GO Bond Oversight Committee Gets to Work

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

GO Bond Oversight Committee Gets to Work:

First draft of project priorities being reviewed

The newly appointed General Obligation (GO) Bond Oversight Committee got to work this week beginning a resident review of the City administration’s prioritization schedule for the 57 projects included in the $439 million program approved by Miami Beach voters in November. 
Mayor Dan Gelber kicked the process off telling the Committee their job is “to make sure we deliver as promised” for the City’s residents.
Voters approved three categories of bonds: $169,000,000 for parks, recreational facilities, and cultural facilities; $198,000,000 for neighborhoods and infrastructure; and $72,000,000 for police, fire, public safety, and security improvements.
Miami Beach CFO John Woodruff said the administration is proposing spreading the program out over a 12-year period, issuing four tranches of bonds, spaced about three years apart as follows: 
  • FY 2019 $150,000,000 
  • FY 2022 $100,000,000 
  • FY 2025 $100,000,000 
  • FY 2028  $89,000,000 
By spreading the bonds out, the City spreads out the tax impact for residents over time and provides a realistic timeframe for projects to be completed and managed. 
GO Bond Program Project Director Maria Hernandez explained how the administration came to its initial list of project priorities considering those that are shovel ready, have a big impact, and/or provide quick wins. The Oversight Committee, a group of seven Miami Beach residents with different skill sets and representing all areas of the City, will decide if they want to add any additional criteria and then review the projects from the resident perspective.
The goal is to have their recommendations by a March 4th City Commission workshop. Hernandez said Commissioners are projected to consider the list at their March 13th meeting so bonds can be issued in April.
Assistant City Manager Eric Carpenter, part of the GOB working group for the City, said once the list is set, the Committee will be helpful throughout the process in setting expectations and providing input on construction challenges that may arise. “You will help inform the Commission’s decision-making process.”
Hernandez added the schedule “is a living document… we’ll plan as we go” acknowledging that guidance could change as “things happen.” 
“This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon,” she said.
Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales said, from his perspective, the Committee will “make sure we’re delivering what the community expects on time and on budget.” 
“Even within these projects, as we go out in the community, there are things people will want more of,” Morales said. He urged them to avoid scope creep. “That you can also help us with. If we’re going to stay on budget, on time, then we have to deliver what we promised” in the list of projects presented to voters.
The first draft of the project schedule (available on the GOB website: www.GOMB2018.com) shows Tranche 1 with approximately $88 million for parks, recreational and cultural facilities; approximately $33 million for police, fire, public safety; and $28 million for neighborhoods and infrastructure.
Geographically, the proposed projects in the first tranche break down this way:
North Beach, a little over $20 million; Mid Beach, almost $30 million; South Beach nearly $47 million; and Citywide, $51 million. North Beach is slated to receive $53 million for the 72nd Street Park, Library, and Aquatic Center. Tranche 1 includes $10 million for its design, while Tranche 2 will include the remaining $43 million. 
Quick wins: LED lighting in parks, expansion of the License Plate Reader program, security cameras, repairs to recreational and cultural facilities, and beginning of the sidewalk improvement program and completion of a street tree master plan.
Big Impact and shovel ready projects include Bayshore Park (Par 3/Community Park) which has been stalled for years due to lack of funding, a new public safety radio system, and street paving.
Big impact: Funding the design phase for the 72nd Street Park, Library, and Aquatic Center and funding for the MacArthur Pedestrian Bridge to connect the Baywalk (the remainder of which is proposed for funding in Tranche 2). The pedestrian bridge is prioritized due to the approval and construction timeline of the 500 Alton Road project
Implementation Plan Criteria Definitions
Shovel Ready:
  • Project has a contract; and, or
  • Design completed (or not necessary) 
  • Minimal or fast approval process; and, or
  • Permits are ready; and, or
  • Community engagement is completed or not necessary (if required); and, or
  • No anticipated objections or controversy; and, or
  • No known interference or interruptions from 3rd party agencies; and, or
  • No known private development that would cause disruptions or delays.
Big Impact:
  • Extent of benefit to the most amount of people; and, or
  • Number of different benefits; and, or
  • Project has Resiliency / Permeable benefits; and, or
  • Project is an economic catalyst for the area.
Quick Win:
  • Smaller projects; and, or
  • Faster and easier to implement; and, or
  • Fast quality of life improvements spread throughout the entire city; and, or
  • Visible and important for different neighborhoods; and, or
  • Public Safety.
Project Vulnerability, Interdependency with other Non-GOB projects, and Efficiencies were also considered.
The Committee will hold weekly meetings through March 4, then will meet monthly after the bonds are issued. Their next meeting is Thursday, February 7 at 5 pm, City Hall, Fourth floor.
The Committee is comprised of 11 members (7 voting and 4 non-voting). Members of the Oversight Committee were initially appointed by Gelber. Subsequent appointments will be made by the full Commission. The group will always include two members each from North, Mid, and South Beach, along with a Chair. They will serve staggered terms to ensure continuity. Gelber appointed Karen Rivo as chair of the Oversight Committee. Rivo also chaired the GO Bond Advisory Panel, a group of citizens that helped determine which projects would be included in the program presented to voters and received high marks for her leadership of the committee. In addition, two other members of the Advisory Panel were appointed to the Oversight Committee to provide continuity.
The Committee and their backgrounds according to their resumes:
Karen Rivo, Chair
Rivo is a registered nurse with extensive education and public health community involvement. She is currently a member of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Budget Priorities Committee and served as Administrator of the Florida KidCare Grant.
North Beach Representatives
Wendy Squire (initial one-year term)
Squire is a financial management consultant. Previously, she was a controller and financial analyst with commercial real estate brokerage firm Codina, Bush, KIein and financial analyst/accountant with international developer Tishman Speyer Properties
Laura Veitia
Veitia is co-founder of Urban Resource, a real estate brokerage and condo management firm. She previously served on the Miami Beach LGBT Advisory committee for ten years.
Mid-Beach representatives
Yechiel Ciment
Ciment serves as Director of Property Markets Group where he is responsible for leasing strategy, budgeting, reporting, and operations for X Miami, a luxury high rise in downtown Miami. Previously, he was an investment analyst for real estate investment firm Royal Meridian and a tax associate with Berkowitz Pollack Brant. He is a member of the Mayor’s 41st Street Committee
Jack Glottman (initial one-year term)
Glottman is CEO and principal of Saglo Development Corporation and several privately held real estate companies. Current properties owned include 20 shopping centers containing in excess of 1,650,000 rental square feet. He is experienced in debt financing. Glottman was a member of the GO Bond Advisory Committee.
South Beach representatives
Jason Greene
Greene is financial Controls and Budget Manager for the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX). Previously, he served as Capital Assets Manager and Controller for MDX. He is experienced in municipal infrastructure rehabilitation and government finance.
Marie Peter (initial one-year term)
Peter previously served on the GO Bond Advisory Committee. No further background information was available.
The four ex-officio members are:
Ron Starkman (Ex-officio member from the Budget Advisory Committee)
Matt Litt (Ex-officio member from the Sustainability and Resiliency Committee)
TBD (Ex-officio member from the Audit Committee)
TBD (Ex-Officio member from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee)

Updated February 5, 2019 to reflect the ex-officio members of the Committee.

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