Commission Votes to Lift Ban on Incorporating New Cities

In an 11-0 vote, the Miami-Dade County Commission lifted a five-year-old moratorium on incorporating new cities. The ban will officially be lifted in ten days, unless Mayor Carlos Gimenez vetoes it. Gimenez did send a memo to the commission in which he seemed wary about the potential impact new incorporated areas could have on the county's revenue.

At least five areas are said to be considering incorporation, including the Sky Lake and Highland Lakes areas near Aventura, Fontainebleau, an area east of Hialeah, Fisher Island and Biscayne Gardens. The first three areas had already begin working on their bids before the ban was put in place in 2007.

Miami-Dade is already home to 34 separate municipalities, and there are always problems with more cities joining the fray. For one, more elected officials means more chances for corruption (on the flip side, occasionally political powerhouses get their start in these smaller cities, like former West Miami Commissioner Marco Rubio).

The new municipalities also have a habit of leaving poorer areas just outside of their boundaries, which leaves the county with the responsibility of taking care of poor areas while receiving less taxes from upper-class areas.

Much less importantly but still confusing and annoying is the name some of these cities get. No Aventura Lakes, Hialeah Heights, West Doral Gardens or Southern Northwest Miami Springs, please.

While Gimenez warned against the potential effect on revenue, there's no official indication that he will veto the ordinance. Most county commissioners agreed that they would need to study the potential effects of a new municipality closely. Before a new municipality is incorporated, the citizens of the area and the county commission must vote in favor of incorporation.

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