FYI Miami: February 25, 2016
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RESTRICTED RED LIGHT CAMERAS: Commissioners unanimously adopted on first reading last week legislation that would repeal authority given to Miami-Dade or the mayor to implement or maintain a county-wide red light camera program. If adopted by the Metropolitan Services Committee on March 16 and ultimately passed by the commission, provisions will remain in place that direct the mayor to develop a policy for commission approval setting requirements for municipalities to get permits from the county allowing them to install traffic infraction detectors, including applicable fees. The detectors would be allowed on county roads within or adjacent to cities and on county traffic signal mast arms and other infrastructure.
REPORTING CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Miami-Dade commissioners unanimously approved last week on first reading legislation that would require elected officials to officially report to the Clerk of the Board any conflict of interest with a matter being considered at a meeting. The ordinance, proposed by Daniella Levine Cava, calls for a commissioner to announce the nature of the conflict before the matter is heard, excuse himself or herself from voting, and file a written disclosure of conflict with the clerk within 15 days. Currently, the Commission on Ethics advises commissioners to follow both the county and state rules for local elected officials around conflicts of interest. The ordinance is scheduled for discussion and a vote April 12 at the commission’s Strategic Planning and Government Operations Committee.
DRONE FLYING RESTRICTIONS: Based on new county legislation, Miami-Dade’s Aviation Department is requiring that all drones flying in the county be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Other stipulations are that anyone flying a drone must contact the airport or FAA control tower before flying within five miles of any airport; drones are prohibited within one mile of any Miami-Dade County airport unless authorized by the FAA; and unauthorized use of a drone in Miami-Dade will lead to a $500 civil penalty. “The recreational and business use of drones has been increasing rapidly,” said county Aviation Director Emilio T. González in a written statement. “We want to ensure that the public operates drones safely and responsibly, which means away from airports. A drone interfering with an aircraft in flight is dangerous at best, and the worst-case scenario would be catastrophic.”