North Miami - NMB

North Miami council to discuss delaying May election

The North Miami City Council will discuss and vote on multiple items at Tuesday night’s Council meeting, including a potential grant to bring a national radio program to the city’s library and potentially rescheduling the city’s May elections.

Councilwoman Carol Keys has sponsored an item to discuss moving the scheduled May election to November 2016 to coincide with next year’s county and statewide elections.

City Clerk Michael Etienne, whose position is also on the ballot as North Miami residents elect their city clerk, said under the potential change the current Council members would have about 14 to 18 more months on the job.

“If they’re going to change anything they can do it with a majority vote, but they can only change our election to coincide with the general election,” Etienne said.

Etienne doesn’t support delaying the election but said it’s ultimately up to the Council.

Keys said she would be fine with or without the change but wanted to give both the council and residents a chance to voice their opinions.

“I have talked to constituents, but I want the people to come out and talk about it,” Keys said.

She also thinks changing the election cycle will encourage more voter participation. In the May 2013 election and the June runoff, about 24 and 26 percent of the city’s registered voters participated. In the August 2014 election participation was still about 26 percent, but jumped to about 47 percent in the November run-off election.

“I’d like to see a large representation as opposed to about 20 percent,” Keys said.

Other items for consideration include:

▪ A vote to apply for a grant to bring the StoryCorps @ Your Library program to the North Miami public library. The $2,500 will bring the radio program to the city and pay for project expenses, promotional materials and training. The project is an effort to receive stories from North Miami residents of all ages sharing their experiences of seeing the city change and discussing its future.

▪ Allowing the city attorney to foreclose on seven properties across the city that have multiple code enforcement liens. The properties range from about $1,500 to more than $470,000 in unpaid liens.

The City Council meeting will take place 7 p.m. Tuesday at North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St.