We’d like to congratulate the Village of Virginia Gardens and the Town of Medley for a job well done. The Village of Virginia Gardens and the Town of Medley both received their second vote from the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approving their annexation bid.
Of course, the City of Miami Springs was not on today’s agenda as the City’s annexation application had been rejected at the last Board of County Commissioners Meeting. During the last meeting, Commissioner Rebeca Sosa moved to approve the annexation for the City of Miami Springs. Chairman Jose “Pepe’ Diaz seconded the motion. However, the vote failed by a vote of 5 – 7.
The following Miami-Dade County Commissioners voted against annexation for the the City of Miami Springs, the Town of Medley, and the Village of Virginia Gardens. These four County Commissioners were consistently against annexation:
- Keon Hardemon
- Sally Heyman
- Eileen Higgins
- Javier Souto
However, Commissioner Rene Garcia, Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins, and Commissioner Jean Monestine were the three County Commissioners that voted in favor of the VG and Medley annexation, but voted NO on the Miami Springs Annexation.
- Rene Garcia voted for VG and Medley, but against the City of Miami Springs
- Jean Monestine voted for VG and Medley, but against the City of Miami Springs
- Danielle Cohen Higgins voted for VG and Medley, but against the City of Miami Springs
City of Miami Springs Failed at Annexation
At Monday’s Miami Springs City Council Meeting, the City Attorney provided an update: “Unfortunately, the hearing did not go as hoped…We hope to have the City’s annexation considered by the County in some future date…For right now, the annexation is not moving forward.”
Bottom line, VG and Medley got it done. Miami Springs did not. And while it appears Miami Springs will now attempt to work with incoming County Commissioner elect, Kevin Marino Cabrera, to move annexation forward, there’s no clear path or plan to make this happen.
City Blames Disinformation…It should look in the mirror
In a pre-scripted email from the City addressed to Miami-Dade County Commissioners it stated, “We believe your vote may have been based on misinformation purposely spread by an entity opposing annexation.” Then the City posted a series of bullet points.
I know the Mayor Maria Mitchell and the City Manager met with some of the property owners to address some of their concerns. And while I will applaud Mayor Mitchell for her outstanding personal efforts to move annexation forward, the City of Miami Springs had 20 years to communicate with the various business owners about the benefits they would receive from annexation. Twenty years to do this.
How many flyers did the City Manager ever send out to properties in the annexation area?
Did the City of Miami Springs ever create a web page with key benefits the annexation area would receive?
Did the City of Miami Springs ever create an easy to consume video of the key benefits of Miami Springs annexation?
So, the City did very little to promote the benefits of annexation and what the real costs would be for the property owners impacted by annexation. Well, within this vacuum of information, it’s easy to see where a concerned party might share their point of view. And if that concerned party did not get the facts straight, the City of Miami Springs should only look itself in the mirror for not being proactive in getting in disseminating the right information.
Instead, the City of Miami Springs was caught with its proverbial pants on the ground and tried to convince Miami Springs residents to send a last minute email to County Commissioners AFTER the damage was done.
Folks, that’s reactive and not proactive leadership. And while it may be convenient for the City of Miami Springs to blame outside forces, maybe the City of Miami Springs needs to look inwards and objectively say, “How the heck did we screw that up?”
Virginia Gardens Now Bigger than Miami Springs
A little history lesson about Virginia Gardens. V.G. used to be part of Miami Springs. However, Miami Springs wanted to ban horses within City Limits. Folks that were living in what is now V.G. wanted to keep their horses. So, they seceded from Miami Springs and created what is now known at the Village of Virginia Gardens.
Fast forward to 2022, and the little Village that separated itself from Miami Springs, now just added a huge swath of the Milam Dairy tract from NW 36th Street south to the 836 Expressway. That just made the commercial tax base for V.G. larger than the commercial tax base of Miami Springs.
Maybe it’s time to consider reunification with VG and have VG annex the City of Miami Springs?