Agenda Digest: Commission Meeting (5/25/2021)

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
[email protected]

Personal Appearances

Time certain 10:30AM, will be The Honorable Demi Busatta Cabrera, State Representative for District 114.

Time certain 11:00AM, will be the City’s lobbying team to deliver the 2021 End of Session Report.

Consent Agenda

E-1: A Resolution of the City Commission ratifying the attached Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Coal Gables and the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 7, providing the City’s Police Officers a 1% Hazard Pay Supplement funded by the CARES Act.

E-2: A Resolution of the City Commission ratifying the attached Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Coral Gables and the International Association of Firefighters, Local 1210, providing the City’s Firefighters a 1% Hazard Pay Supplement funded by the CARES Act.

“On July 27, 2020, the County approved the disbursement of federal monies to municipalities within its
geographic region to provide what the County referred to as a one percent (1%) hazardous pay supplement
or the “1% Hazard Pay” to police officers in recognition of their tireless work during the pandemic despite
the health risk and exposure for work performed between March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020 (the
“2020 Relevant Period”). The City has eligible CARES Act funds that were allocated to pay the 1% Hazard Pay that it can now use to pay the 1% Hazard Pay for work performed from December 31, 2020 through September 30, 2021 or until those funds are depleted, whichever comes first. State law mandates that any adjustment to wages requires mutual agreement between the City and the Union.” The same applies to Firefighters.

E-3: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the approval of the License Agreement between the City of Coral Gables and Central Business Plaza-A, LLC, for a portion of the property located on the southeast corner of SW 71st Ave and 29th Road, Miami, FL (Folio No. 30-4014-035-0010) to be used as a temporary debris management site as needed during the 2021 Hurricane Season (June 1, 2021- November 30, 2021).

In preparation for Hurricane season, which begins on June 1st, the City is making an agreement to secure a facility for debris placement in case the necessity arises.

E-4: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing entering into a lease renewal with Plumer Management, LLC, for eleven (11) parking spaces on City property behind 5915 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables, FL, for a period of three (3) years (June 1, 2021-May 31, 2024).

The City has been in agreement with Plumer since 2001 for the use of parking spaces. “Tenant is interested in renewing the lease for a period of three (3) years from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2024, for the eleven (11) spaces. Rent shall increase to $110.00 per space which may be increased from time to time to the standard rate the City charges for those spaces available for individual permit within the general area of the Tenant’s spaces, provided that the rate may not increase more than five percent (5%) annually.”

Ordinances On Second Reading

F-1: An Ordinance of the City Commission of the City of Coral Gables authorizing entering into a Purchase and Sale Agreement for the sale of the City-owned surface parking lot (#31) at 350 Greco Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (Folio No. 03-4120-017-2240) to JRFQ Holdings, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company.

The parking lot sale on Greco Avenue is back for its second reading. This controversial item is the one where the City is selling the parking lot at 350 Greco Avenue to former Vice Mayor Frank C. Quesada and business partner, John H. Ruiz, who are also the employers of Commissioner Michael Mena. A vote of 4 of the 5 Commissioners approving the matter would instruct the City Manager to complete the sale of the lot.

Items F-2 and F-3 refer to extensions of provisions made for businesses to facilitate operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, extending such provisions until January 15, 2022.

Ordinances On First Reading

F-4: An Ordinance of the City of Coral Gables, Florida, amending the Pine Bay Estates Security Guard Special Taxing District, as created by Miami-Dade County pursuant to County Ordinance 93-66, to increase the available hours of roving patrol and provide maintenance and landscaping services to the district.

The City’s cover memo states as follows: “On January 26, 2021, the City of Coral Gables received a letter of intent from over 20% of the homeowners (the “Petitioners”) within the Pine Bay Estates Special Taxing District (“Pine Bay”) requesting a modification to Pine Bay to expand the services in the District to allow for additional security guard hours on an as need basis and maintenance of the entrance features and common areas located around the District. A was petition has been created and approved by the City Commission pursuant to Resolution 2021-63 on March 23, 2021. The Petitioners, in accordance with the Special Taxing District Amendment process as adopted by the City, have circulated the provided petition to all of the homeowners within Pine Bay and have acquired the signatures of 59 out of 77 homeowners (76.6%), which pursuant to the City’s Special Taxing District Amendment process allows for the requested amendment to be brought before the City Commission for approval and adoption.”

City Commission Items

G-1: Discussion regarding implementation strategy for Neighborhood Protection Zones. (Sponsored by Vice Mayor Mena)

G-2: Discussion regarding Mayor Lago’s Strategic Priorities Plan.

G-3: Discussion regarding House Bill 35 re. Legal Notices. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

This item relates to House Bill 35 of the Florida Legislature signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on May 11th. “Revising construction as to the satisfaction of publication requirements for legal notices; revising requirements for newspapers that are qualified to publish legal notices; authorizing the Internet publication of specified governmental agency notices on newspaper websites in lieu of print publication if certain requirements are met; requiring the Florida Press Association to seek to ensure equitable access for minority populations to legal notices posted on the statewide legal notice website; requiring the association to publish and maintain certain reports on the statewide legal notice website, etc.”

G-4: Update on the City’s Operational Audit. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

G-5: Update on projects submitted to Development Services. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)

G-6: Discussion regarding evening meetings for matters impacting residents to provide greater transparency and participation in meetings. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)

G-7: Staff update regarding city-wide project Dashboard of all commercial and mixed-use projects or proposed site plans that the Development Review Committee receives, showing a photograph and street address, with links to information on file regarding each project. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)

G-8: A Resolution of the City Commission supporting the designation of South Dixie Highway/U.S. Route 1/State Road 5, from the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line to State Road 9A/Interstate 95 Northbound as “Harriet Tubman Highway”/U.S. Route 1/State Road 5, including that portion of the roadway that lies within the city limits of Coral
Gables, from SW 57th Avenue to Booker Street. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)

This item, sponsored jointly by Mayor Lago and Commissioner Anderson, seeks to approve the approval of the Commission to rename US1 from Dixie Highway to Harriet Tubman Highway. “On February 19, 2020, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution No. R-168-20, designating the portions of Old Dixie Highway and West Dixie Highway that encompass Miami-Dade County roadways, urging the Florida Legislature to
rename the portions of the roadway that are state-controlled, and urging municipalities, including the City of Coral Gables, to join in the designation of the portions of U.S. Route 1 that fall within their boundaries. The portions of West Dixie Highway/State Road 909 and South Dixie Highway/U.S. Route l/State Road 5 that are state roads must be renamed by an act of the Florida Legislature. However, state roads can also receive an honorary designation by following the process set forth in Section 334.071, Florida Statutes. An honorary designation of a state road is contingent upon the appropriate city or county commission passing a resolution in support of the particular honorary designation. If a road is located in more than one city or county (as is the present case), resolutions supporting the designation must be passed by each affected local government prior to the erection of signage. As of January 14, 2021, nine out of ten of the municipalities affected by the County’s resolution passed resolutions in support of the Harriet Tubman designation, including Florida City, the Town of Cutler Bay, the City of Miami, the City of South Miami, the City of North Miami, the Village of Pinecrest, the City if North Miami Beach, the Village of Palmetto Bay, and the City of Homestead.”

Boards/Committees Items

H-1: A Resolution by the Cultural Development Board increasing the budget allocation for Fiscal Year 2022 Cultural Grant Funds. (Unanimously approved; 5 to 0). Update to follow in Budget

Memo from the Board: “One of the purposes of the Cultural Development Board is to promote cultural events and make recommendations to the City Commission on requests for funding of cultural and community organizations.
Conditions of this purpose include establishing guidelines and evaluation of cultural and community organization funding requests. Last year, due to the pandemic, Cultural Grant funds were frozen. Non-profit arts organizations
continued to offer Coral Gables residents arts programming through virtual platforms during this especially vulnerable and unprecedented time in our history. Through the arts, people were able to feel less isolated, connected to diverse communities and programming, and able to experience activities they could no longer engage with in person. The Cultural Development Board discussed arts organization’s loss of ticket sales and other income during this time, acknowledging how active and productive they have been despite these challenges. On April 6, 2021, the Cultural Development Board made the following motion recommending a 3% increase for FY2022 of $5,737 for a total of $196,965 for Cultural Grant funding as follows: A motion was made by Mr. Pantin recommending an increase of 3% for FY2022 Cultural Grant funding. Ms. Horwitz seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.”

H-2: A Resolution of the City Commission approving the nominations of board members submitted for consideration and adopting individual resolutions appointing said members to their respective boards, in accordance with Section 2-52 of the City Code.

Four former Commission candidates from the 2021 election are being appointed to City Boards. Here are the individual lists of appointments: Mayor Vince Lago, Vice Mayor Michael Mena, Commissioner Jorge L. Fors, Jr., Commissioner Rhonda Anderson, Commissioner Kirk Menendez and City Manager Peter Iglesias.

City Manager Items

I-1: IT Department presentation of Smart City initiatives and awards

I-2: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the granting of an encroachment in the public right-of-way abutting 2801 Salzedo Street.

This item relates to the old Public Safety building, which encroached into right-of-ways. It allows for the new owner to continue to use the building as is. “If the building is ever demolished, in part (50%) or in full, in the future, the encroachment will automatically terminate. The building owner shall be solely responsible, at its sole cost and expense, for the maintenance, repair, and improvement, of the building’s overhangs and stormwater drainage system.”

I-3: A Resolution of the City Commission amending Ordinance No. 2015-17, as amended, to revise various Local Business Taxes by the Finance Department and Parks Fees by the Community Recreation Department.

“BTR Fees: On October 1, 1995, the state legislature authorized municipalities to increase local business tax rates by
a maximum of 5% once every two years as provided for under Chapter 205.0535 of the Florida Statutes. Since the adoption of this legislation, the City of Coral Gables has increased local business tax rates every two years as authorized. The attached resolution increases each classification by 5% effective for the July 1, 2021 billing of the Fiscal Year 2022 Business Tax Receipts. The amended local business tax rates will adjust annual revenue approximately $167,500 and will assist in meeting the needs of the 2021-2022 Budget.”

“Parks Fees: The Parks Fee Schedule is based on a five-year fee plan. Due to the conditions of the pandemic, the
normal fee increase in the five-year plan was delayed. The new proposed fee plan will continue the fiveyear fee plan. In most cases, fees are increased 5% every other year. Exceptions to this are contractor programs that are dependent of costs of the program to set fees and destination locations that may see greater increases. This greater increase is due to increased demand or the value of the activity in accordance with the fee charged. In this proposal, the Granada Golf Course will have a greater percentage increase to coincide with the course condition and value of participation.”

I-4: A Resolution of the City Commission establishing the re-opening of City Hall and all City facilities, the return of the City to Regular Operations, and the return of traditional in-person meetings of the City Commission and all City Boards and Committees.

“On March 9, 2020, the Governor of the State of Florida issued Executive Order No. 20-52, declaring a state of emergency for the entire State of Florida and said order was issued in response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, on March 12, 2020, the Mayor of the City of Coral Gables declared a state of emergency for the City of Coral Gables, Florida (the “City”) as authorized by Section 252.38(3)(a), Florida Statutes, and Section 27-2(c)(6) of
the City Code. Since March 12, 2020, with the exception of some City Commission meetings, City Hall and other City facilities have been closed to the public, although all City operations have continued to function at the highest level. During this time, meetings of the City Commission, boards, and committees have been held in various formats – fully virtual and hybrid – in compliance with State Law, applicable Emergency Orders, and in accordance with Rules of Procedure adopted by the City Commission in Resolutions 2020-74, 2020-90, 2020-179, 2020-217, and 2020-218.
A large percentage of Miami-Dade County residents are vaccinated, vaccinations are now widely available, and the positivity rate in Miami-Dade County continues to trend downward. Consequently, government facilities, County-wide, are re-opening to the public. This resolution establishes the City Commission’s wish to re-open City Hall and all City facilities on June 14, 2021, return the City to regular operations, and resume traditional in-person meetings of the City
Commission and all City boards and committees. The City Manager will continue to have the authority to establish restrictions for City facilities or City programming, in the City’s proprietary capacity.”

Agenda and Zoom Link

Click here to see the full agenda.

If you wish to participate virtually over Zoom, you can join the meeting by clicking on the following link:


1 thought on “Agenda Digest: Commission Meeting (5/25/2021)

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