South Florida Sun Sentinel: Good Government Initiative seeks to improve public service in South Florida

BY KATY SORENSON

I dutifully read the agenda for my first meeting of the Miami-Dade
County
Commission. This was it, the goal I had been pursuing. Finally, a
chance to vote on policy issues, to make my mark, to have an effect on the
governance of our community. A week before, I had beaten the incumbent in a
run-off after a hotly contested race for the District 8 commission seat in
1994.

My chief assistant read the agenda, too, so we could prepare carefully for my
votes on the dozens of items that were to be considered. But it was
overwhelming. Between the acronyms and the jargon, the newness of the issues and
the missing historical context, there was no way to be as prepared as I needed
to be. To tell the truth, I was winging it. Mercifully, when a complex airport
bond issue came up that day, the commission chair, the late Art Teele, deferred
the item so that I could meet with our finance director to get a crash course in
bond financing.

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