FYI Miami: October 29, 2020
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QUARTER-BILLION BAILOUT OK’D: PortMiami is cleared to offer its cruise partners up to $285.5 million in waivers of fees and minimum passenger guarantee payments in exchange for the companies committing to continue guaranteeing vessel calls, maintaining passenger volumes here relative to other US ports and other “cruise line by cruise line basis” conditions. Miami-Dade commissioners unanimously approved the bailout Oct. 22 after Daniella Levine Cava released her hold on the authorizing item. She said PortMiami Director Juan Kuryla had explained to her why the relief to cruise companies is needed. The county estimates PortMiami revenue shortfalls at $68.5 million from March 13 to Nov. 29. The port covered those costs by cuts to several expenditures, including freezes on hiring, overtime and marketing. If no sailing occurs beyond that period, the port “could forgo approximately $7 million in monthly guaranteed revenues” for up to 31 more months, a memo from Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt said. “However, it is anticipated that cruise lines will resume sailing as soon as permitted,” Mr. Osterholt wrote, “and once cruise lines resume, cruise lines will be required to compensate the county based on their actual usage of the port.”
IN THE FLESH: Miami-Dade lawmakers must return to meeting in-person beginning on Halloween unless Gov. Ron DeSantis extends an order allowing them to meet virtually, according to new County Attorney Geri Bonzon Keenan. Asked by Vice Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa whether the county commission could continue to meet by Zoom in violation of the governor’s orders, Ms. Bonzon Keenan said no, noting that the executive order lapses Oct. 30. “All of your quorum requirements require in-person meetings, and … all action must be taken in conformance with the Sunshine Law,” she said, referencing state rules regarding public access to records and government meetings. That may complicate a “surprise” Ms. Sosa and Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson have planned for commissioners reaching term limits next month, Ms. Sosa said. Invitations for that event should reach recipients soon, added Ms. Edmonson, who is among those leaving office.
MANAGER SEARCH: Miami Beach commissioners are to address This week the selection of a consulting firm to aid in recruitment of a new city manager. On Oct. 14 commissioners directed staff to recommend for firms for the meeting, and a commission memo states that proposals were received from eight firms. City staff ranked Colin Baenziger & Associates and Ralph Andersen & Associates as its first and second choices, respectively. The Mercer Group and Slavin Management Consultant tied as third place recommendations.