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Written by on January 14, 2010

FYI

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   SURVEILLANCE: In his ongoing push for transparency in government, Miami-Dade Commissioner Javier Souto Monday asked county attorneys to help prepare legislation that would require that committees made up of commissioner-appointed designees be videotaped. "I want to know who’s there, who’s sitting in the audience, who did what," Mr. Souto said at the monthly Recreation, Culture and Tourism Committee meeting. He said he’s looking to perpetuate "government in the sunshine, government in the clear."

   TO BE CONTINUED: The saga over how to restructure Miami-Dade’s community councils continues, with another proposal apparently in the works. Commissioners in November were considering paring down by up to about half today’s 10 councils, essentially mini-commissions in unincorporated neighborhoods around the county that act as liaisons to the full commission, focusing largely on zoning and land-use decisions. Lawmakers at the time were also debating whether to reduce the number of elected council members in favor of appointments. After hearing from community council leaders at a committee meeting Tuesday, Commissioner José "Pepe" Diaz said to expect a "drastically different" proposal upcoming.

   HAPPY NEW YEAR: Greater Miami’s hotels had the best opening week of 2010 of major US destinations, sporting 87.9% occupancy for the week ending Jan. 2 — up 13.6% from the first week of 2009. Oahu and New York followed at 85.1% and 84%, respectively. Miami-Dade’s average daily room rate was second highest in the US at $217.90 for the week, trailing only New York’s $250.81.

   EXECUTIVE SEATS OPEN: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Executive Orientation kicks off this month with only a handful fewer participants than in years past. Twenty-five executives enrolled this year, said chamber spokesperson Lorraine Reigosa. The January-to-May program offers newly relocated or promoted executives a crash course on South Florida’s professional, civic and social climate. It has a capacity of 30 to 35. Although the program has officially begun, participants can still sign up. For chamber members, it costs $1,500 for an individual and $1,800 for two participants. Nonmembers pay $1,800 for an individual, $2,500 for two. Details: Ivette Canales at (305) 577-5458 or icanales@miamichamber.com

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