MINUTES OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF MIAMI BEACH TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011 AT SHELBORNE HOTEL, 1801 COLLINS AVENUE
CALL TO ORDER
More than 30 officers and members of the board attended the regularly scheduled meeting,
called for 8:15 a.m. They highlighted the six most mentioned areas which need attention in the city of Miami Beach.
1. Fiscal responsibility by our city leaders.
2. City planning, strategic thinking and the Building department.
3. Ethics and Principles.
4. Competition from the city of Miami and business friendliness of our community.
5. Convention Center expansion and/or rebuilding.
6. Debt accumulation due to high cost of pensions and bloated city salaries.
Topics discussed under each category and appointed chairpersons were as follows:
Fiscal Responsibility by our city leaders
A. Pension plan
B. Salaries and wages.
C. Health and other benefit costs to the city.
D. Hidden taxes such as franchise fees, garbage fees and license fees.
E. Long-term business planning.
F. Non-business attitudes and city competition with the private sector.
G. Use of fines and fees to subsidize the budget and pension programs.
Subcommittee chairpersons are Gabriel Redfern, Nathan Heber and Gerald Schwartz
City Planning and Building Departments with Strategic Planning
A. Selective pricing of permits.
B. Specialty weekends that are too special.
C. City main entry ways such as I-195 and I-395 being blocked.
D. City streets looking like obstacle courses for years on end.
E. Flooding of streets all over so that the city appears to be drowning.
F. Parking issues and valet issues.
Subcommittee chairpersons are Avi Ciment, and Caterina Cicerone
Ethics and Principles
A. Selective code enforcement.
B. Citizen Harassment.
C. Inappropriate charges against property owners and lack of their ability to speak out.
D. Lack of proper attitude by city employees and improper supervision.
E. Having a mission statement which is not adhered to by the city.
Subcommittee chairpersons are Rick Kendall, Brian Lieberman and Marilyn Freindlich
Miami competition and business friendliness
A. Need for economic development
B. Need for building department overhaul.
C. Proactive stance by planning department.
D. Economic engine, i.e. the hotel industry.
F. Involvement with the Business Council and other organizations
G. Need for common decency, fairness and respect.
H. Need for our mayor to be a salesperson for the city.
Subcommittee chairpersons are Lyle Stern, Danny Hertzberg and Rick Kendel
Convention Center expansion and/or rebuilding
A. Define what is needed and how to deal with competition
B. Determine impacts on existing economic engine, i.e. the hotel and tourism industry
C. Long-term goals.
D. Year-round marketing.
Subcommittee chairpersons are Keith Menin, David Kelsey, Stuart Weintraub and Harold Rosen.
Debt accumulation due to pension issues and bloated city salaries
A. Bonds committed on unrealistic increases in property taxes, particularly because we are doing nothing to stimulate that base.
B. Unfair debt burden given to the next generation.
Subcommittee chairpersons are Gabriel Redfern, Gerald Schwartz, Andrew Mirmelli and Norman Ciment.
Motion was made by Rick Kendel and seconded by Felice Schwartz that the first position taken by the Miami Beach Taxpayers Association be as follows:
Miami Beach Taxpayers endorse allowing the bicycle company which leases bicycles in South Beach fpr hourly use be authorized to provide advertising on said distribution center or racks with the provision that the bricks and mortar guys who own the stores adjacent to these bicycle racks have the same rights to use their store fronts when they are not leased to put signs in those stores.
Each of the subcommittee members were asked to put together position statements for what their committees are involved with and to report back to the board of director for a board meeting to be held Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 8:15 a.m. at the Shelborne Hotel, so that the board may modify or adopt those statements.
It is our goal to publish these position statements prior to the next general meeting which will be held Wednesday, September 7, at 8:30 a.m. at the Shelborne Hotel.
A special meeting will be held Wednesday, September 21, at a time to be determined for debates among all qualified mayoral and city commission candidates who are opposed. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce and Tuesday Breakfast Club will be polled so as not to conflict with debates sponsored by those organizations.
Gerald Schwartz, Secretary