FYI Miami: October 19, 2017
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
CONVENTION HOTEL VOTE: The Miami Beach City Commission will be asked Oct. 31 to vote on building a headquarters hotel for the Miami Beach Convention Center during a special agenda meeting. Originally scheduled for Sept. 13, Hurricane Irma caused the delay. City commissioners have said they will most likely approve the recommendation, allowing city voters to decide whether they want the hotel, which they have denied twice before at the ballot box. The recommendation was submitted by a seven-member panel who spent a year collecting data on what improvements need to be made to the hotel proposal to appease the public.
COUNTY RADIO: To reach more residents, Miami-Dade County is looking into acquiring a radio station. Legislation that commissioners passed this month directed the mayor’s office to explore “the best method of creating a county radio broadcasting service … and other non-traditional means of communicating with the public, such as podcasting.” Though no radio stations are available for purchase in the county right now, says Commissioner Javier Souto’s legislation, it proposed three options: leasing from an existing radio station, purchasing brokered time, or broadcast meetings through WLRN radio. The mayor’s office has 160 days to report back to commissioners.
SECURITY CHECK: Following the mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport this year, Mayor Carlos Giménez’s office is to analyze current staffing levels for police, security, and other first responders at Miami International Airport and PortMiami, says legislation passed by Miami-Dade County commissioners this month. Though the 2017-2018 fiscal year budget was already passed, if the mayor finds that more personnel are required there will be a mid-year or end-of-year budget amendment to add personnel. “Airports and seaports have considerable security demands that are constantly changing and they are of vital importance to our economy and infrastructure,” the legislation sponsored by Commissioner Rebeca Sosa says.
PARK PATROL: Miami-Dade commissioners Tuesday delayed for the second time legislation requiring residents to pay for a criminal background check to receive a special events permit to use county parks. Javier Souto urged fellow commissioners to vote yes, saying, “we don’t want to become a media story if we rent the parks to a criminal.” Daniella Levine Cava and Sally Heyman said that requiring organizations to pay for background checks might deter them from using county parks, reducing revenues generated and services provided through the parks that could benefit the community. Joe Martinez said the legislation was too broad and could prohibit residents with “minor misdemeanors” from volunteering at parks events.