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June 10, 2009CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES JUNE 10, 2009 (A) CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL The City Council for the City of Miami Gardens met in regular session on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, beginning at 7:15 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, 1515 NW 167t" 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., Melvin L. Bratton, Andre Williams, Sharon Pritchett and Oliver G. Gilbert III. (B) INVOCATION Invocation delivered by Dr. Lester Brown. (C) PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Recited in unison. (D) APPROVAL OF MINUTES D-1) Regular City Council Minutes -May 27, 2009 City Clerk Taylor asked for a deferral on the approval of the minutes. (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-2 from the Consent Agenda. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. Motion offered by Councilwoman Pritchett, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to pull Item J-4 from the Consent Agenda. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. Manager Crew asked that Item F-7 be moved forward on the agenda to Item F-1 A. Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson seconded by Councilman Bratton to approve the official agenda with the necessary changes. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. The City Manager played a video from NBC News, which featured the City of Miami Gardens in a segment entitled "What Works". The news segment recounted the City of Miami Gardens' history from inception to present (the creation of the City of Miami Gardens Police Department, beautification efforts throughout the City, Jazz in the Gardens, which is now a national event, Code Enforcement initiative and other quality of life issues. (F) SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS (5 minutes each) F-1) Mayor Gibson -Caribbean American Month Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 1 Mayor Gibson proclaimed the month of June as Caribbean American month. Attorney Marlon Hill appeared before the City Council to accept the Proclamation. He further acknowledged: Mr. Wendell James, City Charter signatory; Father Horace Ward and Holy Family Episcopal Church; Ms. Rosie Fletcher-Lawrence and Discount Food Market; Ms. Marjorie Speicher, Crime Watch; Mr. Leslie Chin and Dave's Jamaican Bakery and Restaurant; Ms. Sarah Jean Phillipe, Junior Council Member. The Honorable Sandra Grant-Griffith, Consul General of Jamaica appeared before the City Council to further expound on Caribbean American Month. She further thanked Mayor Gibson and members of the Council for hosting this event. F-lA) Special Presentation by City Manager Crew Mayor Gibson presented a plaque to Mr. William Alonso for his outstanding service to the City of Miami Gardens as the City's Finance Director. She explained that Mr. Alonso left the City June 5th in order to pursue a career as an Assistant City Manager for the City of Miami Springs. F-2) Representative Oscar Braynon II Legislative Report Representative Braynon appeared before the City Council to expound on the Bill he sponsored along with State Senator Wilson. The "Bill" addressed the CIPP dollars and those municipalities not currently receiving their fair share even though the tax is collected in said municipalities. The "Bill" was signed into law by Governor Crist, today. Therefore, there is a state law that now provides that requires any county that charges a surtax has to open negotiations with municipalities every five years. This also includes all new cities. So far the only county involved is Miami-Dade County and the only municipalities involved are: The City of Miami Gardens, the City of Doral and the City of Cutler Bay. He further reported on the proposed water surcharge bill, which would hopefully eliminate the water surcharge being charged to citizens living outside of the service municipality, when the water plant is located in the area being hit with the surcharge. He said that bill did not pass this year. However, as the co-sponsor of the bill he has thought of new ways to approach this situation. Patricia Lightfoot, a representative from Senator Wilson's office appeared before the City Council to share that the Senator serves on a committee, which oversees the Florida Recovery Investment Act. F-3) 2009 State Legislative Update -Yolanda Cash-Jackson Yolanda Cash-Jackson ,the City's Tallahassee Lobbyist appeared before the City Council to expound on the 2009 Legislative Update. She said that Representative Braynon did not indicate how difficult it is to get a bill passed. This past Legislative session there were only 298 Bills passed, which is the lowest she has seen since 1998. She opined it was not an easy feat to get a bill passed and take care of the constituents in the City of Miami Gardens. She credited the creativity of City staff as well as State Representative Braynon and State Senator Wilson for bringing this "Bill" to life. Ms. Cash-Jackson said in the 14 plus years that she has been a lobbyist, this was the Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 2 worst she has seen as it relates to the City's Legislative Package. She stated local governments can expect to be under continued attack due to property taxes and because there is less money. She said there was no funding allocated for recreational activities. There was a slight tax decrease for pari-mutuel activities. She stated that the Red Light Camera Bill went through the Senate and House, came back and died. Councilman Williams commended Ms. Cash-Jackson for doing an excellent job for the City of Miami Gardens. He asked how does the Red-Light Bill affect the City of Miami Gardens. Ms. Cash-Jackson said this does not affect cities for pursuing their municipal Red-Light Ordinances but it does not provide a uniformity throughout the State. She opined the Bill is a very good one for the City of Miami Gardens because it allows the City to keep its revenues, based on the City's agreement with the Red-Light Camera provider. In the short term it has no effect, in the long term municipalities would like to have uniformity throughout the state. Councilman Williams asked for further clarification about the revenues. Ms. Cash-Jackson said the proposed "Bill" provided for grandfathering. She said even though this "Bill" did not pass, there is no prohibition against the City having its own Red-Light Camera Ordinance. Councilwoman Pritchett too commended Ms. Cash-Jackson for doing an excellent job for the City and its residents. She asked for further clarification on the Retirement Bill 479. Ms. Cash-Jackson in response to Councilwoman Pritchett's inquiry said this the double dip provision. The Bill requires that you be out for six months before you can apply to go back to work for the state. Mayor Gibson thanked Ms. Cash-Jackson for her efforts on behalf of the City of Miami Gardens. She further shared that the state had a Six Billion dollar deficit, but was able to bring that amount down to Three Billion dollars by using the Stimulus money. She opined next year will be even tougher, due to the State's tax structure. She shared social programs and education funding always takes a hit. She asked all to pay close attention to what they see coming out of Tallahassee because it is definitely going to impact all. F-4) Miami Gardens Police Department -Miami-Dade Gun Bounty Program Award Sergeant Gloria Martin, a representative of the Miami-Dade Gun Bounty Program appeared before the City Council to thank Mayor Gibson and members of the City Council for providing her with this opportunity to expound on this program. She said the program has been successful in Miami-Dade County, and the City of Miami Gardens. That is attributed to the very fine police officers working for the City of Miami Gardens Police Department. On behalf of Mayor Carlos Alvarez, special acknowledgement and presentations to bestowed upon the City of Miami Gardens Detectives Sherry Meadows and Javier Romaderos for their dedication Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 3 and diligent efforts to rid the City of Miami Gardens of illegal guns and the violent criminals that use them. Year-to-date 315 illegal guns have been removed from the streets of Miami- Dade County. Furthermore 188 violent criminals have also been arrested. F-5) CAC Quarterly Report Mr. Anslem Smith, 721 NW 187th Drive, Miami Gardens, Florida, and Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee appeared before the City Council to provide the CAC "Committee's" Quarterly report. He commended the City Council for their outstanding accomplishments. He commended the Chief Boyd, Deputy Chief Miller, Executive Secretary Paulette Weems for their outstanding support. He stated that to date, the Committee did not have any recommendations for the Council. However, that would most likely change because the Committee plans to start working with the local churches and neighborhood crime watches , and local businesses to get feedback on those areas of concern. The committee has had a series of workshops and guest speakers. He further informed the Council that the Committee is short five members. There are sixteen active members participating. The appointment of the additional five members will bring the Committee to its fu1121 membership. He announced the Committee will not be meeting for the months of June, July and August. The next scheduled meeting of the CAC will take place September 2009. Mayor Gibson thanked Mr. Smith for this report, and encouraged him to keep the good work. F-6) Chief Boyd -Miami Gardens Police Department Monthly Report Chief Matthew Boyd, for outstanding policing skills, dedication to duty and team work, presented Officer Jason Moore with the distinguished recognition as Officer of the Month for the month of May 2009. Chief Boyd announced as compared to the month of April for the month of May crimes dropped by eleven percent (11%). Year-to-date compared to May 2008, crime has dropped thirty-one percent (31 %). Ten of the homicides can be classified as murder. There were two (2) involved police shootings, involving Miami-Dade County Police and the City of Miami Gardens Police Departments. Arrests increased slightly for the month, with significant arrests being made leading to the closure of several robbery cases. Detectives did a good job of following a burglar and actually caught him in the act of breaking into a residence. The Special Operations Unit continue to be a proactive unit and has generated over 270 arrests for this month. The unit conducted four narcotics search warrants seizing narcotics and firearms in each. The money laundering task force squad seized 1.3 Million Dollars last month, for a total seizure of 3.9 Million year-to-date. So far, the department has received $110,000 in funds. Chief Boyd reported that a CERT refresher course for volunteers was held May 2009, in preparation with the hurricane season. Councilman Williams commended Chief Boyd for doing an outstanding job. He asked what is the definition of Larceny Over. Chief Boyd said Larceny is an amount over $300.00. He said a lot of lawn mowers and Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 4 lawn equipment is being stolen. Individuals leave their purse on the counter and it is stolen. That purse may contain a credit card, which is considered a Larceny Over. He said that people are not paying attention and being careful. He shared today he saw an individual walk approximately the length of a football field away from his vehicle, which he had left running, with the door open, while he talked with a friend. He said he has noticed this type of behavior is common place. Councilman Williams inquired about utilizing PSA to educate residents about this type of behavior. Chief Boyd said the Police Department publishes a quarterly newsletter advising residents of certain behavior patterns, and providing then with helpful tips. This past newsletter was more geared toward Hurricane Preparedness. He said this next publication would concentrate on educating the residents on how to prevent being a victim. Councilman Bratton commended the motorcycle unit for doing an excellent job. He shared that his sister has been complaining that they are everywhere. To him this is an indication that the officers are indeed working. Chief Boyd indicated that he has received several phone calls from irate citizens about the motorcycle unit. He said his goal is to get the City like Coral Gables, and that is what is officers are working to achieve. Councilwoman Pritchett asked Chief Boyd to provide information about the four accident locations, more particularly what intersections the accidents are more prevalent. Councilman Campbell asked about the Larceny activity as it relates to the retail businesses. Chief Boyd said they are considered Larceny except if there is some type of force involved, then it is taken a step farther into robbery. He said as it relates to the retail businesses, the City is not getting hurt as badly as he would have thought. In a lot of cases unless it is a major hit they are not going to report it. Councilman Campbell inquired about the type of dwellings where most of the drug activity is occurring. Chief Boyd in response to Councilman Campbell's question said most of the drug activity is occurring in rental properties. Councilman Campbell explained he had asked that question because at a previous Council meeting the question was raised about the different level of crime in areas 1, 2 and 3. He asked has there been any type of coalition between these crimes and rental properties, more particularly are there more rental properties where the crime levels are different. Chief Boyd said the statics have not been broken down in that manner. However, from Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 5 his communication with Assistant City Manager Rosemond, there are public housing areas, where Section 8 individuals have been giving the police department problems. He shared that he had spoken to Assistant City Manager Rosemond about a strategy used by Miami-Dade County. He said he is looking to implement that same strategy in Miami Gardens. F-7) Antranette Pierre -Sunshine State Industrial Park Antranette Pierre, Economic Development Manager appeared before the City Council to provide a PowerPoint Presentation on the Sunshine State Industrial Park. From previous conservation from the Strategic Planning Sessions, as well as the Comprehensive Development Master Plan. In the Future Land Use Element there is a portion that spoke about the redevelopment or revitalization of the Sunshine State Industrial Park. At staff's level there was discussion about what it would take to redevelop that area. She spotlighted several cities and their redevelopment projects, as part of the PowerPoint Presentation. She said in order to make this a successful revitalization project the local business community and stakeholders should be involved. She said the purpose of this presentation was to give the Council some ideas for the potential of that particular area. The next step would be to look at pursuing the Master Plan. Mike Singh, a business owner in the Sunshine State Industrial Park appeared before the City Council to comment on this item. He said he is a resident of Aventura. However, he did not know Aventura as well as he knows the City of Miami Gardens. He opined with all the open transportation access, the Plan being discussed is attainable. He said he was available to provide any support or guidance because a lot of the things discussed are being done in foreign countries and can easily be moved here to the United States. Councilman Williams asked about the status of the Mercedes Benz renovations and relocation to the old Modern Age Property. Daniel Rosemond, Assistant City Manager said due to the economy, specifically the car industry Mercedes Benz has delayed the plans slightly. However, all indications are that they will proceed ahead. (G) PUBLIC COMMENTS There were none. (H) ORDINANCE(S) FOR FIRST READING H-1) AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, CREATING A NUISANCE ABATEMENT BOARD; PROVIDING FOR INTENT AND JURISDICTION; PROVIDING FOR CERTAIN ACTIVITIES TO BE DECLARED A NUISANCE; PROVIDING FOR DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING FOR COSTS AND FINES; PROVIDING FOR APPEALS; PROVIDING FOR ENFORCEMENT; REPEALING ALL ORDINANCES IN CONFLICT; PROVIDING A SEVERABILITY CLAUSE; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN CODE; PROVIDING Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 6 AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY COUNCILMAN OLIVER G. GILBERT III AND THE CITY MANAGER) Councilman Gilbert stated that this is something that Miami-Dade County does. He shared that he sat down with the Deputy City Manager, the City Attorney and Deputy Chief Miller to start talking about putting together this ordinance. The ordinance basically allows the police department and the City to address areas that are consistently problems, as far as crime. The heart of this ordinance is to eliminate the nuisance (e.g. drug sales, prostitution, etc.) Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to adopt this ordinance on first reading. Councilwoman Pritchett referenced page six of the ordinance, more specifically the language relating to the Complaint Process and the term "Clerk of the Board". She asked if this responsibility would be in the Office of the City Clerk or would someone else be assigned. Councilman Gilbert said this individual would be someone appointed by the City Manager, and would not necessarily be the City Clerk. Councilman Williams said he did not disagree with this item, and asked whether this ordinance would replace Miami-Dade County's Nuisance Abatement Board. Mayor Gibson in response to Councilman Williams said this Board would not replace Miami-Dade County's. Councilwoman Pritchett asked for clarification as to why Councilman Gilbert and the City Manager co-sponsored this item. Councilman Gilbert in response to Councilwoman Pritchett's question said this is an idea he had. However, because it is regulatory, and staff actually worked diligently in putting this item together (Deputy Manager, Deputy Chief and City Attorney), the co-sponsors were staff. Vice Mayor Watson conveyed support of this item. However, the ordinance does not address multi housing units. She said she wanted to make sure that there was an automatic step in place so that HUD would be brought in. She said sometimes the landlords are just not responsive. Councilman Gilbert said he did not disagree with Vice Mayor Watson's suggestion. However, there is nothing to stop the City from doing that now. He said he would be supportive of considering legislation for this purpose. Vice Mayor Watson said she would like to direct staff to come back with applicable legislation which would provide support for this initiative. She said often times when a particular situation arises, it could take anywhere from 30 to 120 days to get applicable legislation adopted to address that issue. With having an automatic step in place, staff has the necessary legislation to follow through with that next step. Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 page ~ Manager Crew said staff will have time to put something together and bring back to Council. There being no further discussion, the motion to adopt on first reading passed and carried by a 7-0 vote. Councilman Bratton: Yes Councilman Campbell: Yes Councilman Gilbert: Yes Councilwoman Pritchett: Yes Vice Mayor Watson: Yes Councilman Williams: Yes Mayor Gibson: Yes (I) ORDINANCE(S) FOR SECOND READING/PUBLIC HEARING(S) None (J) CONSENT AGENDA RESOLUTION N0.2009-108-1053 J-1) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ISSUE A CHANGE ORDER NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($20,000.00) TO THE CITY'S PURCHASING ORDER WITH TIRESOLES OF BROWARD, INC.; AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ISSUE A PURCHASE ORDER FOR THE PURCHASE OF TIRES AND FLAT TIRE REPAIRS, ON AN AS NEEDED BASIS, NOT TO EXCEED THE ALLOCATED BUDGET, FOR FISCAL YEAR 2010; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) RESOLUTION N0.2009-109-1054 J-3) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER AND CITY ATTORNEY TO NEGOTIATE AND EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT IN SUBSTANTIAL FORM AS THAT AGREEMENT ATTACHED HERETO AS EXHIBIT "A," WITH SOUTH FLORIDA WORKFORCE FOR THE 2009 AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CITY CLERK; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY COUNCILMAN OLIVER G. GILBERT III) Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 8 Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson and Councilman Bratton. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. (K) RESOLUTION(S) RESOLUTION N0.2009-110-1055 J-2) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, APPROVING THE LAND ACQUISITION PLAN ATTACHED HERETO AS EXHIBIT "A;" EXPRESSING IT'S INTENTION TO MAKE FUTURE PURCHASES OF CITY PROPERTY BASED UPON THE PLAN; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Councilwoman Pritchett inquired about the difference between the Land Acquisition Plan, the Capital Improvement Plan, and the Comprehensive Development Master Plan. Manager Crew explained the Land Acquisition Plan is kind of an option of the Comprehensive Development Master Plan. This Plan will be integrated into the next Comprehensive Development Master Plan. The City has a small amount of available for a city this size, and is underrepresented with it comes to park lands. He shared what he has tried to do is looked for opportunities for the City to have future parks. He said the City did not need to buy the land now. By having a plan in place, if the city sees an opportunity to purchase land it could quickly take advantage of that, especially if it fits within the plan. The Plan would also provide for economic development opportunities. Councilwoman Pritchett thanked Manager Crew for this explanation. She stated that during his opening remarks, he made a very important statement, and that was the fact that this "Plan" would become a part of next Comprehensive Development Master Plan. Motion offered by Councilwoman Pritchett, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to adopt this item. There being no discussion the motion to adopt passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. RESOLUTION N0.2009-111-1056 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 CONTRACT BETWEEN THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, IN SUBSTANTIAL FORM AS THAT AGREEMENT ATTACHED HERETO AS EXHIBIT A, FOR THE PROVISION OF LANDSCAPING WORK SQUADS THROUGHOUT THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS IN THE AMOUNT OF $62,285.00; PROVIDING FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CITY CLERK; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 9 REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Councilwoman Pritchett read into the record "Item J-3", the Summer Youth Program, and as staff's summary stated the City leadership has placed interest in meeting the needs of its residents by providing services, programs for the City's Youth. It is true most of the challenges faced by our youth steams from a lack of jobs. The Summer Youth Program with the South Florida Workforce 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Summer Youth Employment Program is a wonderful thing. It would be a positive step if the City would be a visionary and invest in our youth in a year round approach by providing jobs to our youth on a part-time basis; utilizing that funds allocated for the work squads. She made reference to a teen program implements many years ago. She said many of those youth have gone on to become productive citizens not only in Miami-Dade County but in the City of Miami Gardens as well. She stated her intention of voting no when the vote is called. Motion offered by Councilwoman Pritchett, seconded by Councilman Bratton to adopt this item. There being no further discussion, the motion to adopt this item passed and carried by a 6-1 voice vote. Councilwoman Pritchett cast the dissenting vote. RESOLUTION N0.2009-112-1057 K-1) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY TO CO-SPONSOR THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES PRESCRIPTION DISCOUNT CARD PROGRAM; AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO TAKE ANY AND ALL STEPS NECESSARY IN ORDER FOR THE CITY TO BECOME A SPONSOR OF THE PROGRAM; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY VICE MAYOR BARBARA WATSON) Vice Mayor Watson shared each year the Council members attend the Florida League of Cities Conference, where the members are afforded an opportunity to attend several workshops. She said this past year she was introduced to this particular program. She said this program would allow Miami Gardens' residents to register for a discount card for prescription drugs. She shared that her husband is retired from FP&L, which offers the same program to its retirees. She stated that her husband paid $4.00 for a prescription medication, which would have originally cost him $27.00. She said she would like to offer this same program to Miami Gardens' residents. She said there are many residents that have lost their jobs, and there are many that do not have any type of medical insurance. Those individuals can take advantage of this discount card program. She asked for her colleagues support in the passage of this resolution. Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to adopt this resolution. Councilman Campbell asked if there were any obligations to the City. Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 10 Vice Mayor Watson said there was no cost to the City associated with this program. The only obligation the City has is to get the word out to its residents. That can be accomplished by publishing this information in the various city newsletters. There being no further discussion, the motion to adopt this item passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. RESOLUTION N0.2009-113-1058 K-2) 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 EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT WITH SONJA K. DICKENS AS CITY ATTORNEY; PROVIDING FOR DIRECTIONS TO THE CITY MANAGER AND CITY ATTORNEY; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CITY CLERK; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY MAYOR SHIRLEY GIBSON) Mayor Gibson passed the gavel to Vice Mayor Watson. Mayor Gibson stated the City Attorney is a Charter position. The other two positions, which are in-house are the City Manager and City Clerk. Since the incorporation of the City, the City Attorney has been a contract employee with a private law firm. At the last Council meeting staff had provided cost associated with municipal in-house attorneys. She stated there are more meetings and hearings being conducted by staff that requires the City Attorney's presence. When the City goes beyond the retainer amount, the City has to pay for those extra hours. Being able to have the City Attorney in-house and accessible to staff and Council members would provide a greater return. Even with the one-time office start up cost, the City would benefit from having the City Attorney as a full time employee of the City. Motion offered by Mayor Gibson, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to adopt this item. Councilwoman Pritchett inquired about the contract the City currently has with Attorney Dickens' law firm. Attorney Dickens in response to Councilwoman Pritchett's inquiry said the City is under contract with Arnstein ad Lehr. She said if she came on board that contract would terminate as it relates to her services. She said there are some other aspects of that contract such as real-estate closing, which are done by Attorney James Brady. She said Attorney Brady will continue to do that as a contract employee, similar to the Bond Counsel, but not as City Attorney. She said this would be a revision that would need to come back to Council. Councilwoman Pritchett asked where there be a problem with conflict of interest, if Attorney Dickens is hired as the City's in-house attorney. Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 11 Attorney Dickens in response to Councilwoman Pritchett's question said there is no conflict, in that she already serves as the City Attorney. Councilman Gilbert stated that he is in support of this item. He shared that through his law firm he is in contact with City Attorneys all the time, providing legal advice. He said that Attorney Dickens is one of the most well respected City Attorneys in South Florida. He said what he has noticed when you have an in-house City Attorney and the legal staff, it helps out in other areas such as the police department, code enforcement, planning and zoning, as well as media and events. He opined those cities with in-house City Attorneys run better. Councilman Bratton asked the protocol for the Legal Adviser in the police department. Attorney Dickens in response to Councilman Bratton's question said the Legal Adviser reports to the City Attorney even though she is in a contracted position. Councilman Campbell opined that Attorney Dickens is a very smart and sharp attorney. He shared that he considers her to be a whip. He said this will provide an opportunity to do some things budgetary wise. He opined that bringing the City Attorney in-house will have some positive affects all around, especially with the matters being handled in the Office of the City Clerk as well as Code Enforcement. He stated that he was in favor of this item. Mayor Gibson closed by saying when you have a position as an Attorney's office and it is more visible, and intimate, you will find that staff will utilize and visit that office more. Councilman Bratton asked if the decision is made tonight, what is the timeline for getting the Office of the City Attorney setup. Attorney Dickens in response to Councilman Bratton's question said within the next three to four weeks. Councilwoman Pritchett asked whether Attorney Dickens would hire additional staff. Attorney Dickens in response to Councilwoman Pritchett's question said initially she would be hiring an Assistant. During the next fiscal year she would be hiring an Assistant City Attorney. There being no further discussion on this item, the motion to adopt passed and carried by a 7-0 vote. Councilman Williams: Yes Councilman Bratton: Yes Councilman Campbell: Yes Councilman Gilbert: Yes Councilwoman Pritchett: Yes Mayor Gibson: Yes Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 12 Vice Mayor Watson: Yes After the vote was taken, Vice Mayor Watson relinquished the gavel to Mayor Gibson. Mayor Gibson invited Attorney Ottinott to come forward for comments. She shared that Attorney Ottinott worked with the City Attorney in preparing this Employment Contract. Attorney Hans Ottinott, City Attorney for the City of Sunny Isles Beach, 18700 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, appeared before the City Council to express his support of this appointment. He shared that as a friend of Attorney Dickens there have been times when they have been on opposing sides. He commended the City Council for taking this action. Dr. Lester Brown was also afforded an opportunity for comments. He appeared before the City Council to express his appreciation of Attorney Dickens. He further commended the City Council for making this positive decision. (L) REPORTS OF CITY MANAGER/CITY ATTORNEY/CITY CLERK Attorney Dickens conveyed appreciation of the Council's confidence in her. She said she was looking forward to starting and staffing the City's first Law Office. Jay Marder, Development Services Director and Tom Ruiz, Public Works Director appeared before the City Council to provide an update of the Miami-Dade Transit System initiative. Due to the low volume of users some of the service routes will be eliminated and others will be adjusted. Miami-Dade County is also looking at the elimination of bus stops. Another proposal is to have Broward Transit travel to the Miami downtown area, as well as having Miami-Dade Transit travel north to Sheridan Street or Oakland Park Boulevard. Mayor Gibson asked who should the residents of Miami Gardens contact if they want to voice dissatisfaction with service or have other questions about other transit related issues. Mr. Marder said individuals should contact Miami-Dade Transit. (M) REPORTS OF MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEMBERS Councilman Williams announced a foreclosure prevention clinic would be held on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at 569 NW 159th Street, Miami Gardens, Florida. He referenced an article in the Miami Herald with regards to the decrease in property tax values. He said there was also an article in Saturday's Edition about the deficit relating to Jazz in the Gardens. He said when this item came before the Council he had voted against it. He said the article indicated that for all the years that Jazz in the Gardens has been held, that event has been in a deficit for a total of 1.8 Million Dollars. He opined the City should not be in the business of holding events that operate in a deficit especially when the City is experiencing a decrease in property tax. He said as a tax payer he is also concerned because this is his hard earned money going to for this event. He said he feels very strongly about this and disagrees with his council members. Councilman Bratton made referenced to President Obama's date night with his wife. He Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 13 said he was asked what is the possibility of the City Council having a date night where they can take their significant others out to dinner. He asked is the possible of implementing this concept. Attorney Dickens said the City can implement this concept as long as the City is not paying for it. Motion offered by Councilman Bratton, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to implement the Date Night Concept in the City of Miami Gardens. There being no discussion, this motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. Councilwoman Pritchett invited everyone to a Town Hall Meeting she is sponsoring for Thursday, June 18, 2009 beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the North Dade Regional Library. The Town Hall meeting will evolve around the annual budget process. Residents will also be provided with an opportunity to asked questions. Refreshments will be served. The City Manager has agreed to facilitate this Town Hall meeting. Councilwoman Pritchett made reference to the article in Saturday's Edition relating to Jazz in the Gardens, and the shortfalls for each event. She made referenced to comments made by Councilman Williams about disagreeing with his colleagues on this matter and voting "no" on the item. She said she was a bit concerned about all of this. She stated that in 2006 and 2007 she had requested budgetary information about the Jazz in the Gardens event, which she never received. She said perhaps Councilman Williams had information she did not have. She stated that she voted everyone to know that she voted for Jazz in the Gardens based upon the information she received. She said she was not aware of the short fall of 1.8 Million Dollars. Councilman Gilbert said the City is not in the business of making money; it is in the business of providing services. He said if the City budgeted 1.5 Million Dollars for Jazz in the Gardens and only spent 299,000 on Jazz in the Gardens, there was no shortfall. He stated the City spent less than it actually budgeted. He opined when you provide municipal services you do not provide them with the idea you are going to make your money back. He said the City did not make its money back on the police department or basically any department. He said no money is made on the beautification of our streets. The City is trying to brand the City. The Council wants to make the City a destination place. Under the rationale that the City lost money on events means that money was lost on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration, as well as essentially every function of the City. Councilman Gilbert shared he had attended a function in Rolling Oaks called Neighbors to Neighbors. He conveyed his hopes that next year a similar event can be held throughout the City. He further thanked the Council for voting for the Summer Youth Program. He also thanked Mr. Rosemond for his assistance. He acknowledged the contributions made by Jesse Alexander Stubbs, a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee as well as the Elderly Affairs Advisory Committee. Mr. Stubbs passed away on May 20th, and a funeral service was held June 6t". Mayor Gibson was present and presented the family with a Resolution of Sympathy. He shared that he along with Councilwoman Pritchett were also present at this Home Going Service. Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 14 Councilman Campbell said the intelligent residents of this City will recognize that the City is not for profit, but is anon-profit entity, which provides services. Mayor Gibson made reference to Mr. Stubbs as well. She said all those who spoke at his service made reference to his community service. Representation from both Committees Mr. Stubbs served on were present, as well as other employees. She said that Mr. Stubbs will be missed. Mayor Gibson said that she is sure that Councilman Williams has voted for Jazz in the Gardens over the years. She said to sit on this dais for a number of years, elected officials should know about policy. If they are not aware of the policies, the City has competent staff that will tell them. She said to make statements that are totally inaccurate. She stated that Jazz in the Gardens comes before this Council every year, with a budget. She said this year Jazz in the Gardens sold over 1.3 Million Dollars in tickets. She said we are all taxpayers and did not find it robbery or a crime to spend her tax dollars. She said she is willing to make this City a world class City, spending resources responsible. She said money is spent where the City can get the most of what it invests in. It has created a great sense of pride in all the things that are done here. She said if this the case, we should not have the Miss Miami Gardens Pageant, the Memorial Day Breakfast, Caroling in the Parks, Unity Day, or any of the things that we do because none of it makes money. She acknowledge that staff solicits support for this event. She said that she too work just as hard as staff soliciting support and sponsorships for this event. She said that Jazz in the Gardens has never been a deficit to this City. She reiterated that the City is not private industry and everyone sitting on the dais should know that. She said she is not going to take that as a statement for the Council but a statement for Mayor Gibson because she has been the sponsor of this item. Mayor Gibson opined that it is a poor choice for her colleague to make a statement like that. She shared the way the statement is made is that "Based on Mayor Gibson's recommendation and advocating, she has caused the City to lose 1.8 Million Dollars, which is absolutely untrue and un-factual. (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 the meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m. ~ ~ Attest: _ ~ c~ Ronetta Taylor, MMC, rty Clerk ~~~-~,~ Regular City Council Minutes June 10, 2009 Page 15