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City Hall Pot Still Stewing
Michaael Miller, Executive Editor

City Hall Pot Still Stewing

Michaael Miller, Executive Editor

The stew pot keeps boiling away at City Hall.

Now, usually reliable sources tell me that Vice Mayor Valerie Newman is so po’d at City Manager Hector Mirabile that she’s contemplating overthrowing the latest administrator for the City of Pleasant Living. (Hardly a surprise: Valerie has never been happy with the parade of preceding managers named in recent years).

Nevertheless, should her reported wish come about, we could have the Police Chief serving in the interim post, as many cities do, until a “permanent” City Manager is found. Makes you wonder what kind of an oxymoron “permanent” means when it comes to shuffling South Miami chief administrators.

So what else is new at City Hall? I hear our Commissioners will vote against a proposed 90-unit, eight-story building next to the Post Office, planned as an affordable housing apartment with parking and retail space…Good luck to those who need it most – they’ll get stuck again by City Hall!

Meanwhile, Larkin Hospital is looking to put up a new building, which will include a new emergency room on an existing parking lot. I hear the city is looking at it favorably and the hospital is taking all the steps needed to formalized the project.

With the next election 13 months away, the race for Commission seats should be fun to watch, if only because I hear thatVice Mayor Valerie would like her community leadership role validated by being elected Mayor – and knocking off Mayor Phil Stoddard in the process!

Of course, Brian Beasley will run for re-election to keep his commission seat with quieted aspirations to be “Mayor Brian.” (Sorry, Brian. Looks like the timing just ain’t right, this time around).

Well-placed sources are telling me the police will be serving more warrants to pick up the bad guys once again . Last go-around, I heard the cops were looking for a couple of dozen and now they’re after a new bunch. (Perhaps some they missed the last time.)

The annual “State of the City” address by Mayor Phil Stoddard will be given Thursday, February 24, 6 to 9 p.m. at the Elks (BPOE) Club, 6304 SW 78 Street with tickets at $25 for individuals and $200 for tables of 10.

That’s a departure from previous years when the celebratory event took place at South Miami Hospital in a classy setting with great ambiance, friendly and happy faces galore and, of course, great food and beverages, a setting that has always been top-of-the-line for a significant city event.

Why did the city change its venue? Had to have something to do with construction of the hospital’s generator room for which South Miami Hospital got its permitting, did all the right things, and then, after a complaint about the room’s size being too large, got hit with a city claim to extract $50,000 to $100,000, that woundup in mediation ruling in favor of the Hospital.

And was that the end? Nope. The city took the hospital to court and guess what: the courts reaffirmed the mediator ruling in favor of the hospital.

Now I’m not saying our politicians are vindictive. Just wondering why the city is being so pesty about hospital recent applications. By the way, why doesn’t City Manager Mirabile check out the $150,000 the hospital donates to the city to see if those funds have correctly been spent since the inception of the donation?

It might prove interesting to see if all that dough got used the way it was intended, or how the city actually used it — just thinking out loud. By the way, least the city forget, South Miami Hospital also provides free health to kids at the South Miami Childrens Clinic.

Nonetheless, it appears the proverbial line in the sand has been drawn with the city sending its feeble messages of retaliation, as if they just can’t take it anymore. To which we add: tch, tch!

I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto…

We hear from former mayor Gene Flinn, as well as his wife, author Alexandra Flinn, that their daughter Meredith appeared in the lead role of Dorothy in last Thursday night’s performance of “The Wizard of Oz” at Southwood Middle School. (With two performances the parts were double-cast and Sophie Hernandez played the role in Friday’s performance.) Hey, if the acting bug takes hold, maybe in a few years Meredith can try out for a part in a movie based on one of her mom’s Young Adult novels. “Beastly” is hitting theaters in March, and Alex’s new book, “Cloaked,” seems destined for the screen as well. Good going, Meredith!

Kent “Wiremaster” Crook has proudly informed us that his business, Wiremasters Electric, was awarded an Angie’s List Super Service Award 2010. Congratulations, Kent.

Belated Birthday wishes to Village Councilwoman Joan Lindsay, who celebrated her special day on January 16th. Many happy returns, Joan.

History devotees—the Miami Circle dedication ceremony is on Wednesday February 23, at 11:30 a.m. at 401 Brickell Avenue, downtown Miami. It’s free and open to the public. To RSVP call 305-375- 1657 or send an email to e.info@historymiami. org, or you can visit http://www.historymiami.org/miamicircle/. Miami Circle was discovered in 1998 at Brickell Point at the mouth of the Miami River. Archaeological excavations there revealed the site of a Tequesta Indian village, one of the first Native North American groups encountered in 1513 by Juan Ponce de León.

Winging it for the Superbowl. The Wingstop restaurant, located at 20565 Old Cutler Road, is getting ready for Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, February 6, when the Pittsburgh Steelers meet the Green Bay Packers. The Wingstop chain expects to “sauce and toss” five million wings nationwide on Super Bowl Sunday. Call ‘em at 305-969-WING (9464).

Commissioner Javier Souto is Co- Prime Sponsor of Item 4A on first reading of the Tuesday, February 1 agenda, along with Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, which proposes the Board of County Commissioners as a “true legislative policy- making body” like the Florida Legislature and Congress. The ordinance will require the Mayor, the County Manager, any Department Director or anyone from the Administrative Branch of County Government to secure a Commissioner to sponsor an item they want to place on the Board of County Commission Agenda.

That will “once and for all” separate the Legislative Branch from the Executive Branch of Government, says Souto. Currently those lines are blurred since the Mayor, County Manager and all Departments sponsor policy-making legislation all the time, with power to veto Commission sponsored items and administer those same policies, he adds.

Going once…going twice… we hear that Hammer and Block Auctioneers, Miami’s only full-service auction house, will hold its inaugural Latin American Art sale on Wednesday, February 2, at 7:30 p.m. The auction will be held live at the Hammer and Block location in the center of the Midtown Miami Wynwood Art District as well as online on renowned auction website, www.liveauctioneers.com.

The Latin American Art auction will feature original artwork by Carlos Quintana, one of Cuba’s most famous contemporary artists, and pieces by Eduardo McEntyre and Marcelo Bonevardi from Argentina. Hammer and Block is located in Midtown Miami at 415 NW 26th Street and can be contacted by phone at (305) 576-1988 or by email, info@hammerandblock.com.

Rental car SunPass? You’ll have to check it out

Wish we had a good answer for Peter S. of New York City who read our recent report on SunPass use for those who rent cars for occasional trips to South Florida.

“I was shocked to read your recent front page article (re: “SunPass Only Starts Feb. 19 on Turnpike”)” writes this occasional visitor, wondering how he can use the Turnpike Extension, driving a rental car from Fort Lauderdale Airport to Exit 19 (SW 120th Street, just below the Snapper Creek Service Plaza).

Turnpike/SunPass folks have worked out arrangements to have rental car agencies rebill any pre-installed SunPass transponder unit. However, each rental car company has its own rules and regulations to determine how vehicle renters reimburse tolls registered on registered rental tag numbers.

One company asks a $25 deposit as part of the agreement; others assess fees for daily, weekly and monthly use of the transponder.

It all winds up with SunPass folks warning that “for more information on specific rental car programs, please contact your local rental car agency as each has separate programs and fees associated with electronic toll usage.”

Peter S. concludes his note by saying he thought of contacting SunPass directly, but opted for our advice since bureaucracies are “quite insensitive” to such issues.

Good luck in dealing with your rental car “bureaucracy,” Pete. Just hope they’re the kind that appreciates Florida-bound customers.

Commissioner Javier Souto is Co- Prime Sponsor of Item 4A on first reading of the Tuesday, February 1 agenda, along with Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, which proposes the Board of County Commissioners as a “true legislative policy- making body” like the Florida Legislature and Congress. The ordinance will require the Mayor, the County Manager, any Department Director or anyone from the Administrative Branch of County Government to secure a Commissioner to sponsor an item they want to place on the Board of County Commission Agenda.

That will “once and for all” separate the Legislative Branch from the Executive Branch of Government, says Souto. Currently those lines are blurred since the Mayor, County Manager and all Departments sponsor policy-making legislation all the time, with power to veto Commission sponsored items and administer those same policies, he adds.

Good-natured palaver occurred between Maj. Alexander Casas who heads Hammock District Police and outspoken activist Lawrence Percival when revealed the sometimes-controversial Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations officer will receive a special commendation from Mayor Carlos Alvarez, acknowledging his service to the community over 30-plus years. Presentation is due to be made at the County Commission Chambers, 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 1, before the day’s agenda begins.

Lago Mar Park at SW 162nd Avenue and SW 80th Street getting needed improvements, including new basketball courts, a pet comfort station and an ADAapproved drinking fountain, plus assorted water and drain field connections to prevent flooding backflows. Construction to start early in February, reports Commissioner Joe Martinez.

Not for publication: newly-organizing Political Action Committee forming in Kendall under the name “1896” with details to be announced in February.

Meanwhile, scratching your head shouldn’t take too long to figure out why that date is important in history in these parts…or will it?

Thought for the Day:

We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life.

— Sir William Osler

Richard Yager contributed to this column.

Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to michael@communitynewspapers.com.

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