FYI Miami: October 1, 2020
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.
BUSINESS NEEDS SURVEY: Companies in Miami-Dade can help a county task force to better determine which approaches best suit the business community’s requirements during the pandemic through an online survey. “Miami-Dade County’s economy has been hit hard by the pandemic with the biggest job losses coming in the leisure and hospitality, professional services, education and health services, and retail industries,” said an email from Commissioner Joe Martinez, who sponsored legislation to create the task force. “Your responses will help identify needs and target resources where they are needed most.” The roughly 10-minute survey, available in English, Spanish or Haitian Creole: https://bit.ly/2S0TF93.
TAKIN’ ON THE RITZ: New Yorker Michael Fox contend he was taken at the Ritz when 18% gratuities were added to his bills at three Ritz-Carlton restaurants in Key Biscayne. On Tuesday, a federal appeals court cleared the way for his class-action lawsuit alleging that restaurants at Ritz-Carlton hotels in Florida didn’t give proper notice before tacking on automatic tips. The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to lower courts to decide. Mr. Fox contended that one bill didn’t mention an automatic tip was being added, while two others said “suggested” 18% gratuities would be added, though the bills included the tip amounts. He sued on behalf of diners who paid gratuities at 49 Ritz-Carlton restaurants statewide over four years and alleged that the company violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act to the tune of more than $5 million.
SURFSIDE BALLOT QUESTIONS: Voters in Surfside will have more to consider than the US presidency and local elected offices Nov. 3. Three questions whose outcomes will affect the coastal municipality are to appear on the ballot. One will decide whether the town should underground powerlines and other utilities. Another will place restrictions on the sale or lease of town-owned property. The last would amend Surfside’s charter to require approval by both the town commission and resident voters before the administration can incur debt above 15% of the town’s average property tax revenue if the debt cannot be repaid within seven years. Surfside will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 to review the pending ballot questions on Zoom.
SIDEWALK ASSISTANCE UPCOMING: Miami Beach is on its way to get an “air traffic controller” for curbside deliveries. Last month, commissioners passed a resolution to get the ball rolling on the plan after they deferred it in July commission. The process, the resolution states, will allow City Manager Jimmy Morales to request proposals from possible providers.