The Miami Springs council got away from a lot of city business at last Monday’s regular council meeting but they took an important step in trying to get Miami-Dade County to enact the will of the people when it comes to animal rights.
Last November, there was a countywide vote on the “Pets Trust Initiative” that would keep 20,000 animals a year from being killed by Animal Services. It passed overwhelmingly and as Pets’ Trust Founder Michael Rosenberg deadpanned at the meeting, “It got more votes than Obama in Miami-Dade County.”
The vote was supposed to result in a cost of about $15 per household each year, to ensure these daily killings would not continue and every healthy animal would be spayed or neutered. Viewing this as a tax and playing politics, eight of the 13 Miami-Dade County commissioners voted against implementation.
So, Rosenberg, who now heads a volunteer group of 1,500, has to “now fight for democracy” after winning the battle for animal rights. Miami Springs would be the fourth stop on his tour of every municipality to gain support for Pets’ Trust.
“You walked into one of the most pet-friendly communities in Miami-Dade County,” said Mayor Zavier Garcia. “Thank you for coming and I commend you greatly for doing this. This council will do the right thing.”
Miami Springs was being asked to pass a resolution, similar to the ones Homestead, Miami Beach, and Doral had already passed, “to implement the will of the people in the current budget session by establishing the funding mechanisms approved by a super majority of the voters.”
There was no doubt that this resolution, brought to the table by Councilman Jaime Petralanda, would get unanimous support from the mayor and council.
“What we are being asked to do is what our voters want,” Councilman George Lob said just before the 5-0 vote to adopt the “Doral” format in support of the Pets’ Trust Initiative.
In other news,
• Awarded a Certificate of Recognition to Max Dunevitz for his recent Eagle Scout project to beautify the Miami Springs Senior Center. He planned, coordinated and implemented the landscaping improvements for the benefit of the community.
• Reviewed the second-quarter budget status for 2013-14 and were assured that the city is within budgeted revenues and expenses in all departments. And the $190,000 projected increase in fund balances is still attainable if there are “no surprises.”
The golf course is reporting a year-to-date loss of $313,234 that is part of the budgeted $726,993 loss for the year, due mostly to increase in maintenance costs to improve the condition of the course.
Total revenues are up 8.4 percent over last year, membership revenues are up 53.8 percent, and driving range revenues are up 27.2 percent. The rounds played are down 11.6 percent from last year but the average per round ($32.16) is up 16.4 percent.
• Approved unanimously the purchase of a full-page ad in the Quality Cities Magazine to celebrate the Florida League of Cities Conference to be held Aug. 14-16, 2014.