Lobbyist's 12 year tenure
as chair of Miami-Dade's
homeless board extended

In June of 2016, Ron Book predicted that he had enough votes on the county commission to extend his tenure as chairman of Miami-Dade's homeless board.

On July 19, 2016, the Miami-Dade County commission unanimously approved a term limit waiver. Book, a prominent lobbyist did not attend the meeting.

Book has held the position of the Homeless Trust chairmanship since 2004. The Trust is a tax funded operation.

Book's tenure faces more scrutiny than ever. Washington rejected $6 million in gomeless grants for Miami-Dade. A result of how the Department of Housing and Urban Development renews funding requests. Book has served on the county board since its founding in the 1990s, despite county rules limiting members to two consecutive three-year terms.

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, which holds seven seats on the 27-member board wrote Book on May 25 to ask about his plans for a successor. Book replied that he expected another term-limit waiver from commissioners, and that rumers of his "pending assassination should be quashed".

Book also received a residency waiver - Book is a Broward County home-owner.

Book is a significant donor to commission incumbents, and his Aventura lobbying firm earns $120,000 a year advocating in Tallahassee for the legislative priorities commissioners establish by resolution.

The Homeless Trust's executive board recently voted to cover most of the lost HUD money with reserves if replacement money isn't found. Book is managing an appeal to Washington. He's also campaigning to expand the 1 percent restaurant tax that helps fund the agency to Miami Beach and other coastal cities exempt from the levy due to their own municipal restaurant taxes.

Book portrayed the HUD funding crisis as a top reason for him to stay on for at least another three years.

Doug Hanks. June 22, 2016. The Miami Herald. 5A.