Battle over expressways – MDX vs. GMX – back in courts – Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida 2021-11-03 00:24:32 –

Written by Gabriela Henriquez Stoikow November 3, 2021


Miami-Dade and Tallahassee fight in court to control five highways in the county after the Miami-Dade Highway Authority sued the state-founded Greater Miami Highway Authority (GMX) and its five members last week. I am. Last week, GMX met for the first time since April to promote public and private meetings in Fort Lauderdale today (November 4th).

The proceedings were filed by MDX in Gratigny Parkway (SR 924), Airport Expressway (SR 112), Dolphin Expressway (SR 836), Don Shula Expressway (SR 874) and Snapper Creek Expressway (SR 878).

The proceedings seek “declarative remedies under Chapter 86 of Florida Law to determine the legitimate owners of roads managed or owned by MDX and all rights associated with the roads.”

It also cites the 1957 Miami-Dade Home Rule Charter, which states that “the power of the state legislature on the issue of local government in Dade County has ceased to exist.” MDX lawyer Eugene Stearns told Miami Today that the charter “clearly” empowers the county government to create or abolish institutions, including those created by the state legislature.

Stearns told the newspaper that the First District Court of Appeals, scheduled for November 3, is seeking an order to dismiss the pending proceedings in 2019 for standing.

In 2019, Governor Rondesantis signed a law to dissolve MDX and replace it with GMX. However, the Leon County Circuit Court subsequently declared the law unconstitutional.

Nonetheless, the case escalated to the First District Court of Appeals, and MDX determined that there was no “position” to complain in its own name about the actions of Congress to abolish it, Stearns’ press conference said. Stated. However, the creation of GMX and the abolition of MDX remained pending.
In May, the county commissioner exercised autonomy and passed an ordinance to abolish GMX. “GMX is a’zombie agency’that has been abolished by the Miami-Dade County Commission through the proper exercise of county autonomy provided by the Florida Constitution,” Stearns said in a press conference.

GMX’s October 28 meeting, announced on October 27, lasted just 20 minutes without discussion. During that period, board members chose to chair, vice-chair, secretary and treasurer, and negotiated a contract with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) staff chief Torey Alston, contracting legal services to FDOT. And appointed a temporary managing director with permission. Initiate a national survey of executive directors using the department’s human resources.

“The Sunshine Act requires a meeting of two or more board members to discuss the business that takes place before the board. [to be] “In public,” said Virginia Hamrick, a staff lawyer at the First Amendment Foundation, which aims to protect and advance the constitutional right of the people to open the government, Miami Today. Told to. “If members of the board have a personal discussion about voting before the meeting, such private discussion violates sunshine law.”

The GMX meeting was held at FDOT’s Fourth District Headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County to avoid conflict with the May resolution of the Miami-Dade County Commission proclaiming the abolition of state agencies. Miami-Dade is located in District 6 of the division.

Hamrick told Miami Today in an email that the Sunshine Act requires all state agencies’ boards or committees to be notified and open to the public. “There’s nothing in the Sunshine Act that prohibits GMX boards from holding high-profile open meetings,” Hamrick wrote. But holding meetings outside the jurisdiction of the board is a problem, she said.

“Being open to the public means that we must be provided with a reasonable opportunity for the general public to attend,” Hamrick wrote. “It’s certainly a concern to hold a meeting in another county, as the general public may not have a reasonable opportunity to attend, but that doesn’t necessarily violate sunshine law.”

“They met in Fort Lauderdale, apparently because they admitted they couldn’t meet in Dade County, because they were involved in illegal activity,” Stearns told the newspaper.

At the GMX meeting, Marili Cancio, a lawyer practicing corporate, real estate and international law, was elected chair. Fatima Perez, a lobbyist at Koch Industries, has been appointed Vice-Chair. Investment banker Rodolfo Pages has been selected as a treasurer. And Richard Blanco, Chief Technology Officer of Internos Group, has joined as a new member.

Mr. Blanco was appointed by Governor Rondesantis on October 22nd. His appointment allowed GMX Quorum to function without four appointed by Miami-Dade County authorities.

Previously, the nine-seat GMX Board had three appointments from the Governor, two from the Miami-Dade County Commission, three from the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization, and Stacy L., Secretary of FDOT District 6. It consisted of a mirror.

However, state legislature bills increase the number of seats the state fills from three to four, and Miami-Dade County and TPO refuse to nominate members until the court decides on home rule, so the new board runs quorum. It is now possible. Constitutional issues.

“This reassignment of appointment authority is an escalation of a direct attack on Miami-Dade County’s Home Rule by the state aimed at creating GMX and abolishing the agency that operates exclusively in Miami-Dade County. “The lawsuit filed last week said. ..
Miami Today contacted the FDOT’s communications office both directly and by email, and spokesman Tish Burgher said the department was unable to answer the list of questions due to an ongoing proceeding.

Battle over expressways – MDX vs. GMX – back in courts Source link Battle over expressways – MDX vs. GMX – back in courts

Back to top button