Cutler Bay: SDM’s Agenda for Mayor MacDougall

by SDM

This blog often extols the virtues of Cutler Bay Mayor Ed McDougall who is running for Congress. For example, SDM supports MacDougall’s crusade to halt the absurd idea of taxpayer’s paying half the freight for a $389 million sunshade at Dolphins stadium. MacDougall rallied fellow mayors to his cause and is having an impact on the issue, which is all well and good.

But today, SDM is going to take Mayor MacDougall to task. As most SDM readers know by now, this blog wants local governments to ensure that residents and others can easily access municipal records and tune-in to watch council meetings.

Cutler Bay residents are fortunate in that they have ready access to archived town council meeting packets, but that archive is very rudimentary by today’s standards. MacDougall should push to add a search function so that residents can easily locate relevant documents. Many local municipalities provide this service – though, inexcusably, Palmetto Bay is not one of them. (You didn’t think SDM was going to forget about our little hamlet today, did you? :) )

More importantly, however, Cutler Bay does not stream its meetings over the  internet or maintain a video archive. Frankly, Cutler Bay’s failure to offer this inexpensive and useful service boggles SDM’s tiny brains. Is there something to hide at Cutler Bay meetings? Come on Mr. Mayor, get with this century!

Lastly, an SDM commenter pointed out a week or so ago that Cutler Bay’s code of ordinances is not in the Municode system. SDM thought the commenter was nuts, but it turns out to be true. If one clicks on “Town of Cutler Bay Code of Ordinances” one ends up with a Service Error at the Municode site.

SDM Aside: Palmetto Bay’s code still has not been updated on Municode even with all of SDM’s bitching about the subject. Are you all asleep in the clerk’s office?

How in the hell are Cutler Bay’s residents and property owners supposed to know what the town code requires of them if it isn’t on the town website or on the most widely used code website in the U.S.? Are all these people supposed to go to the town hall and rummage through the paper code book? Seriously?

SDM Says: Local governments must continue to provide the public with access to records and must televise and webcast their meetings. These are minimums in 2013 and Cutler Bay is tragically behind the times.

SDM Wonders: Will Mayor MacDougall secure his legacy by tackling these issues before dashing off to Washington? Or is SDM’s support misplaced? Inquiring minds want to know.

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