/CITY ATTORNEY/CITY CLERK Attorney Dickens advised the Council of a need to hold an Executive Session to discuss the Metro Media litigation. The out of Sunshine meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, 2009, beginning at 6:00 p.m., in the City Council Conference Room. Those in attendance will include the Mayor and City Council, City Attorney, City Manager, League of City assigned attorney and a court reporter. Manager Crew stated a vote was needed to name Dr. Lester Brown as this year's Spirit Award Winner. A motion was offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson approving Dr. Lester Brown's nomination as the 2009 City of Miami Gardens Spirit Award Winner. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. (M) REPORTS OF MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEMBERS Councilwoman Pritchett introduced Jessica Geter, County Commissioner Barbara Jordan's Assistance. Councilman Gilbert gave kudos to Hillary Marshall, Administrative Assistance in the Office of the Mayor and City Council for her outstanding performance during the Sickle Cell Run. He further announced the first fitness training classes will be held in the Chambers on Mondays and Wednesdays. He also announced that a City of Miami Gardens team is being put together to participate in the Corporate Run. Regular City Council Minutes April 8, 2009 Page 22 (N) WRITTEN REQUESTS, PETITIONS & OTHER WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC None (O) ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before this Body, and upon a motion being duly made by Councilman Bratton, the meeting adjourned at 10:37 p.m. Attest: Sh' ey ibson, Mayor r""-. ~, .. onetta Taylor, M ,City Clerk Regular City Council Minutes Apri18, 2009 Page 23