ORDINANCE CREATING THE CHILDREN'S TRUST, AN INDEPENDENT SPECIAL DISTRICT, SETTING FORTH PURPOSE AND GOVERNING BOARD, SPECIFYING POWERS, DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND DISSOLUTION, PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, SUNSET PROVISION AND EFFECTIVE DATE
WHEREAS, the State of Florida created the Children's Services Statute, Section 125.901 of the Florida Statutes; and
WHEREAS, the statute allows a local government to create an independent special district, known as the children's services council, to address the needs of children in the community; and
WHEREAS, the statute allows the children's service council, upon approval of the electorate, to levy a tax of no more than one-half (1/2) mill for the provision of children's services and programs; and
WHEREAS, in 1988, the electorate of Miami-Dade County approved the creation of a juvenile welfare board, as children's services councils were called at the time; and
WHEREAS, as a consequence of the voter approval, the Home Rule Charter was amended to include this juvenile welfare board as an independent special district at Section 1.01(A)(11) of Home Rule Charter; and
WHEREAS, on September 10, 2002, the electorate approved an amendment to the Home Rule Charter to rename the independent special district as "The Children's Trust" and to levy of an ad valorem tax not to exceed one-half (1/2) mill; and
WHEREAS, the levy of ad valorem tax is to supplement current County expenditures for Children's Services; and
WHEREAS, the levy of the ad valorem tax will be presented to the voters again for renewal in 2008; and
WHEREAS, The Children's Trust must be created by county ordinance as required by Section 125.901 of Florida Statutes; and
WHEREAS, Section 125.901 of Florida Statutes requires that The Children's Trust have certain governing board, powers, duties, responsibilities and dissolution; and
WHEREAS, this Board of County Commissioners desires to comply with the will of the electorate as well as the requirements of Section 125.901 of Florida Statutes,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Creation and Purpose.
There is hereby created the independent special district called "The Children's Trust." The purpose of The Children's Trust is to fund improvements for the children of Miami-Dade County in the areas of health, development, safety, parental responsibility, community responsibility and other necessary and important children's services.
Section 2. Governing Board.
(a) The governing board of The Children's Trust shall consist of the following thirty-three (33) members:
(1) Superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools;
(2) One (1) member who is a representative of Florida International University as appointed by the university president;
(3) One (1) member who is a representative of Miami-Dade College as appointed by the college president;
(4) Miami-Dade County manager;
(5) District XI Administrator, State of Florida Department of Children and Family Services or designee who is a member of the Senior Management Service or the Selected Exempt Service;
(6) Director of Miami-Dade County Public Health Department or designee;
(7) State Attorney for Miami-Dade County or designee;
(8) Chief Judge of Juvenile Division of the Eleventh Circuit, or another juvenile judge designated by the chief judge, who shall sit as a voting member of the board on all matters except for the setting of ad valorem taxes;
(9) One (1) member selected by the board of the United Way of Miami-Dade County;
(10) One (1) member who is a member of and is selected by the Greater Miami chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice;
(11) One (1) member who is a member of and is selected by a coalition of the local chambers of commerce;
(12) One (1) member who is a member of and is selected by the Miami-Dade County Early Learning Coalition;
(13) One (1) member who is a representative of the United Teachers of Dade;
(14) One (1) member who is a member of and is selected by the Alliance for Human Services;
(15) One (1) member who is a member of and is selected by the Miami-Dade Council of Parent-Teacher Association/Parent-Teacher-Student Association;
(16) One (1) member who is a youth selected by the Miami-Dade Student Government Association;
(17) One (1) member of the School Board of Miami-Dade County as appointed by the Chair of the School Board;
(18) Mayor of Miami-Dade County or designee;
(19) One (1) member of the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, as appointed by the Commission chair;
(20) One (1) member of the State of Florida Legislature who represents residents of Miami-Dade County, as appointed by the chair of the Miami-Dade legislative delegation;
(21) One (1) elected official representing the residents of a municipality located within Miami-Dade County, as appointed by the League of Cities;
(22) Circuit Manager, State of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice or designee;
(23) Four (4) members-at-large, as appointed by a majority of the sitting members of The Children's Trust;
(24) Seven (7) members appointed by the Governor of the State of Florida in accordance with provisions set forth below.
(b) Members Appointed by Governor
(1) Criteria. Members who are appointed by the Governor: a) must have resided within Miami-Dade County during the previous twenty-four (24) months; and b) must be representative of the geographic and demographic diversity of the population of Miami-Dade County, to the extent reasonably possible.
(2) Selection Process. The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, after soliciting recommendations from the public, shall submit to the governor the names of at least three (3) persons for each vacancy occurring among the seven (7) members appointed by the governor. The governor shall make his appointments to The Trust from the candidates recommended by the Board of County Commissioners. The governor shall make his appointments within forty-five (45) days of receipt of the Board of County Commissioners recommendations or request a new list of candidates. The governor's appointments shall serve four-year terms, except that the length of the terms of the initial appointees shall be adjusted to stagger the terms.
(3) Removal/Resignation. The governor may remove a member for cause or upon the written petition of The Children's Trust. If any member appointed by the governor resigns, dies or is removed from office, the vacancy shall as soon as practicable be filled by the governor using the same method as the original appointment. The newly appointed member shall serve the remaining term of the person who resigns, dies or is removed from office.
Section 3. Terms, Reappointment and Reimbursement.
(a) Members who are appointed to The Trust by reason of their position are not subject to the length of terms and limits on consecutive terms.
(b) Members appointed by the governor shall serve four-year terms.
(c) The youth representative member and the State of Florida legislative delegation member shall serve one-year terms.
(d) All other members shall serve two-year terms.
(e) A member may be reappointed; however, a member may not serve more than three (3) consecutive terms. A member who has served three (3) consecutive terms is eligible to be appointed again after a two-year hiatus from The Trust.
(f) Members of The Trust shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to receive reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses consistent with the provisions of s. 112.061 of Florida Statutes.
Section 4. Powers.
The governing board of The Trust shall have all of the following powers and functions:
(a) To provide and maintain, in Miami-Dade County, such health, development, safety, prevention, early intervention, enrichment, family empowerment, parenting and advocacy services for children as The Trust determines are needed for the general welfare of Miami-Dade County;
(b) To provide such other services for children as the Trust determines are needed for the general welfare of Miami-Dade County;
(c) To allocate and provide funds for other agencies in Miami-Dade County that are operated for the benefit of children, provided they are not under the exclusive jurisdiction of the public school system;
(d) To seek grants from state, federal and local agencies and to accept grants and donations from public and private sources;
(e) To collect information and statistical data and to conduct research that will help the Trust and Miami-Dade County meet the needs of children in the county;
(f) To consult and coordinate with other agencies dedicated to the welfare of children so as to avoid whenever possible overlap and duplication of services;
(g) To lease or buy such real estate, equipment, and personal property and to construct such buildings as are needed to execute the foregoing powers and functions, provided that no such purchases shall be made or building done unless paid for with cash on hand or secured by funds deposited in financial institutions. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to authorize The Trust to issue bonds of any nature, nor shall The Trust have the power to require the imposition of any bond by the Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade County;
(h) To employ, pay and provide benefits for part-time or full-time personnel needed to execute the foregoing powers and functions; and
(i) Any other powers and functions which may from time to time be added to Section 125.901 of the Florida Statutes.
Section 5. Responsibilities.
The governing board shall:
(a) Immediately after the members are appointed, including the seven (7) members appointed by the Governor, elect a chair and a vice chair from among its members and elect other officers as deemed necessary by The Trust. An interim chair, vice-chair and other officers may be elected to serve until such time as the seven (7) members appointed by the Governor have been selected.
(b) Immediately but within a year of the effective date of this ordinance, after the members are appointed and officers elected, identify and assess the needs of the children in the county and submit to the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners a written description of:
(1) The activities, services and opportunities that will be provided to children;
(2) The anticipated schedule for providing those activities, services and opportunities;
(3) The manner in which children will be served, including a description of arrangements and agreements to be made with community organizations, state and local educational agencies, federal agencies, public assistance agencies, the juvenile courts, foster care agencies, and other applicable public and private agencies and organizations;
(4) The special outreach efforts to be undertaken to provide prevention services to children at-risk of abuse and neglect;
(5) The manner in which The Trust will seek and provide funding for unmet needs; and
(6) The strategy to be used for interagency coordination to maximize existing human and fiscal resources;
(c) Provide training and orientation to all new members sufficient to allow them to perform their duties;
(d) Make and adopt bylaws and rules and regulations for The Trust's guidance, operation, governance and maintenance, provided such rules and regulations are consistent with federal or state laws or county ordinances;
(e) Provide an annual written report, to be presented no later than January 1 of each year, to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners. The annual report shall contain, but not be limited to, the following information:
(1) Information on the effectiveness of activities, services, and programs offered by The Trust, including cost effectiveness;
(2) A detailed anticipated budget for continuation of activities, services and programs offered by The Trust, and a list of all sources of requested funding, both public and private;
(3) Procedures used for early identification of at-risk children who need additional or continued services and methods for ensuring that the additional or continued services are received;
(4) A description of the degree to which The Trust's objectives and activities are consistent with the goals of s. 125.901 of the Florida Statutes;
(5) Detailed information on the various programs, services and activities available to participants and the degree to which the programs, services and activities have been successfully used by children; and
(6) Information on programs, services and activities that should be eliminated, programs, services and activities that should be continued, and programs, services and activities that should be added to the basic format of The Children's Trust;
(f) Maintain minutes of each meeting, including a record of all votes cast, and shall make such minutes available to any interested person; and
(g) Comply with any other responsibilities as may from time to time be added s. 125.901 of the Florida Statutes.
Section 6. Fiscal Responsibilities and Obligations
(a) The fiscal year of The Children's Trust shall be the same as that of Miami-Dade County.
(b) On or before July 1 of each year, The Children's Trust shall prepare a tentative annual written budget of its expected income and expenditures, including a contingency fund. The Trust shall, in addition, compute a proposed millage rate within the voter-approved cap necessary to fund the tentative budget and, prior to adopting a final budget, comply with the provisions of s. 200.065 of the Florida Statutes, relating to the method of fixing millage, and shall fix the final millage rate by resolution of The Trust. The adopted budget and final millage rate shall be certified and delivered to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners as soon as possible following The Trust's adoption of the final budget and millage rate pursuant to chapter 200 of the Florida Statutes. Included in each certified budget shall be the millage rate, adopted by resolution of The Trust, necessary to be applied to raise the funds budgeted for The Trust's operations and expenditures. In no circumstances, however, shall The Trust levy millage in excess of the maximum approved by the voters and allowed under s. 125.901 of the Florida Statutes.
(c) The budget of The Trust so certified and delivered to the Board of County Commissioners shall not be subject to change or modification by the Board of County Commissioners or any other authority. Neither shall the Board of County Commissioners consider The Children's Trust funds to be a supplanting of County funds for children's services.
(d) All tax money collected under this section, as soon after the collection thereof as is reasonably practicable, shall be paid directly to The Trust by the tax collector of the county, or the clerk of the circuit court if the clerk collects delinquent taxes.
(e) All moneys received by The Trust shall be deposited in qualified public depositories, as defined in s. 280.02 of the Florida Statutes, with separate and distinguishable accounts established specifically for The Trust and shall be withdrawn only by checks signed by the chair of The Trust and countersigned by either another member of The Trust or by the chief executive officer who shall be so authorized by The Trust.
(f) Upon entering the duties of office, the chair and either another member of The Trust or the chief executive officer who signs its checks shall each give a surety bond in the sum of at least $1,000 for each $1 million or portion thereof of The Trust's annual budget, which bond shall be conditioned that each shall faithfully discharge the duties of his or her office. The premium on such bond may be paid by The Trust as part of the expense of The Trust. No other member of The Trust shall be required to give bond or other security.
(g) No funds of The Trust shall be expended except by check as aforesaid, except expenditures from a petty cash account which shall not at any time exceed $100. All expenditures from petty cash shall be recorded on the books and records of The Trust. No funds of The Trust, excepting expenditures from petty cash, shall be expended without prior approval of The Trust, in addition to the budgeting thereof.
(h) Within 10 days, exclusive of weekends and legal holidays, after the expiration of each quarter annual period, The Trust shall cause to be prepared and filed with the Board of County Commissioners a financial report which shall include the following:
(1) The total expenditures of The Trust for the quarter annual period;
(2) The total receipts of The Trust during the quarter annual period;
(3) A statement of the funds The Trust has on hand, has invested, or has deposited with qualified public depositories at the end of the quarter annual period; and
(4) The total administrative costs of The Trust for the quarter annual period.
(i) After or during the first year of operation of The Trust, the board of county commissioners, at its option, may fund in whole or in part the budget of The Trust from its own funds.
(j) The Trust shall comply with all other statutory requirements of general application which relate to the filing of any financial reports or compliance reports required under part III of chapter 218 of the Florida Statutes, or any other report or documentation required by law, including the requirements of ss. 189.415, 189.417, and 189.418 of the Florida Statutes.
(k) The Trust shall comply with any other fiscal responsibilities or obligations that may from time to time be added to s. 125.901 of the Florida Statutes.
Section 7. Dissolution.
To the extent permitted by law, the dissolution of The Children's Trust may be accomplished in the manner provided in Section 125.901 of the Florida Statutes. In addition, the Children's Trust may also be dissolved pursuant to the provisions of s. 189.4042 of the Florida Statutes. In the event that The Children's Trust is dissolved pursuant to the provisions of this section, Miami-Dade County shall first obligate itself to assume the debts, liabilities, contracts, and outstanding obligations of The Trust within the total millage available to the Board of County Commissioners for all county and municipal purposes as provided for under s. 9, Art. VII of the State Constitution.
Section 8. Amendments.
The Board of County Commissioners shall amend this ordinance when necessary for The Children's Trust to remain in compliance with the statutory requirements of the Children's Services Statutes, Section 125.901 of the Florida Statutes.
Section 9. Applicability of State and County Laws
The Children's Trust shall be regulated by: Chapter 286 of Florida Statutes, ("Sunshine Law") including but not limited to the notice requirements; Chapter 119 of Florida Statutes ("Public Records Act"); Chapter 112, Part III of Florida Statutes ("Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees"); Section 2-11.1 of Miami-Dade County Code ("Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics Ordinance"), including but limited to the gift disclosure and financial disclosure requirements; and Article IB of Miami-Dade County Code ("Standards for Creation and Review of Boards Generally") to the extent that the requirements of this ordinance do not conflict with the requirements of Sec. 125.901 of Florida Statutes ("Children's Services").
Section 10. Interim Staff Support.
The County Manager's Office shall provide staff support to The Children's Trust on an interim basis until such time as The Children's Trust hires permanent staff.
Section 11. Legal Counsel.
The County Attorney's Office shall provide legal counsel to The Children's Trust.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or re-lettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section, "article", or other appropriate word.
This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.
This ordinance does not contain a sunset provision.