Welcome to the Mayor and Council Office - State of the City Address 2015

  • Part I - North Miami Public Library - Information Technology - City Clerk - Personnel Administration
  • Part II - Community Planning and Development (CP&D)
  • Part III - Parks & Recreation - Code Compliance Unit - Police Department - Police Athletic League (PAL)
  • Part IV - Public Works - Budget - The Office of the City Attorney (CAO)
  • Summary
Part I
North Miami Public Library - Information Technology - City Clerk - Personnel Administration

North Miami Public Library

  • $1.5 million project, it is now a modern and open library with the latest Technology, new contemporary furniture, multiple meeting rooms, spacious reading areas, appealing collection of reading material, anda coffee shop that will open soon. Grand re-opening Thurs 11/5/15

Museum of Contemporary Art-One of thejewels of North Miami

  • MOCA launched multiple programs and continued with the The Creative Arts Summer Camp.

  • NOMI on My Mind is a new dialogue program featuring guest speakers in conversation with Executive Director, BabacarM’Bow.

  • A new Board of Trustees was appointed in August to provide support and leadership from the private sector to ensure that MOCA meets its mission to the community.

  • The City Council approved and committed 1 million dollars of funding to expand the museum’s programs and community outreach efforts.

  • I represented the city on the Move at an Art and Cultural Festival in Bogota Columbia meeting key players in the art world. North Miami is poised to become the modern city that we aspire to be.

Information Technology

  • The IT dept. upgraded the entire infrastructure at City Hall including NoMi-TV Channel 77 replaced outdated laptops for the Police department and added a Cisco phone system.

City Clerk

  • Attorney Michael Etienne, serves as the official record keeper of official City documents has made documents accessible on-line on the City’s website. 2585 businesses can do their BTR renewals online.

  • Earned a perfect score on the most recent Acceptance Facility Oversight Program Inspection on December 11, 2014. Out of 34 municipalities and a total of 29 acceptance facilities in Miami Dade County, the city of North Miami was one of the three facilities recognized.

  • Earned a perfect score for internal control and compliance in acceptance and execution of passport applications.

Personnel Administration

  • The City cares about its employees. We recently announced in our recent session the following: 1) a 2% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA, the first in 5 years); 2) An additional 5% Merit pay based of employee evaluation by their respective department director; 3) Elimination of Furlough Days in our government.

Part II
Community Planning and Development (CP&D)

Community Planning and Development (CP&D)

  • During my tenure, City successful installed a 1.5 mile Bridge Path & 2 new Pedestrian Bridges in Arch Creek funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

  • A few months ago we allocated funds and adopted some resolutions for Capital Improvement Projects, included but not limited to Street repairs, Streetscape Projects, and Single Family Beautification Programs, which included guidelines for Districts 3 by Councilman Bien-Aime, District 4 by Councilman Desulme and the Citywide Programs I initiated. These programs provided close to $2 Million dollars in funding to assist 50 eligible homeowners, to make necessary repairs of their homes enhancing property values and improving the City’s overall tax base. Property values in the “City On the Move” increased by 8.6% based on the report obtained from Miami-Dade County Appraiser’s Office.

  • Recently, the City completed and submitted our Consolidated Plan to the US Housing & Community Development Department in compliance with State Law. The Plan includes an assessment of the City’s Housing needs, an overview of the housing market and determining housing and community development priorities to address identified needs.

  • We successfully launched a New Initiative called Building Public Service by Strengthening Relationship. Since public service agencies are the backbone of North Miami’s social service fabric, CP&D staff started a new initiative to provide monthly visits to each Community Based Organization (CBO) grant recipient to engage each agency and strengthen partnerships between Community Based Organization providers and the City.

  • The City submitted its Comprehensive Wayfinding Signage Master Plan (Signage Master Plan) for the American Planning Association’s Gold Coast Award. The city was awarded the “Best Plan, Report or Study”.

  • The City submitted its Comprehensive Downtown Action and Concept Plan for the American Planning Association’s Planning Award for Urban Design. The jurors especially liked the linking of goals with implementation activities. The City was awarded first place in the “Best Practice” category.

  • NW 7th Avenue Façade Revitalization Grant Program – A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony happened Friday, March 27, 2015, where City Officials joined the Community Planning and Development Department and property owner, Gator Investments.

  • Green Business Rehabilitation Grant Program - CP&D rolled out the City’s first Green Business Enterprise Grant May 2015. The program is designed to assist current small businesses to “green” their operations by improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and in turn reduce energy cost. The Green Business Enterprise Grant program is funded by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and is available only to the city of North Miami businesses. Interested applicants are required to complete a formal application to determine eligibility and funding available on a first come first serve basis.

  • Awarded Residential Construction Mitigation Grant – CP&D competed for and was successfully awarded one hundred ninety-four thousand dollars ($194,000.00) from the State of Florida Hurricane Loss Mitigation Program. The Residential Mitigation Retrofit Program has promoted wind mitigation and provide hazard mitigation upgrades to residents. Funded activities include retrofits, inspections, and construction or modification of building components designed to increase a structure’s ability to withstand hurricane-force winds. The Retrofit Program utilizes the Florida Building Code as its standard for all retrofitting.

  • Launch Filming in North Miami Webpage - North Miami has always been a popular place for a location shoot in the South Florida region and was known as the Film Capital of the South! CP&D launched the new online portal to attract film scouts by showcasing resources such as places of interest to film, available funding, state incentives, a list of previous film productions issued in North Miami and the film permit application. As a result, the City has seen an increase in film production and request for film permits.

  • Street Tree Management Plan – CP&D projected and managed the preparation of a Street Tree Management Plan that identifies overall canopy coverage, planting site locations, and provides recommended tree species.

  • North Miami E-Green Newsletter – CP&D launched the City’s first monthly electronic newsletter that provides information and current happenings in the city in regards to sustainability and conservation.

  • E-Waste and Green Awareness Event – The department successfully organized and provided the City’s first e-waste and green awareness event. The event allowed the city to partner with over 10 vendors and attracted over 200 residents.

  • Historic Designation of Fountain – CP&D initiated and encouraged the historic designation of the fountain and prepared a resolution authorizing the designation of the 90-year-old Irons Manor Fountain located at the intersection of West Dixie Highway. The fountain stood for years as a strategic landmark and focal point. The resolution passed and was adopted by a 5-0 vote of the Mayor and City Council on January 27th, 2015. CP&D submitted the Irons Manor Fountain to the Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Board. For the next step of designation and funding through the County, CP&D aims to rehabilitate and restore the 90 Year Old Neoclassical Historic Fountain as a Historic Landmark, which enhances the historical, cultural and architectural significance for the City. Based on its historic context, and the application of three criteria for historic designation, the Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Board initiated designation procedures for the Iron Manor Fountain and currently placed the fountain under protected moratorium until final restoration guidelines are developed.

  • Mayor’s Quarterly Business Luncheon – 7-8 months ago I sat with the CP&D manager, Ms. Wilson-Sejour. I proposed an initiative that would engage venture capitalists, investors, visionaries and welcome them to discover what The City on the Move has to offer. The by-product of that is a Quarterly Business Luncheons enhancing the Stronger North Miami Business Initiative, which promotes and attracts small and large businesses.

  • During the past few months, I proposed a few resolutions about recruiting and inviting urban developers and investors from the private sector. To that end, we, the city council voted unanimously to adopt a Resolution sending the message to these folks that our city on the Move is Open for Businesses. We passed a Resolution stating that Businesses in the City on the Move can post and add on our Website for free.

  • I am in conversation with a large and well-known organization's CEO willing to come to our City on the Move to develop an initiative to identify and help Domestic Violence victims. Provide hot meals for children in afterschool programs and others in need, Chaplaincy services, etc. This organization has a statewide recognition for its work throughout Miami-Dade County and Broward County. As part of my Mayoral initiatives, I, with the efforts of staff, recruited 16 Junior and High school students and took them to the Port Miami Tunnel project.

  • Brownfield Designation & Tax Credit – CP&D is ecstatic to report that the State approved the City’s application for Brownfield tax credit for an amount totaling $13,996.27. The Mayor and Council approved a resolution in 2014 authorizing staff to proceed with designating the Rucks Park site as a Brownfield site. The intent is to create greater opportunities for the City to qualify for federal and state grants for onsite remediation as well as recouping tax credits from past expenditures. Those tax credits would eventually be used as a tool to incentivize future development within the City’s Downtown or other areas.

Part III
Parks & Recreation - Code Compliance Unit - Police Department - Police Athletic League (PAL)

Parks & Recreation

  • Allocated Funds for Thomas Sasso Pool – Renovation / Improvements to existing infrastructure of the pool (pool heating, pool resurface, deck resurface, front face of building, etc.).

  • After-school Cinema Program – The CINEMA After-school Program offer teens interested in the film industry an opportunity to be exposed to various career options specific to the film industry (ex. wardrobe stylist, set directors, script writing, lighting sound, etc.) during the school year at no cost. Teens are given hands on experience, homework assistance, snack and participation incentives (ex. community service hours, movie tickets, meal vouchers, etc.). Program participants compete with other teens in local community centers and/or schools for a chance to have their film selected by a panel of judges and shown at the independent film festival. Parks and Recreation offers several after school programs, sports, and tutoring.

  • 2015 U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Childhood Obesity Grant (partnership with the American Beverage Association) - February 2015 the city of North Miami received the 2015 USCM Childhood Obesity Award in the amount of $25,000 in support of the Let’s Move North Miami Initiative to help fight childhood obesity. Out of the six (6) cities awarded, North Miami placed second in the small city category.

  • The North Miami Parks & Recreation Department currently administers Let’s Move North Miami at three after-school sites providing services to approximately 120 kids aged 6 to 18. The program includes healthy snacks and 30 minutes of physical activity; funds received were utilized to increase healthy food choices, incorporate food demonstrations and nutrition education by local chefs and nutritionists, contract certified physical fitness instructors, and a curriculum on healthy lifestyle choices.

  • As of Saturday, September 19, 2015 the department launched a free family fitness event that occurs every first and third Saturday of the month until April 2016. This and other events offered by the department were created to promote increased physical activity, healthy eating and provide nutritional information throughout the community.

  • The City is recognized for obtaining five (5) gold medals and earning a #1 rank in the country for maintaining efforts in becoming a “Healthy Community for a Healthy Future” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National League of Cities. We are one of a few organizations to receive an invitation to the White House.

  • Parks & Recreation Department was selected to receive grant funding for Out-of-School Time Programming. Funding provided by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) in partnership with the Walmart Foundation to provide meals to underserved youth during the months school is out.

Code Compliance Unit

  • 25,864 inspections were performed by the Code Compliance Unit, resulting in opening 5,986 new cases.

  • False Alarm Calls to the Police Department were reduced by 6.81%, equating to 3,069 fewer calls for service for the Uniform Patrol Section. This program generated $73,780 in revenues to the City.

  • Abandoned Real Property Registration Program reduced the number of abandoned properties by 18.75% or 52 properties, enhancing the quality of life through various neighborhoods. This program generated $35,000 in revenues.

  • For the first time in North Miami history, court orders were obtained to demolish three abandoned unsafe structures. Additionally, a court order was obtained to remove excessive trash from an elderly resident’s property, resulting in the elderly resident receiving the necessary resources while increasing nearby property values.

Police Department

  • To date, Crime in the City of North Miami was reduced by 10.9%, the lowest levels in decades. The Police Department experienced a decrease in the number of citizen complaints and use of force reports.

  • The department engaged the community during Police Staff Bike Rides and Walk and Talks, in the business districts and residential neighborhoods, and participated in fun-filled events with the children at local camps in our “Cops and Kids” initiative.

  • Opened the long-anticipated North Miami Police Community Workstation, on the NW 7th Avenue corridor; serving as District 4's satellite office.

  • Recognized by the prestigious Law Enforcement Officers Foundation (LEOF), paying tribute to the City’s courageous and dedicated men and women.

  • Won first place in the 2014-2015 Florida Law Enforcement Liaison Challenge “Click It or Ticket” Award.

  • Got the COPS Hiring Prog ram Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to hire two additional police officers.

Police Athletic League of North Miami (PAL)

  • PAL of North Miami provided 6,500+ hours of community service opportunities to students this year. Over 50 Police Officers, from various agencies, volunteered and participated in PAL events, building bonds between the community and the North Miami Police Department.

  • The program has 304 youth participants (248 males and 56 females). The peer tutoring program serves 100+ participants each year at two locations, the North Miami PAL Center and North Miami Senior High.

  • Junior Police Cadets (40 middle and high school students) - open to teenagers interested in a possible law enforcement career while serving the community.

  • PAL Health and Wellness Programs include boxing, self-defense, basketball, and track & field.

  • PAL targets at-risk youth in the community to participate in PAL programs. Miami-Dade County has one of the highest juvenile arrest rates in Florida. Among PAL participants, there has been no arrest this past year. Additionally, 98% of PAL participants did not receive any school discipline after joining PAL.

With the help of our strong and motivated Police Department and our astute staff from the budget department, we discussed, gathered factual data from neighboring municipalities, analyzed data on pros and cons of our Traffic Light Camera Program. On June 23, 2015, we passed a resolution and October 1st, 2015 our City on the Move became free of Traffic Light Cameras.

Part IV
Public Works - Budget - The Office of the City Attorney (CAO)

Public Works

  • Public Works Stormwater Division completed several stormwater projects, including the newly installed drainage system along NE 124th Street between NE 8th Ave and NE 9th Ave.

  • Public Works installing traffic calming devices throughout the City to alleviate speeding problems. Three traffic circles were installed during FY 14-15. Miami-Dade approved a request to reduce speed limits from 30 MPH to 25 MPH in residential areas, in parts of the city.

  • Completed three force main projects totaling approximately $4.2 million funded by the State's Revolving Fund Loan Program. The projects consisted of 11,000+ linear feet of improvements to the City’s sanitary sewer system along NE 131 Street, NW 2nd Ave and Biscayne Blvd.

  • The City completed $700,000 of roadway resurfacing. New Bus Shelters are on the way. Approximately $500,000 was spent on sidewalk repairs and new installations in Districts 2 and 3.

  • The completion of right-of-way improvement projects in District 3 including swale regarding, installation of driveway approaches and landscaping totaling approximately $500,000.

  • The installation of the San Souci Alleyway Fence totaling approximately $200,000.

  • The allocation of GOB Grant funding for $1,750,000 for sanitary sewer main lining and lift station renovations.

  • The allocation of LP Grant funding of $250,000 for gravity sewer system improvements.

  • All Projects totaling over $10 Million.

Budget

  • The City’s 2016 total budget for all funds is $138,781,266 and of this total, the general fund accounts for about 2/5, the enterprise funds are 2/5, and the remaining special project funds account for about 1/5. Highlights from this year’s balanced budget include:

    - The removal of the red light camera program. (still balanced)
    - Continued funding to sustain the Museum of Contemporary Arts
    - Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers
       Association (GFOA), a distinction that less than 2% of local government agencies
       attain Annually
    - An 8.6% increase in property values

  • During my term in office, we witnessed a 15%+ increase in property values vs. the 2014 fiscal year. It is an encouraging indicator of how the local economy is advancing in North Miami.

  • As such, we are attracting a very interesting and sophisticated group of people in our city. As a result, the City is wisely reinvesting its resources in infrastructure. This includes more than $14 million dollars this fiscal year in capital projects that will rehabilitate sidewalks, streets, community centers, parks, housing, pools, and water-sewer utilities.

The Office of the City Attorney (CAO)

  • The City Attorney’s Office and its Code Enforcement Lien Collection

  • The City Attorney’s office collected $328,162.35 in the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Since the commencement of the lien collection initiative in 2010, the City collected a total of $2,088,180.47 in code enforcement liens. The program is ongoing and we hope to bring more revenues to the City.

  • Litigations- The City Attorney’s office closed eight (8) cases involving the City as a named Defendant at minimum expense.

  • Foreclosures- We initiated ten foreclosure actions authorized by the Mayor and the City Council. Also, we are handling approximately one hundred fifty (150) foreclosures actions filed by third parties, in which the City is a named Defendant. Legislation ItemsThe CAO drafted to date 172 Resolutions and 31 ordinances.

  • Interdepartmental Work Orders- The CAO received 1,352 work orders from various departments of the City requesting documents be reviewed, drafted, answered, and addressed for legal sufficiency. Some of the documents include Unity of Titles, Agreements, Public Record Requests, Forfeitures, Releases of Lien, RFPs, RFQs, IFBs, etc.

  • Board Meeting/Hearing-The office represents different City boards as their legal advisor (e.g., Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment, Code Enforcement, etc.). We also serve as the prosecutor on Ticket Appeal hearings.

Summary

Moving forward, several intertwining priorities to tackle this year:

Downtown Re-Development and SoleMia Growth - My vision and that of the City Council is to have a thriving downtown making headway this year as we paired downtown growth with the development of the Sole Mia Project.

Finally after several decades of stagnation, this plan will be put into action, which is another sign that this Council and Administration is moving the City forward. We Are On The Move, Folks!

Extend the Life of the CRA

The North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is a major financing mechanism the City will employ to advance development in our Downtown corridor. Our CRA has not produced anything since its creation ten years ago. It is scheduled to sunset next year. Many want to get rid of it.

However, we are resilient. We will work harder to restructure our CRA with a new and bold leadership for a better tomorrow. This year we will work diligently on negotiations with the county to renew the agency’s existence for decades to come.

Polish Complete Financial Outlook

Property values are increasing, and the city has a steady reserve fund.

The current strength of our financial outlook has us in a position to take advantage of low-interest bonds for major capital projects when the time is right.

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As the Mayor of the sixth largest city in Miami-Dade County, I am honored to serve when North Miami has positioned itself for change. Many visionaries, developers, designers are eyeing us for partnership. I dream of a North Miami that is fiscally strong, sustainable and resilient to withstand the unpredictable sea of challenges that may lie ahead.

North Miami is on the cusp of tremendous economic prosperity. With the support of a loyal community, diligent staff, and cooperating fellow council members on the dais, I am confident we will meet the challenges ahead and provide quality services and environment our “City on the Move” so deserves.

 

 

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