At its meeting on Tuesday, July 14, the North Miami City Council determined the process for hiring a new city attorney, passed an item related to water treatment for the SoLe Mia project and approved the city’s plan for its share of the federal community development block grant program.
The main item
North Miami hopes to have a new city attorney by September and directed staff members Tuesday night to advertise the position and create a selection committee.
Councilman Scott Galvin proposed the idea and said the committee should contain seven members appointed by the council to narrow down the applicant pool. The committee will contain two appointments from Mayor Smith Joseph, one appointment from each of the four other council members and an at-large position appointed by the full council.
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“I thought by having a committee that would help the process narrow itself down,” Galvin said. “I imagine we’re going to have a lot of people who are interested.”
Dotie Joseph, president of the Haitian Lawyers Association, proposed a similar idea in an email to the council and asked them to consider including members of the HLA on the committee.
The council will appoint the committee at its Aug. 25 meeting. The position is open to both individual attorneys and law firms.
The position became vacant when the city council voted to terminate former attorney Regine Monestime’s contract at its June 23 council meeting. Deputy City Attorney Roland Galdos has filled the position on an interim basis since the beginning of the month.
▪ SoLe Mia groundwater treatment: The council approved an item to transfer groundwater remediation system equipment and assets to the Oleta Partners, the developer of the SoLe Mia project. The transfer places the responsibility on the developer to maintain and monitor the groundwater remediation system. The city will still continue to do engineering and quality control work on the site.
▪ CDBG plan: North Miami approved the five-year consolidated plan for the city’s allocation of the federal community development block grant and home investment partnership programs. The plan will primarily focus on home rehabilitation programs, supporting nonprofits and the youth opportunity board along with single-family home rehab. The combination of funding for the city from the CDBG and HOME programs is about $953,000.
Council members expressed frustration with receiving the voluminous plan the day of the meeting and over a lack of proper notice to residents so they could voice their opinions on how the funding should be prioritized.
“We may not like it, it might be flawed. But if we don’t, we’re going to lose $953,000 for our residents,” Vice Mayor Carol Keys said as she motioned to approve the item at the meeting.
▪ Car dealer lease: The council voted to allow a car dealership to use a city parking lot, along Northeast 18th Avenue from 144th to 146th streets, for vehicle storage while the dealership completes construction on a new building on Biscayne Boulevard.
The city entered into a lease with Group 1 Automotive at a minimum of 20 months, and the dealer can execute a month-by-month extension on that lease for a period of up to 48 months. The city will receive about $7,500 a month for leasing out the property, and the dealer will make permanent improvements on the lot, including adding security cameras, lighting and re-striping the parking area.
They said it
“I’ve got to find him and say that we have failed him and we’ve got another three weeks or two to wait.” — Councilman Alix Desulme, discussing a young boy who asked him about the “wet tot lot” at Thomas Sasso Pool, which was set to open this past week. City staff members said it should be open by the week of July 20.
The next meeting
▪ When: 7 p.m. Aug. 25.
▪ Where: North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St., North Miami.