FYI Miami: September 28, 2017
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HURRICANE PROBLEM SOLVING: After hearing four hours of testimony from the public during the first public budget hearing, Miami-Dade commissioners were flooded with recommendations from residents about Hurricane Irma preparation and recovery efforts. Chairman Esteban Bovo recommended the commission meet as soon as possible to debrief about the hurricane. “This is not a criticism [of the county’s response to the hurricane], we just have an opportunity to better prepare,” Mr. Bovo said. The commission is to meet today (9/28) at 1 p.m. at Government Center to discuss issues related to Hurricane Irma. A previous calendar event on the county website stated a public hearing would be held; it has been amended to properly reflect that there is no public hearing.
PROUD MAYOR: Though Chairman Esteban Bovo Jr. pleaded with commissioners not to raise hurricane comments during the first county budget hearing, Mayor Carlos Giménez addressed resident testimonies made during the public hearing. “Miami-Dade County and its partners delivered 350,000 meals, 171 tons of ice and nobody who ever called for food or ice was denied anywhere,” Mr. Giménez said. “I’m extremely proud of what our employees did before, during and after the hurricane and we have nothing to be ashamed of,” he said. After the crowd applauded the mayor’s statements, Mr. Bovo joked, “You all know better than to applaud – we don’t encourage happiness here,” drawing laughs from the room for the first time in the eight-hour meeting.
UBER DEADLINE: After commissioners kept requesting that the mayor’s office decide what to do about the $4 million and change that Uber owes from operating illegally within Miami-Dade for years, Mayor Carlos Giménez gave his office a 30-day deadline to give commissioners negotiation options. “We will bring back to the commission a few options and let you decide, no later than 30 days from today,” Mr. Giménez said last Tuesday (9/19). The mayor said the options will include a combination of services provided and a percentage of fines.
PORTS SECURITY PROBE: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez would be asked to analyze police and security staffing levels at Miami International Airport and PortMiami and to increase staffing as needed under a resolution that Commissioner Rebeca Sosa has had drafted. Her resolution notes that Broward County hired a consultant to make a similar study after the Jan. 6 mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that took five lives. The resolution asks the mayor to allocate for more staff in the upcoming budget or in a later budget amendment if necessary.