Last night, Miami-Dade County's Mayor revised his recent order to close all restaurants. As of 12:01am on July 9, the revision allows restaurants to continue take-out and delivery services and outdoor on-premises dining. In addition to social distancing, the new restrictions are that outdoor tables may only seat four people, even if a family is larger, and only serve from 6 am to 10 pm at night. The 10 pm curfew is still in effect. Any music must be kept below the level of normal conversation.
MORATORIUM ON FEES FOR SIDEWALK TABLES
The City of South Miami's Commission voted last night to waive all outside (whether new or existing) seating fees that restaurants pay until September 30, 2021. It is hoped that this will encourage more restaurants to place tables on the sidewalks in front on their establishments and (with their neighbors' permissions) in front of their neighbors' businesses.
PENALTIES FOR INDIVIDUALS
Wanting to encourage people to wear their masks in public places, South Miami's Commission voted to impose a $50 fine the second time an individual is warned about not wearing his or her mask. Code Enforcement staff and the Police were prepared this morning to write up warnings.
BALLOT QUESTION ABOUT SoMi ELECTIONS
In this coming November's general election, City of South Miami voters will have an opportunity to indicate their preferences. One choice will be between having the City elections in February or having them in November at the same time as national, county and state elections. There are arguments to be made for either time. It is about 6 times less expensive for the City to run its election at the same time as the general elections. In addition, the turn-out of voters is close to three times greater. However, during national elections, because so many people are campaigning for so many offices, candidates for the City Commission may not be able to raise adequate funds nor to get much attention. The chances of any City candidate differentiating herself or himself from competitors are far fewer. If candidates start their campaigns four months before election day, campaigns for a November election will be taking place during the height of the summer heat. However, for a February election, candidates are dealing with the distractions of the Thanksgiving and end of the year holidays.
BALLOT QUESTION ABOUT LAND USE DECISIONS
On the same ballot will be a chance for South Miami voters to indicate their preferences for either a unanimous decision (five out of five) or a super majority decision (four out of five) by the Commission about any less restrictive changes to land use and development regulations throughout the city. In contrast, in order to make more restrictive changes, three out of five votes are required. Currently the unanimous vote means that one person can prevent less restrictive uses and regulations which representatives of 80% of the city support .
ELIMINATING DISCRIMINATORY LANGUAGE
The City Commission voted last night to eliminate Section 15-33 of Chapter 15, Article I in the City's Code. Because the City does not discriminate based on a person's sexual identity, this section, titled Indecent exposure: dressing appropriately for sex, was completely eliminated.
MADISON SQUARE PROJECT CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY
Due to Covid-19, the construction on Madison Square - a multi-use affordable housing complex - has been slowed.
Periodically, not enough construction workers have been available. Consequently, the Commission approved extended working hours. Normally, construction is allowed between 7 am - 6 pm on weekdays. The Commission voted to allow construction to continue on Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. On Sunday from noon until 5 pm quiet clean-up work can take place. These week-end hours are approved until either the construction is complete or September 30, 2020. In addition, because of complaints about loud music, this week-end work time is permitted as long as there is no excessive and unnecessary music or noise.
In short that was the evening that was - Tuesday, 7/7/2020. Now, wear your mask: