County sets strategy for getting bond issue on ballot
By Shannon Pettypiece
Miami-Dade County commissioners have set a game plan to determine what projects would be funded by a $1.6 billion bond issue.
Commissioners today (10/23) are expected to set a schedule for gathering public input and finalizing wording for a bond referendum they hope to place on the countywide ballot in November 2004.
Commissioners have decided that building new homes for Miami's art and science museums and trying to purchase the historic Freedom Tower will be included in the plan, but they want residents to tell them what else should be included in the proposal.
The county staff has drafted a grassroots approach that will involve a whirlwind of public meetings on the bond issue and its possible uses based on recommendations by the commissioners and Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas.
"It is important that the public be able to get in on the ground floor," said capital-improvement coordinator Roger Hernstadt.
Before the item is considered for the November ballot, the following is recommended to take place:
NTwenty-six town hall meetings, two in each commission district from November to February to help educate the public and find out what improvement projects residents want.
NMeetings with business leaders, community groups and municipalities between November and February.
NAfter the public meetings, a determination by county staff of what projects would be included in the bond referendum and delivery of proposed wording to county committees by May.
NIf committees approve the list of projects, a first reading of the bond issue proposal would be on the commission's June agenda. The proposal would be voted on in July and, if approved, placed on the November 2004 ballot.