All of you who want to be at the special county commission meeting tomorrow better get there early if you want a chance at real government reform. Like, before the first vote.
While commissioners, seemingly forced by the public will, have put a whopping 20 possible charter amendment proposals on the agenda -- including different versions of term limits, increased salaries, lobbyist controls (Ladra loves those) -- none of them will make the special election ballot unless the commission talks about them first. And they know this.
And yet, the first item on the agenda is a proposal to set May 3 election date to replace the recalled mayor and commissioner from district 13. That does not give them the required 60 days to put the charter amendments on the ballot. Those resolutions have a blank date. They could go on a ballot in June, and the speculation I guess is that with so many candidates for the mayor's seat, it will go to a runoff. But why take the chance? If not, voters have to wait til the presidential primary early next year before another countywide election (unless someone else is recalled).
Ladra believes commissioners will put at least some of the questions on the ballot this time (warning to the Dade Dozen: I will vote a big bold NO on salary increases if there is no lobbyist control on the same ballot!) because the recall campaign and its overwhelming success has created a climate in which they can't afford not to. Eight of them have sponsored at least one resolution that proposes some change. All of them have something to win here.In fact, it's odd that only two -- Chairman Joe Martinez and Commissioner Barbara Jordan -- sponsored a charter question on eliminating the strong mayor form of government and reverting to a commission with equal power. (Read them all at http://www.miamidade.gov/COB).
Ladra likes that one, too. In fact, let's take that one first. Okay, let's take any other one first. Because if he commissioners do not revers the order or table the first discussion until after the other items are considered, they are doing it intentionally. And that really is reason for recall.
The special meeting begins at 10 a.m. -- and is projected to go at least eight hours, likely more -- at county hall in downtown Miami. Bring coffee.