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March 11, 2009CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MINUTES MARCH ~~, zoog (A) CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL The City Council for the City of Miami Gardens, Florida, met in regular session on Wednesday, March 11, 2009, beginning at 7:15 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 and Oliver G. Gilbert III. Councilwoman Sharon Pritchett was not present due to illness. Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Bratton to excuse Councilwoman Pritchett's absence. This motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. 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 Councilman Aaron Campbell Jr. (C) PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Recited in unison. (D) APPROVAL OF MINUTES D-1) Special City Council Minutes -February 25, 2009 Motion offered by Councilman Campbell, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to approve the minutes, with necessary corrections, if any. This motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. D-2) Regular City Council Minutes -February 25, 2009 Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Campbell to approve the minutes, with necessary corrections, if any. This motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. (E) ORDER OF BUSINESS (Items to be pulled from Consent Agenda at this time) Item F-3 was removed from the Presentations. Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Councilman Bratton to pull Item J-1 from the Consent Agenda. This motion passed and carried by a 6-0 vote. Manager Crew amended the official agenda to add as Item J-8 "A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AMENDING THE Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 1 CITY'S FEE MANUAL 1N ACCORDANCE WITH EXHIBITS "A" AND "B" ATTACHED HERETO; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to approve the official agenda, with the necessary, additions, deletions and changes. This motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. (F) SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS (5 minutes each) F-1) Miami Gardens Police Department Monthly Report Chief Matthew Boyd introduced Officer Anita Hopson as Officer of the Month for the Month of February 2009. Chief Boyd reported overall targeted crime decreased by 19 percent from January - February. Residential burglaries decreased by 38 percent. Sexual assaults increased, however the offender in each incident were known. Robberies continue to be at an all time low, and there was a further decrease by 13 percent. As compared from 2008 to 2009 there is a 21 percent decrease. Significant arrests have been made in all categories. Total felony arrests increased by 16 percent; traffic arrests by 16 percent; DUI arrests by 57 percent. Two burglary arrests resulted in the closure of seven (7) additional burglary cases. Crime suppression team has been concentrating its efforts in the area of narcotics violations and violent crimes. Seven search warrants were issued during the month of February, resulting in the seizure of a large amount of narcotics and firearms. The auto theft unit continues to be productive in reducing auto thefts. Auto thefts are down 32 percent year-to-date. Chief Boyd said the Miami Gardens Police Department has entered into an agreement with the US Marshall in an effort to apprehend violent offenders in the City of Miami Gardens. Pursuant to a search warrant, the crime suppression team seized 61 pounds of marijuana from one particular location. Chief Boyd further expounded on the excellent work being provided by the Community Police Unit as it relates to the initiation of Neighborhood Watch Programs, and the anticipated Police Explorer's meeting, scheduled to be held Apri12009. Chief Boyd reported during a ceremony at the Miami Beach Convention Center, City of Miami Gardens police officers were awarded Law Enforcement Officers of the Year Award for outstanding performance in the Miami-Dade County Law Enforcement Community for safety, in safely removing residents from a house fire. The two police community service officers also received Officer of the Year Award in the Community Policing category. Deputy Chief Miller appeared before the City Council serving a dual role as Deputy Chief and President of the Miami Gardens Kiwanis Club. He presented Mr. Mario Dominguez of UTAG with a plaque for outstanding community service and great community partner (Golf Tournament, Holiday Give-Away); Vince Tricoloni of BrandsMart also received a plaque for outstanding community service and being a great partner with the community (Golf Tournament Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 2 and Holiday appliance give-a-way). F-2) Catherine Penrod -Switchboard of Miami Catherine Penrod, CEO of Switchboard of Miami appeared before the City Council to expound on this private non-profit organization, which has been in existence since 1968. Its mission is to assist people in need with community resources. She expounded on the various services being offered by this organization. The Hot-line receives over 190,000 calls each year. Mayor Gibson asked about the funding sources for Switchboard of Miami. Ms. Penrod said funds are received from The Children's Trust, United Way as well as private and government funding. F-3) T^~ri~n ,.~ n..,,,..a n,.o~e~1cutie" rr~a~u n„t.t;,. ~~~e~mo~e~n P~~~ F-4) Vernita Nelson -Black Crossroads the African Diaspora in Miami Vernita Nelson, Interim Assistant Manager appeared before the City Council to expound on the Black Crossroads the African Diaspora (1896 to present day) in Miami exhibit being showcased at City Hall. She credited Councilman Williams for bringing this idea to staff. There is a larger exhibit being displayed at the Historic Museum of South Florida. Councilman Williams thanked staff for its efforts in getting this exhibit displayed in the City of Miami Gardens. He said this is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the people who came before us, settled in this community, and made significant contributions. Mayor Gibson shared that she had visited the exhibit on display at the Historic Museum and found it to be very educational. She encouraged everyone to visit this exhibit. (G) PUBLIC COMMENTS James Clausell, 3520 NW 205th Street, Miami Gardens, Florida, President of the Buccaneer Boosters, appeared before the City Council to express his views about the lack of communication within the City's government. He shared on last Friday, applications for the Power Up program were received by members of his organization. He said that he along with several members of his organization signed up for the program. Due to a scheduling conflict he had to reschedule. He said he was told his application had not been received. However, he had received an email and staff could only have gotten that email address from his application. He conveyed hope that the City would step up its efforts to inform residents of the various events and programs occurring within the City. Isaac Lorrier, 3801 NW 187th Street, Miami Gardens, Florida, appeared before the City Council and made reference to the successful Miss Miami Gardens Scholarship Pageant. He suggested implementing a similar initiative for young men. Councilman Bratton informed Mr. Lorrier that an event to showcase the young men of Miami Garden is being discussed with staff. Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 3 Sharon Frazier-Stephens, 145 NE 193`d Street, Miami, Florida, appeared before the City Council to congratulate the City on a successful Jazz in the Gardens. She informed the Council and listening audience about a pending bus trip of concerned citizens and students being planned for Tallahassee. The group will hold a rally outside of the State Capitol to protest the decrease in education funding. Miami-Dade County Public School System has lost 129 Million Dollars due to the State's budget cuts. Ms. Fraizer-Stephens further encouraged more effective community policing, with the police department initiating more effective communication with the residents. Richard A. Pittman, 2840 NW 190th Street, Miami Gardens, Florida, appeared before the City Council to express his views about the Power Up Program. He expressed concern with the number of residents in Miami Gardens and whether many of those who submitted application would actually get the $250.00 vouchers. He suggested utilizing a drawing system to insure a fair process. Sherril Boyd, 3595 NW 204th Terrace, Miami Gardens, Florida, appeared before the City Council to encourage police patrolling the local streets, as well as the main streets. Mayor Gibson encouraged Ms. Boyd to speak with a representative of the Miami Gardens Florida department. f Rita Pierre, 1000 NW 197th Terrace, Miami Gardens, Florida, President of the Norwood Neighborhood Watch, appeared before the City Council to commend the Public Works Department for doing an excellent job in repairing the sidewalks around Norland Senior High School. Daniel Rosemond, Interim Assistant Manager for the City of Miami Gardens appeared before the City Council to expound on the Power Up Program. He said staff is ecstatic about the response received about the program. The workshops were filled within a couple of days of announcing the program. As of yesterday, 189 people sent had in their surveys in response to the information provided. The $250.00 voucher will be used to purchase from a list of approved items from Lowes. After this program concludes staff will determine if funds will be available from this particular fund to conduct an additional workshop in April; this is being done methodically because staff did not want to raise expectations of having more vouchers available than there actually is. He opined in terms of a lottery process, this is certainly something that can be considered in the future. This program was implemented on a first come first serve basis. Therefore, those responses received first were handled first. He stated that staff tried to stretch the $70,000.00 used for this program as far as possible. Mayor Gibson asked where did the $70,000 used for this program come from. Mr. Rosemond in response to Mayor Gibson's question explained the $70,000 used for the Power Up Program was the proceeds from the sale of the HUD House (sales price and difference the city actually put into the renovations). Staff thought this was the best way to Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 4 give back to the community. The items on the approved list from Lowes are things a homeowner can install, no contractor is needed, nor is a building permit required. Councilman Williams conveyed this is an excellent program, with a lot of interest from the residents. He asked whether a financial aspect be added to the program due to the response of interested residents. Mr. Rosemond said it would be premature to answer this question until the first workshop is held. He opined from the response he has received people are more interested in the $250.00 voucher rather than the educational aspect of the program. Mayor Gibson placed emphasis on the importance of providing the education component with this program so that residents get a better understanding as to how to lower their electric bills. (H) ORDINANCE(S) FOR FIRST READING H-1) AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER AND CITY ATTORNEY TO NEGOTIATE AND EXECUTE AN OPTION AGREEMENT WITH WARREN HENRY ACQUISITIONS, LLC, FOR THE PURCHASE OF CERTAIN PROPERTY DESCRIBED ON EXHIBIT "A" ATTACHED HERETO, IN SUBSTANTIAL FORM AS THAT CERTAIN AGREEMENT ATTACHED HERETO AS EXHIBIT "B"; PROVIDING FOR ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; REPEALING ALL ORDINANCES IN CONFLICT; PROVIDING A SEVERABILITY CLAUSE; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Manager Crew explained the City recently purchased some property for economic development purposes. There is a business that is interested in building a new facility on that property, and has proposed an option to the City to repurchase the property. He said there is still some work to be done on the Option agreement. This item is on for first reading therefore this will provide two weeks to fine tune the item. Several attorneys including the City's Attorney and Warren Henry Acquisition's Attorney have been reviewing this document. Manager Crew said this would give Warren Henry an option for two years. During that time, they would pay the City for this option at a rate that would include this City's cash and capital. In addition, Warren Henry would give the City one percentage point above the cash and capital as the City's cost for handling the transaction. If at the end of the two years, Warren Henry has not been able to secure funding for their project there is a one year option period, however the cash capital payment would go to three percent. In addition, if they do enact the option, a new appraisal would be required for the property. That would entitle the City to one half percent of the increase in the property during that time. Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 5 Mayor Gibson questioned the procedure and process as to how this is going to be handled in the interim. Manager Crew said everything is outlined in the document. The option payments will start on April 1St. Warren Henry will be making monthly payments. The City actually pays the bond twice a year. If Warren Henry defaults, the option will expire and the property will become the City's. Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to adopt this item on first reading. Councilman Gilbert asked Attorney Dickens to define the default provision Attorney Dickens said whatever that bond payment amount is Warren Henry would have to pay that cost over the term. Default means they did not pay in any given period. Councilman Gilbert said he was trying to get clarification that at what date, the loan would be considered in default. Attorney Dickens explained Warren Henry would be given a period of time up to five (5) business days, if they do not adhere, the City would deem the option terminated, with notification that the City deems the option to be in default. At that point in time, the City keeps the option payments collected up to that point. Negotiations are still underway as to whether the City keeps principal payments. They City will give time to cure this and if payment is made, the option agreement will continue. Councilman Gilbert asked for clarification on the five (5) days. Attorney Dickens said the five (5) days in which to pay, would start after receipt of the notification of non-payment. If the payment is not made within that five (5) days, Warren Henry is in default. Councilman Gilbert expressed concern with this provision. Attorney Dickens advised Councilman Gilbert to convey to staff any apprehensions he might have so that staff can address them. This matter will have to come back to Council for second reading and public hearing. Councilman Gilbert said he would be more comfortable with a date certain, advising Warren Henry if they did not pay by a certain date, they would be in default. He recommended ten days and after than tenth day, Warren Henry is in default. Attorney Dickens said it can certainly be written that way. She clarified that Councilman Gilbert was saying he did not want to give Warren Henry notification at all. Councilman Gilbert reiterated that he wanted the letter to go out with a time certain, and an actual date when that letter goes out. Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 6 Attorney Dickens said that is not a contractual issue, that is an issue for the Council to decide. Mayor Gibson for clarification purposes asked whether Councilman Gilbert wanted to direct staff, after discussion with the Council, to give a number of days certain that the letter will go out from staff. Councilman Gilbert said he was suggesting that the letter go out on the fifth day, giving Warren Henry five (5) days to correct the default, which essentially is ten (10) days. Manager Crew said if you give ten days, the letter cannot be sent out until after the tenth day. At the conclusion of this discussion, the Council had no objection to Councilman Gilbert's suggestion of receiving payment no later than the fifth day of the month, with a letter being sent after the fifth day advising they have five (5) days to correct the default. There being no further discussion on the item, the motion to approve on first reading passed and carried by a 5-1 vote. Councilman Bratton: Yes Councilman Campbell: Yes Councilman Gilbert: No Councilwoman Pritchett: Not present Vice Mayor Watson: Yes Councilman Williams: Yes Mayor Gibson: Yes Attorney Dickens stated this is a draft however the Council will receive a final document within a few days. Mayor Gibson asked the Council members that once they have received the final document and has questions or concerns to contact the City Attorney or City Manager with their concerns prior to the next meeting. (I) ORDINANCE(S) FOR SECOND READING/PUBLIC HEARING(S) ORDINANCE N0.2009-08-180 I-1) AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AMENDING THE CITY'S SIGN CODE AS ADOPTED BY ORDINANCE NO. 2008-04-140; PROVIDING FOR A DEFINITION AND REGULATIONS FOR NONCOMMERCIAL COPY; PROVIDING FOR ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; REPEALING ALL ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS IN CONFLICT; PROVIDING A SEVERABILITY Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 7 CLAUSE; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN CODE; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (1St Reading - February 25, 2009) (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Manager Crew explained the relevant issues involved with this amendment. This amendment clarifies the issue of noncommercial signage. Mayor Gibson opened the floor for this public hearing. After there were no interested parties to speak on this item, the public hearing closed. Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor and Councilman Williams to adopt this ordinance. Vice Mayor Watson asked for clarity with regard to the Signs with noncommercial copy, more specifically Section 3(B) states the signs may be changed to contain noncommercial copy as frequently as desired, provided that the sign conforms to the regulations of this Code; whereas, Section 4 (B) Monument Sign Design Standards states "Manual changeable copy shall not change more than once a day". Jay Marder, Development Services Director appeared before the City Council and explained the first section referred to by Vice Mayor Watson is for noncommercial signage that does not require a permit. The second section relates to a different type of signage such as monument signage, which requires a permit. At the conclusion of this discussion, the motion to adopt passed and carried by a 6-0 vote. Councilman Campbell: Yes Councilman Gilbert: Yes Councilwoman Pritchett: Not present Vice Mayor Watson: Yes Councilman Williams: Yes Councilman Bratton: Yes Mayor Gibson: Yes ORDINANCE N0.2009-09-181 I-2) AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AMENDING THE CITY'S PURCHASING ORDINANCE TO ADD SECTION 24 TO REGULATE THE AWARD OF DESIGN-BUILD CONTRACTS; PROVIDING FOR ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; REPEALING ALL ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS IN CONFLICT; PROVIDING A SEVERABILITY CLAUSE; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN CODE; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (lst Reading -February 25, 2009) (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 8 Manager Crew said this ordinance would set up a procedure for staff to use a Design Build provision under the State Statutes, in the event the City is awarded Stimulus money that have a frame that cannot be met through the normal process. Mayor Gibson opened the floor for this public hearing. After there were no interested parties to speak on this item, the public hearing was closed. Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Campbell to adopt this ordinance. At the conclusion of this discussion, the motion to adopt passed and carried by a 6-0 vote. Councilman Gilbert: Yes Councilwoman Pritchett: Not present Vice Mayor Watson: Yes Councilman Williams: Yes Councilman Bratton: Yes Councilman Campbell: Yes Mayor Gibson: Yes (J) CONSENT AGENDA RESOLUTION N0.2009-59-1004 J-2) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AWARDING A BID FOR THE MIAMI GARDENS DRIVE BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT TO TRAN CONSTRUCTION, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY- FOUR DOLLARS ($370,844.00) PLUS A TEN PERCENT (10%) CONTINGENCY; AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ISSUE PURCHASE ORDERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH BID SPECIFICATIONS FOR AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THE BID AMOUNT; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) RESOLUTION N0.2009-60-1005 J-3) 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 TWO-YEAR AGREEMENT WITH JEFF ELLIS MANAGEMENT, LLC FOR POOL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, A COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 9 HERETO AS EXHIBIT "A"; AUTHORIZING AN EXPENDITURE IN THE AMOUNT OF THREE HUNDRED NINE THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED FORTY-TWO DOLLARS AND THIRTY-EIGHT CENTS 0309,642.38); PROVIDING FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CITY CLERK PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) RESOLUTION N0.2009-61-1006 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 AGREEMENT WITH NORTH STAR DESTINATION STRATEGIES, INC., FOR THE PROVISION OF BRANDING SERVICES, A COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED HERETO AS EXHIBIT A; PROVIDING FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CITY CLERK PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) RESOLUTION N0.2009-62-1007 J-5) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO NEGOTIATE AND EXECUTE A NON- EXCLUSIVE CONTINUING CONTRACT WITH CALVIN, GIORDANO & ASSOCIATES, INC., FOR LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT CERTAIN RFQ #08-09-017; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) RESOLUTION N0.2009-63-1008 J-6) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO NEGOTIATE AND EXECUTE A NON- EXCLUSIVE CONTINUING CONTRACT WITH O'LEARY RICHARDS DESIGN ASSOCIATES, INC., FOR LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT CERTAIN RFQ #08-09-017; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) RESOLUTION N0.2009-64-1009 J-7) 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 Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 10 PRODUCE AND IMPLEMENT THE CITY'S INAUGURAL BID WHIST TOURNAMENT COMMENCING MARCH 2009; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY COUNCILMAN OLIVER G. GILBERT III) RESOLUTION N0.2009-65-1010 J-8) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AMENDING THE CITY'S FEE MANUAL IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXHIBITS "A" AND "B" ATTACHED HERETO; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY MAYOR SHIRLEY GIBSON) Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Councilman Bratton to adopt the Consent Agenda. This motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. (K) RESOLUTION(S) RESOLUTION N0.2009-66-1011 J-1) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, APPROVING AN "ADMINISTRATIVE FORECLOSURE PROGRAM" AS OUTLINED IN EXHIBIT A ATTACHED HERETO; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Councilman Gilbert asked how did staff come up with the date and the amount for the foreclosure. Attorney Dickens clarified that Councilman Gilbert was asking how did staff come up with the percentage reduction and the date. Daniel Rosemond, Acting Assistant Manager appeared before the City Council to respond to Councilman Gilbert's question. The percentage reduction was developed from discussion with several staff members. The intent of the reduction was to entice those individuals that were out of compliance, with outstanding liens. Ideally, the City would provide this one time opportunity for the property owner to bring the property into compliance, and a significant reduction on the outstanding lien. Councilman Gilbert asked how long would it take this process through the courts. Attorney Dickens said if there is no mediation process, generally it takes three to four months to start foreclosure to take through to the end. Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 11 Councilman Gilbert asked if any homestead or occupied properties would be foreclosed on. Attorney Dickens said the City would not be foreclosing on any homestead properties. However, the City could in some instances foreclose on occupied homes because those homes are not homestead properties. Mr. Rosemond said the intent was to not foreclose on occupied homestead properties. In some instances there would be occupied non-homestead properties. In those cases the renters would be displaced as a result of the foreclosure. Councilman Gilbert stated that he would have a problem with the City's process of putting someone on the street, even if it is an absent landlord. Councilman Williams stated if an owner is totally irresponsible with respect to maintain their property it is unfortunate a tenant might reside in that particular home. He opined it is the City's obligation to ensure properties are in compliance. Mr. Rosemond said the spirit of this resolution is to bring properties into compliance. The City wants to make sure that properties within the city are brought into compliance and maintained. Councilman Williams said if the City forecloses on certain properties, the City will incur significant costs for maintaining the properties and asked has the City accounted for that. Mr. Rosemond said staff has accounted for that. The resolution has identified six to eight properties that are definite eyesores. Staff is anticipating that some of the property can be rehabilitated, or in some cases the property is so blighted it needs to be demolished. In terms of the demolition, the funds will come from the Stabilization Program. In terms of the rehabilitation, it is anticipated the funds would come from some of the amnesty funds received. Staff will research and identify other funding sources to be used for this purpose as well. Councilman Williams stated that he is mindful of the cost that would be associated with this program. He asked that the Council be kept abreast of the cost associated with this program. Mr. Rosemond said this is why staff is recommending to go through the process with the six to eight properties to see exactly how the process would work and what it would entail. Some of the issues as to whether a property would be foreclosed would be determined by the condition of the property, and whether there are other mortgages or liens other than the City's attached to the property. Vice Mayor Watson asked how would this program address the commercial properties. Mr. Rosemond said the primary blighted issues exist in the residential areas. As it relates to the commercial properties, once the amnesty period has elapsed and those commercial Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 12 property owners have not taken advantage of this program staff will review to determine what the costs associated with rehabilitation or demolition would be. Staff will also determine if mortgages or other liens existing on the commercial properties. He said he did not have a specific funding source as it relates to the rehab of commercial properties. Vice Mayor Watson stated that she wanted to ensure that the commercial and non- commercial violators were treated equality. Attorney Dickens said under "Criteria for properties eligible" commercial can be included and made clearer. She said to the extent that Council wants to make clear that all properties are to be unoccupied needs to be amended as well. Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Bratton to amend the resolution to removed occupied properties. Councilman Campbell said he had a concern as well, and when he read the resolution he automatically focused on residential. He said the Council is attempting to make the City look better and it is his sense that the majority of the problems are in the residential areas. He said if rental properties are going to be eliminated, there is no need for this program. He stated that he would be opposed to any amendments. Councilman Gilbert said the City cannot target rental properties, it can target properties that have code violations, and not in code compliance. He expressed concern that the City might put individuals on the street. Mayor Gibson questioned whether the City would be liable if, it was known by the City that a particular property has safety issues, the City has liens on the property, and someone got hurt. Attorney Dickens said the City would not have a liability in that instance. That liability would flow only to the property owner. The City would not have liability by the mere fact it has a Code Enforcement process. Mayor Gibson opined that if the City is not going to enforce this, the City did not need to have the program, because it is not going to remedy anything. Manager Crew said most likely there will not be many properties with tenants. If there are tenants, it would not be unreasonable for the City to offer relocation funds. Councilman Gilbert said that Code Enforcement fines can be occurred for overgrown lots, stucco or a broken window. There are a significant number of things that you can incur Code Enforcement violations and over time can meet the base level, but has nothing to do with the actual livability of the house. The City cites people for having stucco on the home and not being painted. Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 13 Councilman Williams said he was certainly sensitive to displaying folks in their homes. However, from a policy perspective, this Council needs or should reflect on the big picture. Certainly the Council did not want do displace renters, but we also sit in judgment of applications for individuals wanting to build affordable housing. He opined, we cannot have it one way and then act another way. He said if we are going to do the right thing, let's do the right thing from a policy perspective. The amendment to remove the language occupied, passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to include the language non-homestead and commercial properties passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. Motion offered by Councilman Campbell, seconded by Councilman Bratton to adopt this item as amended. This motion passed and carried by a 4-2 vote. Vice Mayor Watson: No Councilman Williams: Yes Councilman Bratton: Yes Councilman Campbell: Yes Councilman Gilbert: No Councilwoman Pritchett: Not present Mayor Gibson: Yes Manager Crew asked if Council would like for staff to look into a relocation package for those tenants that might be misplaced. This information would be brought back to Council for consideration. Vice Mayor Watson said this would be a great incentive. (L) REPORTS OF CITY MANAGER/CITY ATTORNEY/CITY CLERK L-1) Schedule second City Council workshop - Charter Revision recommendations By a consensus of the City Council, the workshop was scheduled for Tuesday, March 31, 2009 beginning at 3:30 p.m. Manager Crew introduced the new Capital Projects Director, Brandon DeCarlo, who will be responsible of making sure the projects are done on time and under budget as much as possible. Manager Crew shared that he was notified this afternoon that the City would be receiving 4.5 Million Dollars in Stimulus Funds, under at least four different programs. These are entitlement programs the City did not have to apply for. This will allow the City to do things for its residents it would not have normally been able to do. Councilman Williams asked whether there were restrictions associated with these funds. Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 14 Manager Crew explained the City received approximately $2.5 million for transportation; another $600,000 for transit related issues; $800,000 under the Byrne Program; $560,000 for Homeless Prevention Program. In addition the City will probably be in line to receive additional CDBG Funds as well as additional Stabilization Funds. Councilman Williams asked whether the Homeless Prevention funds could be used for the relocation assistance. Manager Crew in response to Councilman Williams question said he was not sure as this point because the City has not received any details as yet. Attorney Dickens referenced the Amnesty Program and shared that to be eligible a property would have to have $50,000 in liens, and in compliance. She said she did not know why there should be a limitation, if the property is in compliance. She explained individuals with less than that amount in liens and who are in compliance would not qualify for this program. She said if the Council is inclined to revisit this item, a motion to reconsider is in order. Motion offered by Councilman Williams, seconded by Mayor Gibson to reconsider Item, J-1. The motion to reconsider passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to remove the dollar amount to be eligible for the Amnesty Program. This motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to approve the amended item. This motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. (M) REPORTS OF MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEMBERS Vice Mayor Watson announced members of the City Council would be traveling to Washington, D.C. on this coming Friday, to lobby on behalf of the City. Councilman Gilbert thanked the Council for its support in sponsoring the Bid Whist Tournament event. He encouraged residents to come out and participate. Renee Farmer, Deputy City Manager appeared before the City Council to report on HB 1205, sponsored by State Representative Braynon, and SB 2210 sponsored by Senator Wilson. She recounted several months prior the City Attorney was directed to investigate whether other municipalities were interested in litigation against Miami-Dade County as it related to the CITT Tax. Staff met with the City Managers of Cutler Bay and Doral to see if they were interested in joining the City of Miami Gardens in litigation matters as well as supporting this legislation. Both municipalities wanted to move forward in notifying the Mayor of Miami-Dade County that we will be moving forward with this litigation. She outlined the essence of HB 1205 and SB 2210. To give an idea of how much money that would be owed to the City since its incorporation the amount would be approximately 16.5 Million dollars. Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 15 Mayor Gibson shared that she had spoken with Representative Braynon about this Bill as well as others in Tallahassee the reception has been overwhelming positive. She thanked Representative Braynon and Senator Wilson for their sponsorship. Councilman Campbell said that every resident in Miami Gardens is paying this tax and not getting any benefits from it. Mayor Gibson asked Council to wait until this Legislation is considered in Tallahassee before deciding whether to proceed with the litigation. Mayor Gibson stated that she has in her possession a letter from the American Red Cross, which talks about their efforts with relief for disaster victims. Through the National Outreach Center, services will be provided red cross training, CPR, first aide, and other courses to residents in Miami Gardens and the surrounding communities. The Red Cross is asking for a letter of support. She asked for a consensus from her colleagues to write this letter of support. Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to authorize Mayor Gibson to write a letter of support on behalf of the City for the Red Cross efforts in securing grant funding. This motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Councilman Williams to authorize Mayor Gibson to send a CITT letter to the Mayor of Miami-Dade County. This motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. Mayor Gibson reported on meetings she had in Washington, D.C. with the Dade Delegation. She said there are millions and millions of dollars coming down from the Stimulus Package to State, Counties and Cities. A lot of which is going to be entitlements to cities with certain populations. At this point, Miami Gardens falls into those categories of municipalities of over 100,000, in population. She said Washington has passed the Bill however; the logistics have not been worked out. The President is very clear, everyone has to be careful how they use these funds, and comply with all the regulations that will be attached to these funds. However those regulations have not been worked out. (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 9:30 p.m. Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 16 Attest: ,,! e . y _~~ - ~ ~ ,. # -~ ~ ~~ Ronetta Taylor, MMC, City Clerk Shi ey ibson, ayor Regular City Council Minutes March 11, 2009 Page 17