Panel Blocks Sorenson Plan For County Charter Review
Written by Eric Kalis on April 12, 2007
By Eric Kalis
A committee of six Miami-Dade County commissioners Tuesday thwarted Commissioner Katy Sorenson’s plan to guarantee community organizations a role in reviewing the county charter.
Ms. Sorenson failed to secure a unanimous vote from the six-member Government Operations and Environment Committee for her proposal to change the structure of a charter review task force. A unanimous vote is required send a measure to the county commission without a recommendation.
"As commissioners, we are elected to represent the people," said Commissioner Audrey Edmonson. "We should leave it up to us to appoint people to represent ourselves. Seeing people that were not elected by the public representing us" could upset voters.
Under Ms. Sorenson’s plan, a 12-member task force would have been made up of representatives of the League of Cities, the Latin Chamber of Commerce, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters and the Human Services Coalition. Each of the county’s three law schools, the county’s legislative delegation, the chief judge of the 11th Circuit Court and the mayor also would have named a member to the panel.
"Having an outside perspective gives us a different look," Ms. Sorenson said. "It is an issue of what is right for the community, not just the commission."
Ms. Sorenson’s proposal was a stark contrast from her original model, which gave the mayor and each of the 13 county commissioners one task force appointment each. Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz’ plan is a replica of that.
"I am not going to sit on" Ms. Sorenson’s proposal, Mr. Diaz said. "I feel the process needs to take place. I think I put forth [the proposal] in a way that is best suited for the people."