City vs county fight underway for first responders at future soccer stadium

Just two days after David Beckham's stadium land purchase was approved by Miami-Dade commissioners, one of its amendments sparked outrage at the city of Miami. 

In an unplanned vote, commissioners decided to formally fight Miami-Dade County's effort to have county first responders share the work at the future stadium. 

"I think the big issue here is accountability," Miami police Chief Rudy Lanes said.

Miami Fire Rescue Chief Joseph Zahralban echoed that thought.

"We do not look at the political ramifications," he said.

Both support the city as sole jurisdiction over health and safety  at the site to be Miami Beckham United's Overtown stadium site. 

"We have to protest the right of our officers, number one, to earn off-duty pay in the city of Miami," Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez said. "And number two, we have jurisdiction."

Miami city manager Daniel Alfonso raised a question of why the city should police a "property that is not county owned, that's privately owned."

The answer to that lies in Miami-Dade County politics.

Tuesday, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz made his vote on the county's soccer land deal contingent upon county police and fire sharing in the lucrative off-duty jobs at future games and events.

"It sets a precedent that hasn't happened before," Miami-Dade County Commissioner Frank Carollo said. 

Other venues in city limits policed by the county include the American Airlines Arena, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art and Marlins Park. But they are county owned.  

The Miami Beckham United soccer stadium will be team Beckham's private property.

"In order to work with, back up and take command of the units that are working inside of the stadium, it only makes sense that city of Miami units are inside the stadium working,"Zahralban  said.

Llanes believes the county is intruding on property rights. 

"What the county has said is that they can impose on a private property owner that they use their emergency services, which doesn't make much sense to us," he said.

What may be a bigger problem for team Beckham United is the indication from the Miami commissioner -- in whose district the stadium site falls -- that a stadium is far from a foregone  conclusion. 

"Our decision-making in the city is going to be a bit more issue-based," Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon  said. What "the real issue comes to is the zoning appropriate to handle  a stadium." 

A date has not been set for the team to come before the city on its zoning requests, which will include determining the footprint of the stadium and at least one road closure. 


This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.

This BBSNews article originally appeared on News | WPLG.