Aside from voting for mayor and three commission seats, Miami Beach voters will decide whether to make the progressive city’s sense of fairness crystal clear, help improve the quality of public education, give special assistance to condo and co-op owners and make convention center expansion jump a higher hurdle. A nonbinding referendum would urge the federal government to decriminalize pot — let the voters decide.
Employment and benefits
This item would add to the city charter’s Citizens’ Bill of Rights language banning discrimination in the Beach’s employment and benefits based on an employee’s or applicant’s race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, marital status, familial status or age.
Can’t go wrong here. Vote YES (300).
This asks if the city should reach out and hold hands with Miami-Dade public schools to improve the quality of educational facilities on the Beach. Nice to see the city take an interest in its children’s future. Vote YES (302).
Help for condo, co-op owners
This one overreaches, wanting to enshrine in the charter the administration’s responsibility not only to help condo and co-op residents navigate the permitting process — which the city should — but also help them facilitate resolutions with other agencies and act as a liaison between unit owners, management firms and the city. Please, that’s what lawyers are for. Plus, it’s unfair to create a special class of property owners. Vote NO (305).
This would require a majority vote in a citywide election to repeal or weaken a right established in the city code for protected classes of residents. This is a check against future commissions undoing worthy civil-rights legislation without significant public input. The city already has similar provisions for ethics and historic-preservation initiatives on the books. Vote YES (306).
Convention Center vote
This misguided item would require that a supermajority of voters — 60 percent — must approve conveying city property within the convention center district for development. This is a game-changing proposal that could stall the overdue development of the convention center — and hotel, ballroom and retail complex — for who knows how long.
By law, voters will already have a say when a new and detailed proposal is presented. Imposing the requirement of a supermajority allows a minority of voters — 40 percent plus one — to derail the wishes of the majority. That doesn’t sit well in a democracy. Any convention center proposal should rise or fall on the merits. A simple majority of voters are savvy enough to decide. Vote NO (309).