The Miami Lakes Charter Revision Commission is considering two changes that could impact future elections in the town.
These items include replacing the elected mayoral seat by making it a rotating position, and also replacing some of the at-large council seats with ones that reflect geographical locations.
No official changes to the town charter can be made without voter approval.
The first issue, regarding the rotating mayoral seat, was brought forth by Charter Revision Commission member Roberto Alonso Jr., son of the town’s late first vice mayor.
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“The way our city was envisioned, it was to have a community based council where the manager drove the day-to-day business and the mayor and the council would be the voice of the people,” Alonso said, following a meeting last month.
He notes that Miami Lakes isn’t a strong-mayor town, and that other areas, such as Broward County, don’t have an elected mayoral seat.
As it is currently proposed, the mayor will be selected by the majority vote of the council for a one year term, and with a term limit of two consecutive years.
“When you have a rotating chair you take the politics out of it,” Alonso said.
The commission is also considering bring back geographical residential seats to the council — an item that just a few years ago the town residents voted to do away with.
“Some commission members felt that it would be better to provide representation for areas of the town,” said Councilman Ceasar Mestre, who is also on the revision commission. “My personal opinion is that our town is so small that our council members represent the entire town.”
The commission plans to continue to review these items, along with the rest of the charter, on a weekly basis.
Once proposed changes are set, they will go before the residents of Miami Lakes to be voted upon.
Like most issues in Miami Lakes, these item comes with controversy and backlash. Some within the town — including Mayor Michael Pizzi — believe that the proposed items are politically motivated.
“It seems like they are trying to affect the upcoming election to help the incumbents,” Pizzi said. “Every citizen should have the right to run for every council seat, and the mayor should be selected by the people in a democratic election, not selected by seven politicians.”
Those on the commission reject that accusation, saying their actions are being done for residents’ benefit, and that no one has a personal agenda.
“It has nothing to do with personal stuff,” Alonso said. “It’s not my battle to fight.”
The next Charter Revision Commission meeting takes place 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at Town Hall, 6601 Main St.