Public meeting on issue of golf course, June 8

In an effort to resolve the Miccosukee Golf Course land trust issue in Kendale Lakes, the Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations has scheduled a special public meeting on June 8 with four county government officials scheduled to address the question: “Do You Want a Casino in Kendall?”

“We have invited the Indian Chiefs to speak with us in the past, and they have refused!” according to a flyer posted by KFHA president Michael Rosenberg and Miles Moss, KFHA liaison for the Kendale Lakes community.

Scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Civic Pavilion in the Village Center, 8625 SW 124 Ave., the KFHA has invited U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade District 11 Commissioner Juan C. Zapata and State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to attend.

Rundle, in an Apr. 21 letter to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, became the first county official to openly support denial of the tribe’s request, citing its unwillingness to cooperate in past policing investigations involving incidents on tribal land.

“Regrettably, the tribe has created an atmosphere in which state agencies have a reasonable and demonstrable concern about the tribe’s failure of cooperation in criminal investigations,” Rundle stated, referring to three incidents since 2003 in which the Miccosukee Police Department failed to cooperate with her office.

Her objection reflected a concern that policing of the Kendale Lakes property could lead to similar jurisdictional issues with the tribal police force, one of several legal objections raised by Assistant County Attorney Ileana Cruz in the county’s 32- page letter dated Mar. 20.

Residents of Kendale Lakes have sought to have the Bureau hold a public hearing to detail concerns for security and safety, as well as zoning, land use, drainage and the potential of a casino replacing the existing clubhouse. Public hearings for land trust applications are held only when a casino issue may occur, according to one Bureau official.

“We have initiated a request to the Bureau to see if the June 8 meeting might be formally recognized in the ongoing process,” Moss said.

The only published response to the Kendale Lakes issue was published in the Miami Herald in 2012 by Chief Billie Collie: “Placing the Miccosukee Golf Course in trust for the tribe will continue to benefit all South Floridians by generating more family-style recreation as well as much-needed jobs and other forms of economic development for our communities.”

In the county’s letter of Mar. 20, Cruz challenged the need for economic benefits, citing misleading cash flow statements for the property operation as well as the current income to 650 tribal members from the existing Miccosukee Casino Resort at 500 SW 177 Ave.

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