Miami Beach voters will have the final say on two amendments to the city charter on Election Day.
The City Commission has proposed two changes to the city charter — the city’s highest governing document.
One amendment creates a requirement for the commission to hold a public discussion of fringe benefits provided to public employees withing six months before ratification of a collective bargaining agreement. At a public hearing before commissioners, the city manager would be required to deliver a written report with specifics on the current status of benefits like pension and health insurance for the city’s employees and officers.
Commissioner Deede Weithorn sponsored the change. She said in an interview Monday that the amendment would formalize a process that recent commissioners have informally followed to discuss the financial future of Miami Beach, which has a sizable unfunded pension liability.
“I think it’s very important we be very transparent and put all the costs — short- and long-term — on the table,” she said. “For me this amendment is about transparency and economic sustainability.”
The second change involves approval of long-term agreements with private companies for the management, operation and/or use of city property, including beaches. This ranges from property management to the running of concessions. Under the change, the city’s planning board would have to approve any such agreement for 10 years or longer by four out of seven votes and the City Commission by six out of seven votes.
Early voting starts on Oct. 20 and runs through Nov. 2. at the third-floor training room in Miami Beach City Hall, 1755 Meridian Ave., and in the program room of North Shore Branch Library, 7501 Collins Ave.
From Oct. 20 to Oct. 24, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. From Oct. 27 to Oct. 31, voters can go from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. On both weekends, precinct will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
According to a message sent out by the city Monday, free parking will be reserved for early voters at the southwest corner of the Convention Center parking lot, across from the 1755 Meridian Ave. building. Voters can enter at 18th Street and Meridian Avenue.
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Here are the charter amendment questions as they will appear on the ballot. Voters can vote “yes” or “no.”
▪ City Charter Article V:
City Commission's Pre-Collective Bargaining Analysis of Fringe Benefits
Shall Charter Article V governing "Budget and Finance" be amended to require that within the 6 months preceding the City Commission's ratification of Collective Bargaining Agreements with the respective labor unions, the Commission shall consider at public hearing a written report presented by City Manager or his designee/City Budget Director, detailing current status and related fiscal impact of fringe benefits, including pension and health insurance plans, provided by City to its officers and employees?
▪ City Charter Section 1.03: Management Agreements and Concession Agreements
Shall Charter Section 1.03 be amended to require approval by 4/7 vote of all members of Planning Board and 6/7 vote of City Commission prior to City entering into any Management or Concession Agreement with a private party for 10 years or longer (including option periods) for the management, operation and/or use of City property (including public beaches) or a City-owned facility, exempting there from City agreements with Federal, State or Local governmental entities?