Thursday, November 14, 2013

And Now, The 18 Essential Miami Hotels, November '13 - Hotel 18 - Curbed Miami

In today's new release of Curbed Miami's Hotel 18 map, we're once again attacking the question, "Where should I stay in Miami" While our first version of this map included 38 choices, we've carefully editing this version down to 18. In this smaller, leaner selection, we've made some tough choices to bring you the best of the best, and only those hotels considered most essential via reader and expert recommendations

And Now, The 18 Essential Miami Hotels, November '13 - Hotel 18 - Curbed Miami

Monday, November 11, 2013

Coconut Grove Incorporation

To the residents of Coconut Grove

I would like to welcome the new Village Council members and give you your first assignment. As you know after the last attempt to incorporate the city commission allowed the Grove to establish our own elected Village Counsel so that we would have some say in the future of the Grove. Well you can see how well that has worked! They have continually moved in a direction opposite of what, it appears, the majority of the Grove wants. The last letter that Commissioner Mark Sarnoff sent supporting Grove Harbor should have been considered a slap in the face, by our elected Grove representative, to every Grove resident. He made it very clear that he did not care what we thought and that all the residents of the city would decide the future of the Grove!

What did they do? They gave us a Village Counsel and immediately neutered them, no public forum (meetings in City Hall), no funding, no voice and no vote!

I have done a very brief comparison, as to the feasibility, of the recently formed Village of Pinecrest and we almost mirror each other (see charts and their attached budget).


Here is a chart of the adopted Millage and property values

Millage Rates

As you can see we are in a very good position to be able to run and maintain our own city/village. We are paying more than three times the millage for some of the worst living conditions in Florida as to general village preservation, maintenance, crime, police service, etc.!

Towns and villages all over seek autonomy and the ability to self-govern certain issues, such as zoning, often decide to incorporate as a city, known as "municipal incorporation". State laws vary on requirements, such as the amount of population needed to incorporate and the number of registered voters it takes to successfully petition for incorporation. Despite these differences, the general process remains fairly uniform. Incorporating as a city is a drawn-out process, and according to the Florida League of Cities, it can take years to accomplish.

Benefits “Home Rule”

  • Specific benefits will vary according to the state or province, but incorporation typically provides advantages in many areas, including the collection of taxes, powers to establish police and fire departments, avoiding annexation to adjacent municipalities and a hyper-local form of government likely to be more in tune with the needs of area residents.

Here are some instructions to get the ball rolling.

1. Check with the secretary of state to determine the subtle details required to incorporate as a city. You must find out the minimum population needed and how many registered voters you need to pass the petition.

2. Survey the Grove to ensure you have the minimum population required to incorporate as a city.

3. Propose a feasibility study (see attached sample). Appoint a neutral party to conduct the study in order to determine if incorporating will be fiscally sound. You must have a petition signed by a certain amount of property owners or registered voters in the area that approve the feasibility study.

4. Hold a public hearing to discuss the feasibility study and the possibility of incorporation. If the feasibility study shows that it would be beneficial for the city to incorporate, hold hearings to discuss the matter with the residents.

5. Petition for incorporation. The petition must be signed by a certain amount of property owners or registered voters depending on the state law. If the petition passes, the voters must elect city officials to govern the new city.

6. File the articles of incorporation with the secretary of state. If the petition for incorporation passes and after city officials are elected, the mayor of the new city must file articles of incorporation to formally incorporate the city. The secretary of state can provide the forms.

It will not be an easy task because being part of a city requires us to request to leave the city, which I am sure, will require some legal action, then become part of the county and then request to separate form them. All of this would have to take place almost simultaneously and cost a few bucks but look what you will be part of by forming a “Village of Coconut Grove” that will last forever. By the way we were our own city till Miami annexed us back in the 20’s.

Sample Feasibility study;
Pinecrest Budget;

Grant Sheehan
3741 De Garmo Estates
Coconut Grove, Florida 33133