Incorporation studies suspended for the summer

Two West Kendall Municipal Advisory Committees have failed to meet since June, including the re-named “West End South” Municipal Advisory Committee that lacks a necessary quorum to hold any future sessions.

Formerly designated as a “Section 3” MAC, the board had met twice early in 2015 without a seventh member before losing two of six appointees prior to a scheduled May 19 meeting.

That left the MAC without a necessary quorum of five or more seated members to continue monthly sessions.

Presentations by Miami-Dade’s parks, public works, planning and environmental agencies were scheduled for the May 19 meeting but were postponed after members Humberto Ortega and Herman Irizarry resigned due to business pressures.

Now with just four seated members, the West End South MAC has had to suspend the incorporation study south of SW 88th Street to SW 152nd Street, east of SW 137th Avenue, lacking at least one additional appointee to continue meetings on the third Tuesday of the month.

Commissioner Juan C. Zapata has continued to seek volunteers to serve the committee in his monthly “West End Newsletter,” distributed online to District 11 residents. MAC chair Ary Dawes and former West Kendall Community Council chair Patricia “Shannen” Davis had urged residents to attend meetings after the initial sessions attracted only a handful of attendees.

Coincidentally, the newly named “West End North” MAC also has been forced to temporarily drop a well-advanced budget study for the area north of Kendall Drive between SW 137th Avenue and Krome (SW 177th) Avenue.

While fully seated with seven members, both July and August sessions were canceled by Gigi Bolt, Miami-Dade Budget and Management spokesperson, who said premeeting canvasses showed that an advance poll of members determined a quorum was unable to be present at either meeting.

Currently, the “West End North” is “tentatively scheduled to meet” at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, with its location undetermined, according to Bolt. Previous meetings to develop potential budgeting for a city with an estimated population of 128,000 had been held at Zelda Glazer School, 15015 SW 24 St.

Both seven-member MACS originally were appointed by Zapata, a proponent of incorporation who has emphasized the studies are primarily designed to weigh the pros and cons of cityhood, listen to feedback from the community and eventually recommend action to the Miami- Dade Commission.

The new incorporation studies resulted after Zapata, who grew up in West Kendall, sponsored the creation of the two MACs (first known as Section 1 and Section 3) to study the two West Kendall areas when county commissioners lifted a five-year moratorium on incorporation and annexation in 2012.

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