Written by Miami Today on March 11, 2010
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TAPPED OUT: There will be no added Miami-Dade funding for the Miami Children’s Museum after commissioners late last year sent administrators on a hunt for extra cash. Bruno Barreiro, whose district includes the museum, hoped to dig up $750,000. But "there are simply no other funding resources available to provide additional support…" County Manager George Burgess wrote to museum board President Jeff Berkowitz earlier this year. "Our investment over the past 5 years of more than $7.5 million… is important recognition of the valuable work that you do," he wrote, encouraging the museum to continue pursuing grants from the county and other sources.
STILL WORKING: After in January promising a proposal for restructuring Miami-Dade’s community councils, Commissioner José "Pepe" Diaz is still working. A county committee was supposed to take up an item Tuesday but deferred it, with Mr. Diaz in Washington, DC. He could not be reached, but a spokesman said the commissioner is still meeting with those involved to come up with a good compromise. Commissioners in November were considering paring down by up to about half today’s 10 councils, essentially mini-commissions in unincorporated neighborhoods that link to the full commission, focusing largely on zoning and land use. Lawmakers at the time also debated reducing elected council members in favor of appointments.
AGENDA ARGUMENT: Miami-Dade commissioners are divided over whether to move the county’s agenda coordination function from the administration’s purview to the commission chairman’s. Sponsor Carlos Gimenez argued in committee Tuesday that "it is the county commission’s agenda. It should be managed by the county commission." Budget chief Jennifer Glazer-Moon countered that compiling meeting agendas is an administrative function. Both Katy Sorenson and Barbara Jordan said today’s system works fine, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s not that, Mr. Gimenez said. But if the administration wants an item on an agenda, it should work with the commission, "not the other way around," he said. The committee ended up deferring the proposal.
A NEW SHERIFF: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce has retained accounting firm Berkowitz Dick Pollack & Brant as its auditor. While the firm will offer an opinion on the fairness of its annual financial statements, Managing Director Richard Berkowitz said the chamber may also capitalize on the firm’s consultancy arm. It will be consulting "to the extent that there are accounting or tax issues that come up," he said. "I’m sure as their auditor they will request our assistance." He declined to say how much the chamber is paying for services.