FYI Miami: September 27, 2018
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.
CRIME’S DECLINE: Reported crimes in unincorporated Miami-Dade County have plunged this year from the first eight months of last year, down 12.5% for violent crimes and 8.2% for non-violent crimes through Aug. 31, the Miami-Dade Police Department reported last week. The decline was almost across the board, though a rise in cases of fondling raised forcible sex offenses 2.9% (rape reports fell 3.9%). Homicides were down 7.1%, robberies were down 16.6%, aggravated assaults fell 13.4%, burglaries were down 17.9%, larcenies fell 6.9% and motor vehicle theft decreased 6.4%. The figures don’t include crimes reported in municipalities that have their own police forces.
RULES FOR SHIPWRECKS: The City of Miami is seeking new rules to deal with derelict ships and vessels. The city commission on Sept. 13 approved on a first reading an ordinance to establish a process for the Code Enforcement Board to remove, destroy and dispose of derelict vessels. The proposed legislation says a number of derelicts in, on and under the city’s public waterways and on the adjoining shoreline pose potential hazards to navigation and commercial and recreational use of waters as well as to the environment. State law grants the city authority to provide for the removal and disposition, including destruction, of derelict vessels. The purpose of the vote is to add a new article to code “to promote the public safety, health, and welfare of the residents of the City and the tourists and guests visiting or vacationing in the City by reducing or eliminating the threats posed by Derelict Vessels…” The proposal includes details regarding the Code Enforcement Board, a hearing setting forth purpose and findings, definitions, a procedure for removal or relocation, hearing date scheduling, and hearing procedures.
E-VOTING FOR FLORIDA?: A newly proposed constitutional amendment seeks to give voters the choice of casting ballots on the internet. An Orlando-based political committee called Florida For Change filed the proposal with the state Division of Elections, according to the division’s website. The earliest the proposal could go before voters is 2020. But Florida For Change would have to submit hundreds of thousands of petition signatures and get the ballot wording approved by the Florida Supreme Court. Groups that placed initiatives on this year’s ballot were required to submit 766,200 valid signatures. Florida For Change had not raised any money as of Sept. 7, a finance report shows.