Four County Commissioners Appoint Themselves To Charterreview Panel
Written by Wayne Tompkins on June 21, 2007
By Wayne Tompkins
Four Miami-Dade County commissioners, two former county attorneys and former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre will be among 21 members of the county’s Charter Review Task Force, which will meet this year to weigh sweeping changes that have been proposed to the county’s equivalent of a constitution.
The membership consists of one member appointed by each of the Miami-Dade commissioners, one by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and one by officials of each of the county’s four largest cities. The League of Cities will select three members to represent the smaller cities.
The charter dictates the structure, powers and functions of county government. The charter review will be the first since voters installed a strong-mayor government in January. Proposed changes, which could alter the balance of power between the commission and Mayor Alvarez, would be put before the voters.
According to the county clerk’s office, 13 of the 21 slots remained open after the June 15 deadline to submit nominees. Several commissioners and key government officials had been in Tallahassee for the special legislative session on property-tax reform.
Mayor Alvarez appointed Mr. Ferre; Commissioners Carlos Gimenez, Sally Heyman, Natacha Seijas and Audrey Edmonson appointed themselves; Commissioner Dennis Moss tapped retiring county attorney Murray Greenberg; and Commissioner Jose Diaz selected ex-county attorney Robert Ginsburg. Commissioner Rebeca Sosa picked Miami attorney Carlos Diaz-Padron.
The remaining positions should be filled by the county commission meeting Tuesday, according to commission chairman Bruno Barreiro’s office.
The task force is to consider such proposals as the direct election of the property appraiser, tax collector, sheriff and supervisor of elections.
Those offices are appointed positions, and only the mayor can remove office holders.
Once in place, members of the review committee will conduct meetings including public hearings and complete their work with a report to be submitted Oct. 31.