Miami Shores

Two Miami Shores council members question new mayor about role on charter school board

Miami Shores Doctors Charter Middle/Senior High School at 11301 NW Fifth Ave.
Miami Shores Doctors Charter Middle/Senior High School at 11301 NW Fifth Ave. Miami Herald File

Miami Shores Village Council discussed the future of its Doctors Charter School board on Monday. In the last few weeks seven DCS board members resigned their appointed posts after they opted out of renewing the school’s contract with its current executive director.

The main item

Council members Ivonne Ledesma and Jesse Walters led a discussion about residents’ concern that recently elected Mayor Alice Burch had simultaneously served as a voting member on two boards – the DCS board and village council. Burch claimed she resigned her school board post on April 24, about a week after she was elected, but did not answer questions about whether she participated in the vote to not renew the contract.

Village Attorney Richard Sarafan said that to his knowledge Burch did not appear in the board’s minutes as someone who voted, after her mayoral election.

“We all agree that having the best executive director for our charter school is a very important issue,” Burch said to the crowd of about 200 people on Monday night. “But really, that decision lies with that board, and not with this council.”

The school is located at 11301 NW Fifth Ave.

Other business

▪ Fence height: The council passed on first reading an ordinance to increase fence heights. If passed, the village would permit six-foot fences in the rear and the side and allow one foot of ornamentation on gates and light posts and the use of polyvinyl chloride fence material, among other changes.

▪ Resident budget workshop: Ledesma proposed to hold a resident budget workshop prior to the council’s workshop to get residents more involved on how their money is spent. Walters motioned to hold meeting at 6:30 p.m. on July 9 at the Miami Shores Community Center. The council approved his motion.

They said it

“I’m interested in a legal opinion from you, we’re paying you a lot of money. We’d like to know whether she violated the law or not.” — Councilman Jesse Walters to the village attorney on the DCS board issue of Mayor Burch possibly holding two appointed positions.

You said it

“Mayor Burch, the only thing I would ask is transparency and to follow the law. Doctors Charter School is our greatest asset.” — Paul Calli, Miami Shores resident and DCS middle school baseball coach.

The next council meeting

▪ When: 6:30 p.m. June 16

▪ Where: Village Hall, 10050 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores