Miami Beach

Miami Beach

Miami Beach officials vote to streamline boards, committees

 

cveiga@MiamiHerald.com

Some city boards and committees were abolished and others were consolidated under a new policy approved by Miami Beach commissioners on Wednesday.

The aim is to cut back on staff time needed to attend meetings, get things done more efficiently — and maybe even discourage residents from sitting on boards just to get free city parking passes.

Under the new structure, 15 boards and committees will end. Some were inactive. Others were consolidated into existing boards and committees.

The new structure was proposed by Commissioner Joy Malakoff. She said the number of city board and committees had increased dramatically without review in at least 10 years.

“The time that the staff spends on these boards is sometimes is overwhelming,” Malakoff said.

Take, for example, the tennis, golf, youth center, and parks and recreation boards.

“All four of those committees are staffed by someone from the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Miami Beach,” Malakoff said. “That’s four meeting per month for someone from Parks and Recreation, plus the research that it takes to answer some of these questions from these boards.”

So now, members representing each interest group will join one Parks and Recreation board.

“That way, they all would meet in one meeting,” Malakoff explained. “All interests will be represented fairly and it will be in a much more efficient way.”

A sticky issue when eliminating boards and committees was that of parking passes. Appointees get decals that allow them to park throughout the city for free during their term. Commissioners said generally board members are very active and concerned citizens, but there are a few who are in it for the free parking.

“Everyone loves their parking passes,” Mayor Philip Levine said at a January commission meeting.

Commissioners decided to phase out over three months the boards and committees that will be abolished. Members will keep their parking passes through the end of the year.

Follow @Cveiga on Twitter.

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