City Of Miami Commissionundecided About Megaplan Hearing
Written by Risa Polansky on April 17, 2008
By Risa Polansky
Though Miami commissioners are to reconsider their mega-plan of major public works projects next week, the public may not have an opportunity to speak on the issue.
When asked last week whether he planned to allow residents to weigh in during the April 24 revote, Commission Chairman Joe Sanchez answered "I’m undecided."
Voting to ratify the Dec. 13 decision to join with Miami-Dade County in the so-called global agreement will not require a public hearing, City Attorney Julie O. Bru said last week, though the chairman could chose to open one.
The agreement provides for projects such as a new Marlins stadium, Port of Miami tunnel and revamped Bicentennial Park, all backed directly and indirectly by Omni Community Redevelopment Agency funds.
Auto magnate Norman Braman, in an attempt to overturn the deal, contends in a lawsuit the city violated its own notice laws in approving the item in December.
Though Ms. Bru maintains the city’s decision is valid, commissioners are to vote to ratify their first decision to "moot" Mr. Braman’s point, she said.
City code requires that items up for commission consideration be circulated five days before a meeting.
The global agreement issue was listed as a discussion item on a supplement to the December meeting’s full agenda.
Mr. Braman has also blasted the city and Miami-Dade County for making the plan without public input.
Though commissioners did not specifically discuss the upcoming revote at a meeting last week, some made related comments during other conversations.
"Because we didn’t get the right information, we have to revote," said lone global agreement opponent Tomás Regalado, speculating there wouldn’t be a legal challenge "had this been transparent."
Michelle Spence-Jones, who voted in favor of the pact, said last week "when this item came up (in December), it was like they were throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, on this item."
She referenced the rushed nature of the original vote: "None of us really had the opportunity to explore the global agreement."