North Miami - NMB

Committee to revise and possibly rewrite North Miami Beach Charter

Charter committee members voted 5-2 Tuesday to preliminarily approve changing when elections would take place in North Miami Beach.

The measure would move the city’s Election Day from the first Tuesday in May to the first Tuesday in November.

Those in favor argued that it would save the city money and would bring out more voters.

At the request of the city council, the committee is currently revamping the entire North Miami Beach city charter, which hasn’t been reviewed since 1957. The seven members plan to meet once a month until June.

On Tuesday night, the committee discussed five possible amendments to the charter drafted and recommended by the city attorney. Possible changes included term limits, quorums and the process for appointing committees. Ultimately, only the recommendation for changing election day was passed.

“This is going to be something that future generations in North Miami Beach will live by,” said Committee Chairman Charles Asarnow. “I think simplicity is our goal. We have a very complicated charter.”

The item on changing the elections from May to November still needs to go to second reading by the committee. The committee’s recommendations will go to the city council when the new charter is finalized.

The council will then vote by the end of June to approve or dismiss the committee’s recommendations. If passed, it will go to voters in November 2016.

“Our job is to make things very simple, or as simple as things can be so that when this charter amendment goes to the voters, we find that the people in this community think we did the right thing,” Asarnow said.

Other provisions under review include whether elected officials will represent districts or remain citywide, whether meetings will happen once a month versus twice a month, and whether the city will retain runoff elections.

Monique O. Madan: 305-376-2108, @MoniqueOMadan