Friday, July 27, 2018

June 5, 2018 Mayor's Memorandum, Part 1

On June 5, 2018 County Attorney Abigail Price-Williams sent memorandum to the Board of County Commissioners regarding Incorporation of Northeast Miami-Dade. Given that the resolution to the Board appears more than half way through the document I don't really understand the order, but the first several dozen pages cover other important documents referenced in the resolution on incorporation:
  • Mayor's Memorandum
  • Northeast Dade MAC Adopted Pro-forma Budget (Exhibit 1)
  • Northeast Dade MAC Budget Review (Exhibit 2)
  • Northeast Dade Incorporate Report (Exhibit 3)
In this post I cover the first point. As usual go to the bottom of this post for the entire 71 page document.

SPOILER: If you read the end you find out the mayor didn't write this.
 Although unmentioned, it seems the Mayor did a lot of thinking prior to June 5 because their demands feature prominently in the text of the resolution, with unambiguous reference to this memorandum, which appears before all other documents. If you recall I concerned myself with the extent to which his demands were requirements of the Charter, and whether they represent a reasonable responsibility to the residents of the area under concern.

1. To determine the fairness of this requirement one would need to look both at what changed in 2000, and the terms of mitigation payments from all municipalities since 2000. I also wonder about who required all municipalities to pay so, since 2000, whether it was a resolution of the board, or something else.
2. I've mentioned issues here, both regarding the OUAD and Greynolds Park. The latter primarily because the residents remain unaware of the effects this jurisdictional control will have upon the city, and what responsibilities it will have for the portions of the park within its boundaries. The former, Ojus, concerns the community because of whatever decisions the county might make in contradiction to the interests of the adjacent community. It also seems like a chilling precedent to demand jurisdictional control within a municipality. One neighbor stated:
There are 14 such designated districts in the county...I was able to determine that only one district currently lies within the borders of a municipality.
This definitely deserves more research.

While I expect to cover the various budgets thrown around as part of the incorporation effort, it concerns me in all of them that the cost of Policing represents over half the proposed budget. While it may be an appropriate amount of money given what our community may need, I have to wonder how much an increase in spending that represents, and what exactly we get out of spending nearly $4.5M a year on policing.
Moving on..
Notice various things left out of the financial analysis by County staff:
  • Canal maintenance revenues and expenses
  • proprietary activities such as building, zoning, and solid waste
  • fire and library districts
Neighbors also have concern that the proposed budgets did not include mitigation fees. Therefore I warn myself that I will need to do some research and writing about the budget as that seems like the most important concern of all in the incorporation debate, specifically, "can the city run itself at current tax levels, or must it increase taxes to achieve its basic promise of service?"

Click on the picture to see a larger version
I find this background so useful that I wanted to feature it in my first post on the incorporation issue, but I didn't want to lose focus of the question at hand. I have plenty of time yet to document the minutiae of the incorporation process begun on April 8, 2003. At some point I may go further back still.
I will again note that the last point reiterates the PAB recommendation that the new municipality retain control of the Ojus Urban Area District. This particularly irks me because on the next page it says

Actually I can't find this notice previously.
Where? Where exactly was this previously noted because I can't find it anywhere!?

This paragraph kind of confuses me.
Anyone feel free and chime in to explain this one for me. It seems the proposed municipality will not be required to contract for specialized services with county police because the residents pay that directly to the county, and prior to 2008 municipalities were required to pay for these services separately? Who provides special services to the municipal government? Eh, still confused about this.

Here's the paragraph that got me aggravated just a minute ago. I understand the importance of the SMART Corridor to county mobility planning, but this paragraph does not establish the precedence for this demand. What's more, looking at recent activity of the BCC we have no indication they will do anything with this area any time soon. I wonder what logic the PAB had in recommending the new city retain that control. Perhaps they believed a city could help prepare the area for the county's vision better than the county currently does?

I love Greynolds Park and am glad the mayor pays at least some lip service to the reason why they plan to maintain control. It doesn't answer any of my concerns as to why any of the park will be within the boundaries of the new city at all, and what responsibilities that will bring to the new city.

These four pump stations have come up before. The only things I'd want to know regard who owns and manages them, and what control of or responsibilities to the new city would have for the stations.

The mayor's memorandum raises plenty more questions, but also provides directions of where to look for some  answers. Some of my next posts will cover the exhibits to the mayor's memorandum. 

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