January 2016 Preview: Sweetwater Commission Meeting

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Commission Meeting in Sweetwater
Commission Meeting in Sweetwater, FL City Hall. Photo: J. Mayorga Sweetwater Post

Sweetwater, FL – 2015 was a year of legal disputes for the City of Sweetwater, with legal drama that led to former Interim-Mayor Jose M. Diaz being disqualified from the mayoral election by a circuit court judge. 2016 is beginning with more legal drama for the city of Sweetwater as the city has its first monthly council meeting of the year at city hall located at 500 S.W. 109 Ave.

Here’s a look into the most notable items prepared for the meeting scheduled for Monday at 8 P.M.:

Commissioners Suing Mayor

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF SWEETWATER, FLORIDA, DIRECTING SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR THE CITY, GENOVESE JOBLOVE & BATTISTA, P.A., TO FILE SUIT IN A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION TO RESOLVE THE ISSUES IN DISPUTE BETWEEN THE CITY COMMISSION AND THE MAYOR; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (COMMISSION PRESIDENT DIAZ)

Sweetwater Mayor Orlando Lopez began his term in May of 2015 by hiring a group of City of Miami Police veterans to run the Sweetwater Police Department. Since then, the majority of the city council and the Mayor have been at odds with who should run the agency. The city council is now looking to officially enter into a legal battle with Mayor Lopez, with rumors that this might end in a recall for Mayor Lopez.

guillermo-cuadra-sweetwater
Sweetwater City Attorney Guillermo Cuadra

Hiring City Attorney’s Company

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF  SWEETWATER, FLORIDA, APPROVING AN ENGAGEMENT CONTRACT BETWEEN GUILLERMO CUADRA PA AND THE CITY OF SWEETWATER, FLORIDA FOR CITY ATTORNEY SERVICES; AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO EXECUTE THE AGREEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE CITY; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (CITY ATTORNEY CUADRA)

Former Sweetwater Chief of Staff and current City Attorney Guillermo Cuadra is looking to provide city attorney services for the city. Mr. Cuadra, a Miami attorney with experience working for the Miami Dade County Commission, currently enjoys a hefty compensation package as city attorney that includes use of a city vehicle and a six-figure salary.

Police Off-Duty

A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF SWEETWATER AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO ESTABLISH A NONPROFIT ENTITY FOR THE PURPOSES OF INDEPENDENTLY MANAGING AND COORDINATING THE POLICE OFF-DUTY SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE CITY OF SWEETWATER; AUTHORIZING THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS; AND PROVIDING FOR EFFECTIVE DATE (MAYOR LOPEZ)

The City of Sweetwater is looking to create a nonprofit organization to manage the off-duty work for police officers. Off-duty hours are coveted by officers in the department, both paid and reserve, as they get paid substantially more for providing security at private venues and special events.

Acceptance of Police Vehicles

ACCEPTANCE OF DONATION OF CITY POLICE VEHICLES TO THE SWEETWATER
POLICE DEPARTMENT FROM THE CITY OF MIAMI. (MAYOR LOPEZ)

The City of Sweetwater will officially accept donated used police vehicles from the City of Miami Police Department. The vehicles are said to be too old for Miami Police, as their union agreement states officers in the department cannot drive vehicles older than 7 years old. The donation comes as the fleet of vehicles in the small police department are reaching their limit of use, with a few 1998 police vehicles.

Agreement with Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office

A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF SWEETWATER, FLORIDA, APPROVING THE EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF SWEETWATER AND THE MIAMI-DADE STATE ATTORNEY’S OFFICE TO PROSECUTE CRIMINAL MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS OF THE CITY OF SWEETWATER CODE OF ORDINANCES; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (MAYOR LOPEZ)

With Sweetwater Code Enforcement seemingly using selective enforcement of the city code, it seems the Mayors Office is looking to get help from the Miami Dade State Attorneys office to punish city ordinance violations. If this happens, many commercial property owners with obvious code violations in Sweetwater will finally have to start maintaining their properties.

Educational Services Contract

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF SWEETWATER, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR, ON BEHALF OF THE CITY, TO ENTER INTO AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT FOR PROFESSIONAL EDUCATIONAL SERVICES WITH FRANCISCO REGO; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE (MAYOR LOPEZ)

The Mayor of Sweetwater is seeking to hire Francisco Rego as a contractor for educational services yet to be disclosed.

 

The City of Sweetwater Commission Meeting will take place on Monday, January 4th, 2016 at 8 P.M. in the Sweetwater Commission Chambers located on the second floor of City Hall on 500 S.W. 109 Ave, Sweetwater, FL.

View the meeting agenda in PDF format.

We will keep updating this article as more information develops.

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