Miami Gardens / Opa-locka

Opa-locka

Opa-locka delays action on term limits

 

ldixon@MiamiHerald.com

After learning that residents were petitioning with a different plan, Opa-locka Mayor Myra Taylor delayed a resolution at last Wednesday’s commission meeting that would ask residents to vote on adding term limits for elected officials.

“After I sponsored it and I realized that people were signing the petition, I didn’t want to fight the people on this,” Taylor said.

Taylor first proposed the resolution, which would be an amendment to the city’s charter, at a meeting in February, and then held a town hall meeting in April to get feedback from residents on the proposal.

The resolution initially stated that no candidate could appear on the ballot for mayor or commissioner if they had served eight consecutive years. The new rule would go into effect for the November election. It also initially allowed for candidates to run for mayor if they were a city commissioner and vice versa without being restricted.

The most recent resolution added language that removes that flexibility. Now the petition and the city proposals say essentially the same thing in different words.

“I know what she said, but that’s not what we wanted,” said Johnnie Mae Greene, one of the residents who led the call for the petition. “She didn’t adhere to what we wanted and it’s a slap in the face to the citizens.”

The amendment has to be approved and submitted to the Miami-Dade County elections department by the beginning of June to appear on the ballot for the August elections.

The commission also made two decisions on trying to give support to the business owners and customers of Cairo Lane, the often flooded and worn street on the city’s west side, south of Northwest 135th Street.

Commissioners agreed to prioritize the repair of the road and the neighboring Port Said Road and Alexandria Drive when the city receives its portion of a state revolving loan from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Construction is scheduled to begin in that area, and other areas of the city in October.

In the interim, the commission also agreed to allow City Manager Kelvin Baker to bid for a construction company to apply a “band aid” for Cairo Lane by building a temporary road and installing gutters. The resolution also limits him to spending no more than $50,000 for the construction.

“The band-aid approach is getting the water to flow so it’s not flowing into businesses and not puddling up,” Baker said.

Business owners made multiple appeals at meetings for repairs to the road after claiming the city has allowed the damage to build up over the last two decades.

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