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Questionnaire: Catherine Minnis, candidate for Pembroke Pines City Commission District 2

Questionnaire: Catherine Minnis, candidate for Pembroke Pines City Commission District 2

Name: Catherine A. Minnis

Age: 60

Website: CatherineMinnisforPPines.com

What distinguishes you most from your opponent(s)?
What distinguishes me from my opponents is three decades of leadership experience in state and local government, as an administrator with Miami-Dade and Broward counties and as a non-profit board leader. Born and raised in South Florida, I have remained in the area, obtained my education and advanced degrees and am now serving on three non-profit boards with full understand of the community needs. As a community leader who is highly visible, approachable and willing to engage with everyone to address their concerns, with knowledge in economic development, housing, small business development, construction management, neighborhood compliance and community outreach distinguishes me from my opponents.

List in reverse chronological order, starting with most recent, colleges and universities attended with years of attendance and degrees held.
Duke University, Durham, NC | Non-Profit Management Certification | 2015

U.S. Department of Justice | Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Division | FBI Citizen’s Academy | 2008

Florida International University, Miami, FL
Master of Business Administration, International Business | 1997 (2 years)
Bachelor of Public Administration | 1995 (2 years)

List in reverse chronological order your work history for the past 15 years.
Broward County Commission, Fort Lauderdale, FL May 2019-December 2023
Office of Economic and Small Business Development | Program Project Coordinator, Senior
Develop and maintain relationships with Broward County non-profit organizations, service providers, local business and industry groups, municipalities and educational entities with the goal of aligning apprenticeship opportunities with employment needs, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
Partnered with the Human Resources Division and other internal County agencies to create apprenticeship/training opportunities within the organization.
Reported annually on progress made in aligning workforce needs with apprenticeship/training programs as part of Broward County’s larger economic development effort.

Miami-Dade College, Miami, FL March 2018 – May 2019
Carrie P. Meek Foundation Job Readiness Training Program | Continuing Education Instructor
Empowered and prepared over 300 adults with job readiness skills helped them to become marketable to employers who created jobs at the Amazon Fulfillment Center and other employers at locations throughout Miami-Dade County.

Republic Services, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, FL October 2015 – May 2017
Municipal Services Manager
Developed and implemented the Fort Lauderdale Division sales strategy for procurement contract extensions, new business and re-bid of municipal waste and recycling hauling sales opportunities to ensure growth, retention, and quality of revenue, valued at over $20 million book of business.
Participated in government affairs activities in the assigned division and serve as the Registered Lobbyist addressing hauling, disposal and collection issues within five municipalities.
Met regularly with key stakeholders and Elected Officials within Broward & Miami-Dade municipalities, state and federal agencies to enhance the company’s position and continuously bring value-added services to the relationship.

Broward County Public Schools, Fort Lauderdale, FL September 2012 – October 2015
Broward Advisor for Continuing Education (BRACE) | Boyd H. Anderson High School
Assisted with the completion of specific test applications leading to postsecondary options (including vocational and technical school information; PSAT, SAT, ACT, ASVAB; information regarding job applications and/or resumes; general information regarding scholarships, grants, financial aid, and the applications for each.

Miami-Dade County, Miami, FL June 1989 – September 2011
Division Supervisor Public Housing & Community Development April 2010 – September 2011
Managed division that provided core economic development programs designed to serve as a catalyst in spurring new private sector investment and job creation in communities struggling to secure benefits of the new economy.
Developed technical assistance workshops for businesses who sought over $17 million in funding to start a new business or expand an existing one with eligibility criteria from one of several Federal programs funded through the department.
Supported sustainable economic development strategies that leveraged investments from other public and private sources in order to ensure long-term viability of the local business community.

South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee 2010, Miami, FL January 2008 – April 2010
Director of Community Outreach | NFL Emerging Business Program
Miami-Dade County Loaned Executive to Super Bowl XLIV.
Prepared South Florida region to host the record-breaking Super Bowl XLIV and fulfilled all bid obligations to the National Football League (NFL).
Implemented NFL Emerging Business Program; conducted “How To Do Business with the Super Bowl” business development workshops for over 2,500 business regionally.
Collaborated with civic groups, government-approved certification agencies, and the Host Committee with outreach strategies in an effort to identify eligible small businesses in the tri-county area.

Have you ever been a party to a lawsuit, including bankruptcy or foreclosure? If so, provide details and disposition.
Yes. I was involved in a foreclosure that removed my ex-husband from our home in 2015. We divorced in 2001 and his name was removed from all legal documents. I later sold the home in 2018.

Have you ever been charged or convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, including an adjudication of guilt withheld? If so, provide charges, dates and terms of sentence.
No.

If a proposed regional incinerator is not the right answer to the region’s long-term waste disposal needs, what is?
I believe the answer to the region’s long-term waste disposal needs is full participation with the County’s existing Solid Waste Authority to work collaboratively with other municipalities, review best practices and set long and short term goals. I would recommend that the City set goals and devise a team internally who would be responsible for planning, designing and implementing a citywide waste reduction program. It is also important that we actively engage, communicate and educate Pembroke Pines residents and the business community on recycling options and keep them informed of waste assessment audits intended to minimize costs.

Composting, which has been successful in other parts of the country, would not be conducive in South Florida due to the lead content in the soil.

Broward County’s plan to close and “repurpose” schools is certain to affect Pembroke Pines. What should be the city’s goals on this issue?
In order to identify the goals on this issues, as a board, we should collectively review the recommendations set forth by the Broward County Public School Board members and superintendent. A number of schools are being targeted throughout Broward County for merging and not repurposed. According to the public records, none of the schools are located in Pembroke Pines. Our city has been fortunate to receive a number of the students whose parents have decided to transfer them to charter schools, and with that comes the allocation of additional funds from the school board budget.

We should continue having our Charter Elementary/Middle School Advisory Board and Charter High School Board work, collectively, with our School Board members; student representatives; parent teacher associations; community groups; parents; students and concerned citizens to formalize long-term goals and ensure enhanced programming is in place to minimize repurposing and/or merging in any of the schools within our districts.

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of City Manager Charlie Dodge.
Charles Dodge has been serving as city manager of Pembroke Pines for 40 years. While I’ve met him only once, upon being elected as a commissioner, I will be evaluating him on the following duties as outlined in the municipal code:
The powers and duties of the City Manager shall be:

(a)   To see that the laws and ordinances are enforced.
(b)   To advise and assist all departments that may be created by the Commission.
(c)   To attend all meetings of the Commission with the right to take part in the discussion but having no vote.
(d)   To recommend to the Commission for adoption such measures as he/she may deem necessary or expedient.
(e)   Direct and supervise the administration of all departments of the municipal government and be responsible for the maintenance of sound personnel policies and administrative practices and submit quarterly reports pertaining to this subsection to the City Commission in writing.
(f)   Approve or disapprove purchases for each department, division or office and where any bill or voucher differs from the original purchase order in any manner then the payment of such voucher or purchase order shall not be made unless previously approved by the City Manager.
(g)   Establish working, personnel, and vacation schedules and appropriate records and reports.
(h)   Approve or prescribe in written form the internal organization of each department and timely provide a copy of this information to each Commissioner.
(i)   Assign and transfer administrative functions, powers and duties among and within departments in writing and timely provide a copy of this information to each Commissioner.
(j)   Delegate to department heads such duties as the City Manager may deem necessary for efficient administration.
(k)   The City Manager shall have the authority to appoint and discharge all Department Heads, Personnel, and Employees of the City, other than those who, by the terms and provisions of this Charter, are appointed by the City Commission, or who are appointed pursuant to any ordinance, or resolution adopted by the City Commission governing appointment and discharge of City personnel and employees and timely provide a copy of this information to each Commissioner.
(l)   To perform such other duties as may be required by ordinance or resolution of the Commission.

I would welcome the opportunity to see him more visible throughout the community.

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