At Tuesday’s meeting, North Miami’s council approved assistance to a Haitian professional association and set plans for finding a new city manager.
The main item
North Miami officials went beyond the original agenda at Tuesday’s meeting approving a few items during their discussion period and their council reports.
The city voted to negotiate with Florida International University for the $30,000 cost of the National Association of Haitian Professionals’ conference at the Kovens Center. The event is set to take place Nov. 12-14.
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Newton Sanon, an event chair for the NAHP conference, previously requested a sponsorship of a table at the event for $30,000 during the city’s budget process but some council members wanted additional documentation and details on the organization. At Tuesday’s meeting he said those documents were provided, but the council said they hadn’t received them from staff.
Ultimately the City Council voted to try covering the event cost as opposed to give a direct donation. Vice Mayor Carol Keys and Councilman Scott Galvin voted against the item and said they were uncomfortable giving away the money after already approving this fiscal year’s budget.
“Thirty thousand dollars is an unheard of donation from the city of North Miami,” Galvin said. “You’re asking us to go into uncharted territory with sponsorship of an event at a large price level.”
The supportive council members suggested the money can come from the $100,000 the city intended to spend supporting the North Miami Adult Education Center. That donation was suspended following the arrest of the center’s president earlier this month.
“We have $100,000 for education and I think that’s a good source of education for professionals,” said Councilman Philippe Bien-Aime.
Some residents were critical of the item and the council for not allowing public comment.
“You guys just gave $30,000 which is almost what one person is making away and it wasn’t even an agenda item,” said resident Laura Hill, pointing out the average median income in the city of about $36,000.
The NAHP conference is advertised to feature keynote speeches from former Haiti prime ministers Laurent Lamothe and Garry Conille along with other ambassadors and political leaders.
City manager raise: The City Council voted to give interim city manager Arthur Sorey a raise to a salary of $175,000 and also authorized staff to advertise the position.
Those two motions and decisions were also made toward the end of the meeting without public comment. Sorey officially took over the job Oct. 19 following former manager Aleem Ghany’s resignation. He previously served as deputy city manager and budget director.
North Miami Public Library: Staff announced that the North Miami Public Library will reopen to the public following a renovation process that began last year.
The reopening event will take place at 6 p.m. Nov. 5 at the library, 835 NE 132nd St. The library has remained open on a limited basis since August 2014.
The next meeting
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 10
Where: North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St., North Miami