County Government

April Commission Digest

April 28, 2018

Several notable items were voted on at the April 10 meeting (view the full commission minutes here). The commission approved (10-1) an agreement between the county and FP&L for a water reuse facility that will process wastewater to be used for the cooling canals. This item has generated its fair share of controversy, with environmentalists and the Miami-Dade Budget Director weighing in.

After lengthy discussion (and a prior veto by the Mayor in February) the proposed Independent Community Panel, which would have replaced the defunct Independent Review Panel, was voted down (5-6). The IRP was created to provide civilian oversight of police after the McDuffie riots in the 1980s before being shuttered in 2009. The proposed Independent Community Panel would have provided an outlet for citizen complaints of police as well as other county employees.

A resolution calling for a report and analysis of the county’s current sexual harassment policy passed (11-0).

The Civil Courthouse saga continued this month as the commissioners considered again the unsolicited proposal from FECI (the firm behind Brightline), site locations, and more. Following voter rejection in 2014 of a bond to pay for the courthouse, the commission last year directed the mayor to begin pursuing public-private partnership proposals. The formal solicitation process (Request for Qualifications or RFQ) opened up this January and is separate from the unsolicited proposal that the FECI submitted (also) in January and they are being evaluated in their own tracks. This month commissioners heard impassioned public testimony from court personnel and the lawyers and judges that serve in there, where they reported abysmal, dangerous conditions harming their health. Ultimately the commission opted to neither reject or accept the proposal, voting to hold off on a decision until after May 2nd when the public RFQ process has closed. Regarding site selection, motions to choose one site over the other failed and the commissioners ended up voting to move forward with the two different potential sites included in the RFQ (read the item report here for more details).