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As you are aware, a Sunshine Meeting between Commissioners Barbara Jordan and Esteban Bovo was held in the Gleason Room at the Country Club of Miami on June 26th. In addition to both Commissioners and staff from their respective offices, also in attendance were Maria Nardi, Gil Delgado and Steve Jablonowski from Parks & Recreation; a representative from the Clerk’s office who took notes; the Board of CCMCAN; the Deputy Budget Director (Barbara Galvez); and an Assistant County Attorney. The meeting began at 10:20amand concluded at 11:30 am.
Maria Nardi (Director of Parks & Recreation) opened the meeting providing a recap of what her staff has been working on over the past 12 months or so since CCMCAN came into existence and stressed to the County the need for improvements at our facility. She stated the County’s mission to find a “sustainable solution” that would allow the improvements to the Country Club of Miami to not be a temporary fix or “band aid” that would have the facility in the same situation and condition 3-5-7 years down the road. After much review of the history, financials and future projections of the CCM operations, the most sustainable outcome would be the redevelopment of 18-27 holes of golf within the existing 36-hole footprint. Ms. Nardi noted, which was also confirmed by the budget office representative and both Commissioners, that $4,000,000 has already been allocated to the 2019-2020 budget to begin the planning and due diligence work on the project, with the balance to be allocated to the 2020-2021 budget cycle. In total, the redevelopment of a new golf course and clubhouse renovations will total $8,000,000+. It was noted and stressed by both Maria Nardi and Commissioner Jordan that a new 18-hole golf course at CCM would operate and have a budget allocation to maintain it in the condition and quality standards that are experienced at the Crandon Park golf facility. They both also emphasized that community input would be a necessary and vital part of the planning stages going forward.
Commissioner Bovo then spoke, initially opening with a question to the audience relating to the building on the former South Golf Course. There was no one present with any questions or comments relating to that building, and Commissioner Bovo then pivoted back to comments pertaining to CCM. He then offered his thoughts on NW Dade as a destination for residents and tourists alike. Commissioner Bovo noted the new mall that is planned to our west, and how that could be a driver for CCM. He also mentioned the need to compete with and exceed CCM’s competition in the market.
At this point, there were questions from the audience, which have been highlighted and edited for brevity as follows:
A – Maria Nardi noted that the redesign would encompass all of the existing lands at CCM, and that the area occupied by the course is parkland in perpetuity. There would not be any other development on the area currently occupied by golf course space.
A – Steven Ross did express an initial interest several years ago in the Country Club of Miami facility. This was shortly after the loss of the PGA tournament at Doral. It is the understanding of the CCMCAN Board that Mr. Ross’ interest hinged on CCM receiving a PGA Tour event. When it was realized that no guaranty would be given that CCM would be given a Tour event, Mr. Ross was no longer interested.
After a few additional comments from the audience, Commissioner Jordan sought to bring the meeting to a close. She again reinforced that after much review, the 18-hole option would provide the community with the “Crandon quality” golf course and clubhouse facility that it deserved. She then noted that she and Commissioner Bovo had already begun the necessary steps to make sure the balance of the funding needed would be allocated and in place for the 2020-2021 budget cycle. The wording of the 2019-2020 budget allocation is such that it directs the budget office that there will be future funding required to complete the CCM redevelopment project. Both Commissioners have spoken with Mayor Gimenez about this, and he is in support. Commissioner Bovo then noted three very important items pertaining to this: a) both he and Commissioner Jordan would still be voting on the 2020-2021 budget before they are termed out; b) there were two Commissioners fighting for the same common goal, as opposed to one trying to sway the needed votes; and c) Commissioner Bovo himself is the Chair of the Transportation and Finance committee.
The Board of CCMCAN then thanked both Commissioners and the Parks & Recreation staff for their hard work and support up until this point, and the meeting was adjourned.
All told, the events of the Sunshine Meeting were extremely positive for our community. The fact that $4,000,000 has already been allocated to improvements at our facility shows that the Commissioners and Park & Recreation are very engaged in our cause. Commissioner Jordan especially has been a great advocate for CCM. An improvement the likes of what is being proposed will have a significant positive impact on our property values and community.
The Board understands that the news contained herein will likely lead to many questions. Below are responses we received to the initial concerns we foresaw:
Please feel free to respond with any additional questions, and we will respond in as timely a manner as possible. Please allow time for the Board to reach out to the appropriate member of County staff, as we may not have an answer to your question off hand.
The Board is happy to share this news as we continue to work on behalf of the community to achieve our goal of improving the golf facilities at the Country Club of Miami. It is because of the strength of our membership (currently 600+ strong), that CCM is receiving the attention and action that we are seeing. If you have a neighbor, either new to the area or yet to join CCMCAN, please take a moment to share this positive news with them, and encourage them to reach out to the Board of CCMCAN to discuss their membership options. Also, additional information will be forthcoming pertaining to the renewal of annual memberships (annual memberships are valid through September 30th of each year).
Board of Directors, CCMCAN
Explorer Program is open to 14-18 years old students. The Police Explorer Program is one of many efforts undertaken by the Miami-Dade Police Department to building better relations with the community we protect and serve. Young people who enroll in the program, through ride-alongs with police officers and attachments in different bureaus and sections of the Department, get to experience several aspects of law enforcement operations. It has been the experience of those who administer the program, that this unique exposure to our operations, builds among the young participants, an awareness to the complexities and rewards of this area of public service. It opens their minds to the possibility that in choosing a career, this is one way in which they can serve their communities. For additional information, please call the Police Explorer Advisors Officer L. Casas at 305-698-1469 or Officer J. Gross at 305-698-1464. Interested? We want to hear from you!