A lingering and lengthy commission meeting on Dec. 16 resulted in the deferral of multiple ordinances, including one that could impact the sale of City Hall.
The main item
After a daunting display of deliberation, the City Commission deferred a resolution adopting a draft amendment to the city’s charter. The amendment would restrict the sale or lease of city property or the purchase of property by the city, subject to a referendum of the city’s electorate approving the amendment. The amendment was to be placed on the ballot at the primary election, scheduled for March 15. In order to appear on the March ballot, the item would have had to be approved by Dec. 22. The deferral denied that possibility. Commissioner Gabriel Edmond, who sponsored the resolution, and Vice Mayor Walter Harris were the dissenting votes on the motion to defer the item.
“Commissioner Edmond’s process is going to take too much time,” Commissioner Bob Welsh said from the dais. “Taking time of somebody that has enough money to buy this property is going to cost the city money. The longer it takes to sell it, the less money we’re going to get.”
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“I’m the guy up here. … I got six properties. I guess I’m the real-estate tycoon. When you want to get the most money, you may have to act quickly. This resolution doesn’t help the city act quickly to get the most for the property that it may want to sell. My resolution, requiring the city manager to inform, by mail, every registered voter, lets us act quickly. Remember, time is money.”
▪ Solar Power: The commission passed a resolution 4-1, authorizing City Manager Steven Alexander to execute a notice to proceed with the solar panel program, with Goldin Solar, LLC having provided the best prices for installation of solar panels for residents and businesses. Commissioner Josh Liebman dissented.
▪ Ludlam Trail: The city of South Miami will support the public land acquisition for the Ludlam Trail Corridor from Miller Road to Southwest 80th Street, and the commission authorized Alexander to negotiate with the landowner for the purchase and to discuss with stakeholders.
▪ Madison Square: A 3-2 vote meant a failing ordinance to adopt text amendments to the comprehensive plan’s future land use element. Vice Mayor Harris and Edmond were the dissenting votes on the ordinance, which required a unanimous vote on second reading. The ordinance called for a proposed increase in density, which would generate the number of units needed for tax credit applications to develop the Madison Square project.
They said it
“We will probably start having some meeting with some folks interested in the process … Including the company, county, city of Miami, city of South Miami. I don’t know if somebody from the state would be involved also. We would start looking at what valuations would be and how many entities are interested in being involved in acquisition and set up some kind of structure working on mutual issues. The resolution contemplates something like a trust or a board of some sort to make something more formal. That’s going to be needed for the governance of the trail going forward.” — City Manager Steven Alexander, about the Ludlam Trail
The next meeting
▪ When: 7 p.m. Jan. 5
▪ Where: City Hall, 6130 Sunset Dr., South Miami