FYI Miami: July 18, 2019
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.
HELICOPTER REPLACEMENTS: Miami-Dade County plans to spend more than $96 million in a complex transaction that would replace its fleet of four Fire Rescue helicopters. It would buy four new helicopters, sell off the present four, then lease them back until the new ones arrive. The present four are 16 to 19 years old and have reached the end of their useful life, yet they went on 983 air rescue calls in 2018, a memo from Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp says. The “administration acknowledges that the replacement of our Air Rescue fleet is long overdue,” his memo said. The county commission’s Health Care and County Operations Committee was to make a recommendation this week to the full county commission on the transaction, which was delayed for more than a year in an investigations of the original selection committee by the Commission on Ethics and the State Attorney’s Office for violations of the county’s lobbying and Cone of Silence ordinances. Those involved paid fines in a settlement, Mr. Kemp noted.
FIU TO TRAIN COUNTY LEADERS: Florida International University will provide leadership training for Miami-Dade’s government executives and mid-level managers for $350,000 the next year and $300,000 if the contract is renewed for the following year under an agreement that was to go before the county commission’s Health Care and County Operations Committee this week. The program would be part of the Chapmanville Leadership Development Program, whose executive director is Modesto Maidique, immediate past president of FIU. Aims are to “instill a culture of risk-taking, collaboration and innovation; provide practical tools for self-management, teamwork and communication; enhance dynamics among departments, commissioners and constituents; promote physically and mentally beneficial habits to encourage sustained effectiveness and maximize performance; strengthen an organizational vision; and identify improvements to the county’s Leadership Program.”
CITY OF BISCAYNE GARDENS?: Incorporation as a municipality of the Biscayne Gardens area is getting a push from county Commissioner Jean Monestime, who is asking a county committee to move the matter forward. He’s asking the Health Care and County Operations Committee to recommend that the county commission direct Mayor Carlos Giménez to schedule the area’s incorporation for consideration by the Planning Advisory Board. Then, the matter would come back to the county commission to schedule a vote of area residents asking them if they want to be a separate municipality. The issue dates to the early 2000s but was held up for eight years as county commissioners put a moratorium new incorporations.