West Kendall will again weigh the pros and cons of becoming a city.
By September, two municipal advisory committees, or MACs, will form to study issues of incorporation, including public interest and costs. Miami-Dade County commissioners approved the creation of the committees at a recent meeting.
Commissioner Juan C. Zapata, who grew up in West Kendall, sponsored the committees’ creation. He said he wanted to spur the conversation because he wants to let community members determine the future of the suburban area.
For his part, Zapata has long favored cityhood.
“I realize how these unincorporated areas are really neglected by the county and by the state,” he said.
Neighborhoods from Southwest Eighth Street south to Kendall Drive and from the Everglades east to the Florida Turnpike will be considered by one MAC. The other will look at areas from Kendall Drive south to Coral Reef Drive, also between the Turnpike and the Everglades.
Michael Rosenberg, president of the Kendall Federation of Homeowners Associations, said he plans to have Zapata speak at an upcoming meeting to educate residents on the costs and benefits.
“We’re definitely going to bring it to the forefront to talk about it,” he said. “It’s not the juiciest topic for people because they don’t quite understand it. The real question is: ‘Do you want to have your own city?’ ”
It’s a question that the MACs are tasked with answering and presenting in a report to the county commissioners sometime next year.
Javier Muñoz, a network engineer at Florida International University who ran against Zapata in last year’s primary, said he supports incorporation because it would bring government closer to taxpayers.
“I think if it’s done correctly, there are a lot of services that can be done more efficiently,” he said. “And more state funding is available to incorporated areas.”
Pockets of the Kendall area have considered incorporation through the years, but a city has never formed. Those opposing cityhood usually point to increased taxes as a major dissuading factor.
But Zapata, a freshman on the county board, said a steeper tax bill also would mean better, more localized services.
“You can choose to have more taxes, but these taxes will be spent in you neighborhood,” he said.
Residents interested in getting involved can contact Zapata’s office at 305-375-5511 or email@example.com.
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