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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

MARCH 9, 2012

MORE OPPOSITION TO DEAL
GRACE SOLARES CUTS TO THE LEGAL ISSUES THE DEAL FOR THE STADIUM IS VIOLATING

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March 7, 2012

 


Mr. Chairman and Commissioners:

 

 I find myself again having to request that the City Administration and Commission comply with the City Charter and to be open and candid with regard to City business and projects.   In this instance the subject matter is the Marine Stadium/Virginia Key Master Plan Project.  More specifically, my comments relate to the Resolution and Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) that are on the Commission’s Agenda for March 8, 2012.

 

 I have reviewed the Resolution and revised MOU.  I have also gathered a number of other documents relating to this Project and to the proposed MOU among the City, MSEA and Friends of Miami Marine Stadium (“Friends”).  As I wrote in my email to you on January 25, 2012, it is obvious that an arrangement or deal has been made and that the City is again attempting to use MSEA to circumvent the City Charter.   The MOU is skillfully written to hide the obvious fact that the City is giving Friends authority and control over the development of the Stadium and surrounding land area.  MSEA has been added to the MOU simply as window dressing because somebody is under the erroneous belief that the insertion of the MSEA name solves all Charter problems.  MSEA presence in any MOU or Agreement relating to waterfront land does not cure or satisfy Charter requirements and in particular the requirements of Section 3(f)(iii).

 

 Section 29-B does provide an exemption from competitive bidding if there is a transfer of City land to implement a plan of a governmental agency or instrumentality.  The City’s waterfront land, however, is also governed by Section 3(f)(iii) which does not contain a similar exemption even if a governmental agency or instrumentality is involved.   


If anyone doubts the significance of Section 3(f)(iii) and the fact that it applies in addition to other Charter provisions applicable to a transfer of an interest in City land when City waterfront land is involved,  I invite you to read the Opinion of the Third District Court Appeal in the case entitled Homestead-Miami Speedway, LLC v. City of Miami, 828 So.2d 411 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2002).   It is also noteworthy that the facts involved in the Homestead-Miami Speedway case arose before the citizens voted and approved further restrictions and limitations in Section 3(f)(iii).  The present version applies to both a lease or a contract with a for-profit and a not-for-profit entity.

 

 The proposed MOU is a clear attempt to lay the ground work to ultimately lease all or part of the Miami Marine Stadium Project to Friends and/or its affiliates without complying with the Charter.  The proposed Interlocal Agreement referred to in my earlier email, demonstrates this point.    Reliance upon the Resolution and the MOU also follows the same modus operandi employed by the City when there is an unacknowledged plan that will not comply with the City’s Charter, i.e., Children’s Museum and others.

 

 As previously mentioned, the proposed Resolution and MOU attempt to the lay the ground work for implementing an undisclosed plan that will circumvent the following Charter requirements, to name a few:

 

  1. (1)evading procurement methods;


  1. (2)permitting leases and/or subleases for periods of in excess of five years which   is not allowed by 3(f)(iii);


  1. (3)permitting leases to include automatic renewals, which are not permissible under 3(f)(iii);


  1. (4)permitting leases that will not result in the return of fair value to the City based on two or more appraisals, which is required by 3(f)(iii);


A later Interlocal Agreement or lease that does not satisfy the requirements of Section 3(f)(iii) will result in a null and void agreement or lease because 3(f)(iii) also states:   “Any such lease or contract or proposed extension or modification of an existing such lease or contract which does not comply with EACH of the above conditions shall not be valid unless it has first been approved by a majority of the voters of the city.”   

 

 The heart of the issue boils down to the present failure to be open and candid about City business.  With regard to this failure, I also call your attention to the County’s Citizens’ Bill of Rights which is a part of the County Charter and which is applicable to the City of Miami.   Section (A). 2, Citizens Bill of Rights Miami-Dade County Charter, states:

 

   Truth in Government.  No County or municipal official or employee shall knowingly furnish false information on any public matter, nor knowingly omit significant facts when giving requested information to members of the public.

 

The County Charter, Section ( C) contains the remedy for a violation of the Truth in Government provision above:

 

   Remedies for Violation....  Any public official or employee who is found by the Court to have willfully violated this Article shall forthwith forfeit his office or employment.

 

 I suggest that the Administration and the Commission withdraw the pending Resolution and Memorandum of Understanding.  This matter should only be brought back when there is an intent to comply with the requirements of the Charter, or a decision is made to present the matter to the citizens for their approval by way of a referendum, which is also an alternative provided by the Charter.  If you prefer to vote on the matter, then I request that you vote NO to the Resolution and MOU.

 

Respectfully,

Grace Solares

I was forwarded a copy of the below letter written by long time activist and Co-Chair of Neighborhood United, Grace Solares last evening, that she sent to the members of the City Commission.


As she stated to the original list that she sent it to, its self explanatory.