The downward spiral South Miami has taken over the past 22 months saddens many of us who have worked hard to improve our city through years of dedication and involvement.
As we have witnessed, beneficial accomplishments for the overall good for our city have not come to fruition. Pseudo-intellectual doublespeak may impress naïve college freshmen, but it will never replace common sense and efficacious leadership.
For then candidate Phillip Stoddard, the beginning of his web of deception began two years ago. The F.I.U biology teacher turned politician illicitly recruited his impressionable F.I.U. students to work on his campaign. With an alleged nod and a wink assuring a good grade, they went knocking on the doors of unsuspecting South Miamians, innocently spreading their teacher’s lies and deception.
Citizens of South Miami should not have their rights violated nor should they be disrespected at Commission Meetings. South Miami should not be the laughing stock of the county such as when current Mayor Stoddard wrote a letter to a citizen banning her from all future commission meetings. Though he had no choice but to retract the letter, a supposed educated man who once proclaimed, “Power to the people” should have realized that it is simply wrong and a complete violation of a citizen’s first amendment rights.
Our city’s annual budget should not be manipulated for self-promoting political purposes. A budget should reflect realistic and correct revenue projections as well as accurate expenses. Unrealistic revenue projections by over 7% compounded by underestimated and omitted expenses by as high as 9% will only create a major problem for the next commission, and more importantly to South Miami taxpayers. It is little wonder that this commission has looked at annexing huge parts of the neighborhood area from the Palmetto Expressway and Sunset north to Bird Road.
Expected lawsuit settlements along with all attorneys’ fees should be included in the budget as clear and transparent line items. Taxpayers should not have to pay for lucrative politically motivated contracts to cronies or allow the overpriced outsourcing of our departments. These practices once reserved for Banana Republics are now prevalent in South Miami. Once again, these issues serve as sources of rumors of corruption placing South Miami in the same league as certain Caribbean and Latin American countries.
As a resident and taxpayer contributing 12 plus years of service to our city, I am concerned over the lack of direction, lack of leadership, poorly run government, unproductive meetings and unprofessional treatment of our city employees.
Some of you may already know that I am not running for election this February. I would, however, like to take this opportunity to thank many of you for offering me your support. It is both humbling and rewarding to know that my administration is fondly remembered for having made positive tangible differences throughout South Miami.
It is now time for a positive knowledgeable city commission to return civility and direction to the city.
On February 14, we will have an opportunity to vote for honest and effective leadership. You can cause a change come election day and vote for the three best candidates whom will lead the city of South Miami with common sense, dignity and respect.
Horace G. Feliu
2002-2004 & 2006-2010
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