Miami Beach

Ballot questions fail in Miami Beach

Miami Beach voters turned down two amendments that would have eased restrictions on architects who serve on city land-use boards and on paperwork required of lobbyists.
Miami Beach voters turned down two amendments that would have eased restrictions on architects who serve on city land-use boards and on paperwork required of lobbyists. TNS file

Miami Beach voters rejected two changes to the city’s lobbying laws during Tuesday’s election.

Voters were asked if architects and landscape architects who serve on city land-use boards should be allowed to appear before other boards of which they are not a member. Both types of architects often speak before land-use boards, like the Historic Preservation Board and Planning Board, to present building projects.

Commissioner Joy Malakoff has been pushing for such a change for two years because she’s had trouble finding architects to fill open board positions.

About 58 percent of voters said no.

Another change would have cut back on paperwork required of lobbyists in the city. Lobbyists have to submit an annual financial statement detailing compensation and expenditures even if they did not do work in the Beach that year. Those who fail to do so face daily fines and automatically get reported to the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust.

The ballot question asked if the requirement should be removed. On Tuesday, 56 percent of voters said no.

The Ethics Commission had formally endorsed the change because it would have freed up time for ethics investigators to deal with more important lobbying issues.

A third question, a nonbinding vote on whether the city should ban alcohol sales on Ocean Drive after 2 a.m., also appeared on the ballot but votes were not counted because after the ballot was printed, the City Commission agreed to pursue a more comprehensive alternative, a 10-point plan to revamp activities on the street.

Joey Flechas: 305-376-3602, @joeflech

  Comments