News: Vote Miami Beach

A special election will be held in Miami Beach on four questions. An election guide is available to help explain the questions. Early voting begins October 27.

ESTABLISHING CITY CLERK AS A CHARTER OFFICER

Shall the Charter be amended to establish the City Clerk as a Charter Officer responsible for performing designated duties, whose compensation shall be established by ordinance, and whereby:

The Clerk shall be appointed and removed by, and accountable to, the City Commission instead of the City Manager; and

Power to supervise and control the Clerk’s office, and to appoint and remove unclassified personnel therein, shall be transferred from the City Manager to the City Clerk?

Under existing language in the City Charter, the City Clerk is appointed by the City Manager with the consent of the City Commission and may be removed by the City Manager without City Commission consent. This Ballot Question, if passed, would amend the City Charter to provide that the City Clerk would be appointed and removed by the City Commission, instead of by the City Manager. The City Charter would also be amended to provide that the City Commission would establish the City Clerk’s compensationinan Ordinance. In addition, the City Charter would be amended to create provisions that codify the following duties and authority of the City Clerk: to give notice of, attend, and keep minutes of, all City Commission meetings; to serve as the City of Miami Beach’s official records custodian; to maintain records of the City Commission and the City’s Boards and Committees; to perform all duties and functions relative to elections as required by State, County, and City laws; to supervise and control all of the unclassified personnel in the City Clerk’s Office; to maintain the seal of the City of Miami Beach and attest the signatures of the Mayor and City Manager; to account to the City Commission for the conduct and acts of the City Clerk’s office; and to perform such other duties as the City Commission may prescribe, which are not in conflict with the duties of the City Manager and as may be required of the City Clerk by City ordinance, resolution, or by the City Charter.

In addition to creating specific provisions in the City Charter relative to the City Clerk’s duties and authority, other Charter provisions concerning the powers of the City Commission and City Manager would be amended to be consistent with the new Charter provisions governing the City Clerk. These provisions would provide for the City Commission’s appointment of the City Clerk, and that the City Manager would no longer appoint and remove the City Clerk and the unclassified personnel in the City Clerk’s office.

VOTER APPROVAL REQUIRED TO REDUCE HISTORIC PRESERVATION BOARD POWERS AND DUTIES OR HISTORIC PRESERVATION STANDARDS

Shall Charter Section 1.06 be amended to require that any change to Chapter 118, Article II, Division 4 (“Historic Preservation Board”), or to Chapter 118, Article X, Divisions 1-4 (“Historic Preservation”), of the City Code, which reduces the powers and duties of the Board, or creates

less stringent historic preservation standards or regulations, shall, before becoming effective, be approved by a majority of voters in a Citywide election?

This Ballot Question, if passed, would require that any changes to the City Code that reduce the powers of the Historic Preservation Board, or that create less stringent historic preservation standards or regulations, must be approved by a majority of the voters in the City in a Citywide election before such changes would take effect.

The Historic Preservation Board is a City Board that is composed of seven members that are appointed by the City Commission as a whole. The seven members are comprised of design professionals such as architects, representatives of community historic preservation groups, and other persons with a demonstrated interest and knowledge in urban design and the preservation of historic buildings. The Board’s powers include the following: recommending the designation of historic buildings, sites, or districts to the Planning Board and City Commission; recommending guidelines for the evaluation of proposed development or alterations within historic sites or districts; the issuance or denial of certificates of appropriateness for the demolition of, or improvements to, historic buildings; recommending the restoration of a property when it has been altered in violation of the City Code; advising the City’s zoning Board of Adjustment of variances associated with historic sites, buildings, improvements, or landscape features within historic or National Register districts; facilitating the redevelopment of historic sites and districts by directing city departments to provide advisory and technical assistance to property owners and applicants for certificates of appropriateness; to make and prescribe by-laws for the administration and enforcement of Historic Preservation Board matters; awarding historic markers or plaques; updating the City’s historic properties database; advocating the City Administration to provide advice as to the stabilization of unsafe historic buildings or structures; to review all new construction, alterations, modifications, and improvements

to any historic building, structure, landscape feature, or site that is located in an historic district; to review all City Code amendments affecting historic preservation issues addressed in Chapter 118 of the City Code. This Ballot Question, if passed, would require that any reduction in the Board’s powers must receive voter approval before the reductions would be effective.

Historic preservation standards and regulations in the City Code that would be subject to the proposed Charter amendment, and which would require voter approval before any lessening or reduction to such standards could take effect, include: those relating to the procedures for Historic Preservation Board review of projects and the rehearing and appeal procedures for Board decisions; the requirements and review procedures for certificates

of appropriateness to Dig or for Demolitions; and the criteria and procedures for the designation of historic sites or districts.

CHANGE OF FILING PERIOD FOR QUALIFYING PETITIONS

Shall Charter Section 6.03 be amended to change the time that a candidate qualifying via petition for City elected office must file said petition, from no later than the second day of the four-day qualifying period, to no later than noon of the 14th day prior to the first day of such qualifying period?

Under existing language of City Charter section 6.03, persons seeking to qualify by Petition must file a Petition with the City Clerk no later than the second day of the City’s four-day qualifying period. The Petition will not be valid unless the County Elections Department has certified that the Petition contains the required signatures of 2% of registered Miami Beach voters.

This Ballot Question addresses the concern that persons seeking to qualify via the Petition method may be denied the opportunity to qualify due to the inability of the County Elections Department to complete its analysis of the Petition’s signatures by the end of the qualifying period. Specifically, because persons seeking to qualify (whether by paying the fee or via Petition) must do so by the end of the City’s qualifying period, existing Charter language could result in a situation in which persons seeking to qualify by Petition have not received the County’s certification by the end of the qualifying period. This would leave such persons unaware of whether the requisite number of signatures have been obtained, effectively denying them the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding their chosen method of qualifying, and further denying them the ability to otherwise qualify by paying a fee in the event of an insufficient amount of Petition signatures.

The proposed amendment to Charter section 6.03 thus changes the filing deadline for Qualifying Petitions from the second day of the City’s qualifying period to noon of the 14th day prior to the first day of the City’s qualifying period. This amendment will allow

for a greater amount of time (i.e., 15 additional days) between the Petition’s filing deadline and the end of the City’s qualifying period. This change is expected to lessen the likelihood that the Elections Department will not have completed its certification of the Petition’s signatures by the deadline date for qualifying, and thus provide further opportunity for persons interested in running for elected office in the City of Miami Beach to timely qualify.

LIMITED WAIVER OF CITY QUALIFYING FEE

whether the requisite number of signatures have been obtained, effectively denying them the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding their chosen method of qualifying, and further denying them the ability to otherwise qualify by paying a fee in the event of an insufficient amount of Petition signatures.

The proposed amendment to Charter section 6.03 thus changes the filing deadline for Qualifying Petitions from the second day of the City’s qualifying period to noon of the 14th day prior to the first day of the City’s qualifying period. This amendment will allow

for a greater amount of time (i.e., 15 additional days) between the Petition’s filing deadline and the end of the City’s qualifying period. This change is expected to lessen the likelihood that the Elections Department will not have completed its certification of the Petition’s signatures by the deadline date for qualifying, and thus provide further opportunity for persons interested in running for elected office in the City of Miami Beach to timely qualify.

Shall Charter Section 6.03 be amended to provide that if County Elections Department hasn’t issued its certificate verifying the required number of valid signatures on a timely-filed qualifying petition by 5:00 p.m. on the second day of City’s qualifying period, City’s 71?2% qualifying fee shall be waived if the subject candidate otherwise qualifies pursuant to Charter Section 6.03?

Under the City Charter, if a person who has filed a Qualifying Petition has not received during the qualifying period the County’s certificate verifying that the Petition contains the requisite 2% of voter signatures, that person may not qualify via Petition. However, that person may otherwise qualify if he/she files, by the end of the qualifying period, the required qualification forms and pays the City’s qualifying fee equal to 7 1/2 % of the annual salary of the elected office sought.

This Ballot Question addresses the concern that requiring a potential candidate seeking to qualify by Petition to pay a fee in order to qualify, when he/she would not otherwise be required to pay said fee had the County, within the qualifying period, verified that the Petition contained the required amount of signatures, is inconsistent with a Miami Beach elector’s right to qualify by Petition in lieu

of paying a qualifying fee. A person who has complied with City laws governing qualifying by Petition and whose Petition, through no fault of his/her own, has not been completely reviewed for

signature verification by the County Elections Department during the qualifying period, should not be required to pay a qualifying fee in order to ensure that he/she has legally qualified for office.

This proposed Charter amendment will therefore provide that if the County Elections Department has not issued its certificate verifying the required number of valid signatures on a timely-filed qualifying Petition by 5:00 p.m. on the second day of the City’s qualifying

period, then the City’s 71?2% qualifying fee shall be waived if the subject candidate otherwise qualifies pursuant to Charter Section 6.03.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY ELECTIONS

Elections Website: 305.499.VOTE (8683)

MIAMI BEACH CITY CLERK’S OFFICE Website    305.673.7411

KEY VOTING DATES

October 27 – November 3, 2012 Early Voting Dates (7AM-7PM)

October 31, 2012, 5PM

Last day to submit Absentee Ballot Request

November 6, 2012

Election Day vote at your precinct and last day to submit Absentee Ballot by 7pm.

Miami Beach Early Voting locations

Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Drive

North Shore Branch Library, 7501 Collins Avenue

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