You may have seen in the headlines recently, several meetings involving the County and local cities called a “Chapter 164” Conflict Resolution meeting. This is actually a Florida statute that requires government bodies, which are having disagreements with each other, a chance to try to work things out before heading to court. It’s designed to keep costs down for you, the taxpayer, who ends up footing the bill for both sides should the case reach the court system.
Broward County has had several of these cases recently. The latest involves 26 municipalities which are suing the county over solid waste disposal assets. After a full meeting of all County and City Commissioners, the County yielded to the demand of municipal officials to attempt to resolve the dispute in mediation instead of through direct discussions. The mediation has been tentatively scheduled for early March.
The County held a joint meeting with the City of Pompano Beach and the Northwest Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in January regarding a request by the City to extend the CRA for an additional thirty years. The elected officials are planning to meet again to continue discussions. During the interim, the parties are selecting a mediator.
The parties are potentially faring better in the dispute with the City of Lauderhill concerning whether the County or the City will provide water service to certain residents annexed into Lauderhill. At a joint meeting of elected officials in October last year, the County Commission and City Commission directed staff to meet again to see whether a voluntary resolution can be achieved.
The cities of Pembroke Pines, Margate, Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale and the Town of Southwest Ranches each individually initiated Chapter 164 proceedings regarding the funding of Emergency 911 services. The disputes were resolved when each of the municipalities entered into an agreement with Broward County to participate in the new, upcoming, consolidated Regional E-911 System.
Elected officials and staff fill the meeting space at the Sunrise Civic Center in the Chapter 164 meeting. Nearly every city in Broward, along with the County Commission, had representation at this meeting.