How we got to now: Pre-Referendum, 2018

During February and March of 2018, an initial project list totaling $1.1 billion was compiled from various sources. Sources included input from the City Commission, over a dozen City master plans (ex. North Beach Master Plan), over 40 City boards and committees (ex. Parks & Recreation Advisory Board), and staff recommendations.

On April 5, 2018, the City Commission held a G.O. Bond workshop to review and prioritize the unfiltered list of projects. By the end of the meeting, a $1.1 million list of projects was reduced to about $700 million. At that time, the City Commission directed staff to solicit community input to help rank and prioritize the project list.

During May and June of 2018, four community meetings were held in North, Mid, and South Beach. Flyers encouraging public participation in the meetings were mailed to all registered voters in Miami Beach and highly publicized via email and social media. At the community meetings, approximately 150 participants had the opportunity to learn about the proposed 2018 G.O. Bond program, the proposed projects, and the overall process. Most importantly, participants were able to provide valuable input regarding the proposed projects by reviewing project boards with descriptions of the projects asking questions of key staff, providing verbal and written comments, and rating the proposed projects on a 5 point scale. An online project prioritization survey was also created to reach residents that were unable to attend one of the community meetings. The survey was available online through mid-July 2018 and included input from 540 residents, including the surveys from the four community meetings. Numerous presentations were also given throughout the community and information was also distributed to many residents at several pop-up events. In May 2018, Mayor Dan Gelber created a Mayor’s G.O. Bond Advisory Panel consisting of 11 Miami Beach residents to serve through November 30, 2018. The charge of the Advisory Panel, chaired by Karen Rivo, is to evaluate projects and make advisory, non-binding recommendations regarding the prioritization of proposed G.O. Bond projects. The Mayor’s G.O. Bond Advisory Panel met six times during June and July of 2018 for over 25 hours. The Advisory Panel reviewed the work to date, including results of the City Commission’s G.O. Bond workshop on April 5, 2018 They analyzed and prioritized the proposed project list, which included presentations from City department directors and the City Manager, reviewing results of public input from the project prioritization surveys, and developed prioritization criteria for the projects. On July 17, 2018, the Mayor’s G.O. Bond Advisory Panel shared its recommendations to the City Commission.
The Advisory Panel began with a proposed project list totaling about $700 million and 90 projects and prioritized the project list at three levels: – $444 million for 37 projects;
– $398 million for 35 projects;
– and $353 million for 32 projects.
The list can be found in the Documents section.

The City Commission held an all-day G.O. Bond workshop on July 20, 2018 and on July 25, 2018 they approved the final project list, the amount of the overall bond program, and the number and amounts for each ballot measure. The City Commission set the overall G.O. bond program amount, including estimated debt issuance costs at $439 million, which includes Parks, Recreational Facilities, and Cultural Facilities projects totaling $169 million; Police, Fire, and Public Safety projects totaling $72 million; and Neighborhoods and Infrastructure projects totaling $198 million. To see the list of projects, click here.

During August, September, and October 2018, voter education materials were developed regarding the projects.

The voter referendum on the G.O. Bond took place on November 6, 2018.