By Samantha Joseph
An independent citizens board could oversee the administration of Miami-Dade County's $2.9 billion General Obligation Bond.
A 21-member Building Better Communities Citizens' Advisory Committee would monitor the eight-category bond voters approved to finance major projects during the next decade.
If county commissioners approve creation of the board, each would appoint one member to represent one of the county's 13 districts. Mayor Carlos Alvarez would name three representatives to serve until the end of his term and County Manager George Burgess would appoint five at-large members to five-year terms.
The idea is a brainchild of former commission chairwoman Barbara Carey-Shuler. The goal is to create a committee of citizens without financial interest in any of the bond's projects who represent the public interest.
The group would help county officials issue quarterly updates and an annual progress report on bond programs. It would also advise county officials on the best use of surplus funds and help develop a Web site to allow residents to follow the program's implementation.
Mr. Burgess has described the bond issue as the most ambitious public project in Miami-Dade's history. It includes eight major sections, each of which allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to projects aimed at improving the county physically and culturally.
Included are plans to construct and improve water and flood-control systems, create and beautify recreation grounds, build bridges, improve infrastructure, enhance libraries and museums, build housing, improve public safety and increase public participation in the county's administration.
The proposal to create an advisory committee is set to go to the commission by Jan. 20.