Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

After 2 fires, Opa-locka commissioner wants emergency plan

The Opa-locka City Commission met at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 27.

The main item

Two fires have destroyed multiple Opa-locka homes and displaced a handful of families in the last four months. In the most recent incident, a candle fire wrecked one apartment and damaged six other units at 1355 Ali Baba Ave. Commissioner Joseph Kelley requested the city manager develop a citywide emergency plan to deal with nonhurricane related issues. The commission approved the resolution unanimously.

“We don’t have something in place for fires and these kinds of things. We need a coordinated effort,” Kelley said. “Hopefully it never comes up, but if it does we’ll be prepared.”

Other business

▪ Code Enforcement: Last month, the commission directed City Manager Kelvin Baker to conduct a study on outsourcing its code enforcement division. City staff concluded the study with a recommendation to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for code enforcement services. The City Commission rejected Baker’s resolution. “I believe code enforcement tries to do a good job,” Commissioner Luis Santiago said. “I don’t want to send them home.”

▪ Outside litigation fees: City Attorney Vincent Brown requested that Opa-locka pay his law firm an additional $5470 for cover the costs of an emergency injunction and several separate subpoenas in the bankruptcy case of their former waste management service, Ecological Paper Recycling. The commission voted 4-1 in favor of the resolution. Commissioner Joseph Kelley voted no. “I knew this was going to happen,” he said. “Now, we’re going to get invoices for all these things not covered separately.”

▪ Summer Youth Jobs Program: The commission committed to pay $15,000 to help support the city’s youth jobs program. Baker said that if Opa-locka doesn’t find a sponsor for the program, they city is “going to have to take a hit for it.”

▪ City Parks: The city discussed leasing its park and recreation facilities to not for profit organizations to provide teen, family and senior programming. Commissioner Terence Pinder deferred his resolution before a vote was called.

They said it

“Without vision people perish” — CommissionerJoseph Kelley about his resolution to create an “emergency aid force” to deal with emergency housing and disaster issues.

You said it

“You have a city where everyone complains, but nothing is being done” — Opa-locka resident Chris Roberts said during public comment.

The next meeting

▪ When: June 10

▪ Where: Sherbondy Village Auditorium, 215 Perviz Ave., Opa-locka