Once the unincorporated area has shrunk to a fifth of its current size, the task force said the county should poll those residents to find out if they want to remain outside cities.
In general, the task force’s 21 recommendations would make it easier for residents to create new cities or grow existing ones. Members said the county should remove several barriers, including requiring certain payments to Miami-Dade from new cities, or granting a single commissioner the power to green-light or kill proposals.
And when new cities and annexations arise, they should have boundaries that make sense, to avoid leaving unincorporated enclaves, the task force said.
Earlier this year, commissioners created four municipal advisory committees — in addition to five already active — to study the price tag of incorporation in the county’s southern and western suburbs.
Disappointed with the task force, Jordan said last month that she plans to reach out to local universities to ask urban planners to weigh in on how the county should address future annexations and incorporations.
Zapata, who said he appointed himself to the 13-member task force because his commission district is made up entirely of unincorporated neighborhoods, called other commissioners’ criticisms of the task force “very unfair.”
His colleagues apparently expected the task force to draw boundaries for new or expanded cities, he contended, saying they seemed disappointed that task force members steered away from the controversial job of divvying up the county.
“That’s I don’t think up to this task force to address — who are the winners and losers in this process,” Zapata said.
Before signing off on their report, task force members took pains to highlight the time and thought they had dedicated to their recommendations.
They even considered removing Maroño’s and Pizzi’s names from the report, though the two suspended mayors participated during most of the deliberations and had been arrested only a month before the group’s work was done. Pizzi resigned from the task force, but Maroño didn’t. Both their names ultimately remained.
Dismayed task force members said they hoped their work, over months of public hearings and regular meetings, would get at least some commission attention.
“We’ve worked very, very hard,” member Rosa M. de la Camara said. “I don’t want this effort to fall by the wayside.”