Only three communities have incorporated in Florida since 2005 and the largest one based on population is Cutler Bay. The city of approximately 42,000 people is located in Miami-Dade County.
“Our community had taken a direct hit from Hurricane Andrew, and we were investigating what could be done to help with our recovery and re-development,” said Ed MacDougall, a member of the committee appointed by the county to research incorporation. “Once the feasibility study was completed and showed we’d be ‘revenue neutral,’ the county blessed our efforts to head to the ballot.
The population of Miami-Dade County is about 2.5 million people, so Cutler Bay makes up less than 2 percent of the county’s total population. MacDougall, who was elected mayor in 2010, said residents rarely see county-elected officials in their neighborhoods.
“I had good friends who were on the opposite side of the incorporation discussion not wanting to see another layer of government,” he said. “Now, all of them are glad we are a city because government is more accessible to the people.”
Read more in the March 27 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.