Doctors Hospital: No Green Barrier in 2008

These 2008 images show the Coral Gables-owned municipal parking lot #24 that was leased to Doctors Hospital since the late 1980’s. The lease contract requires that the hospital maintain the landscaping, which should hide the view of the building and sustain a green buffer in the neighborhood. Here in 2008 there was neither.

This is suggestive of what the valet parking lot may look like in the future if not carefully managed and overseen by the City of Coral Gables.

Doctors Hospital 2008

Mike Mena’s Coral Gables land deal looks shady; residents ask for his head – Political Cortadito

Coral Gables Vice Mayor Mike Mena is under fire for his vote last week to sell a city-owned parcel used as a surface parking lot near the Village of Merrick Park to his bosses in a no-bid secret deal that nobody knew was coming. Some residents are asking for his resignation.

“Mena knew he was doing something wrong and tried to cover his tracks,” Coral Gables resident and former U.S. District Attorney Leon Kellner wrote in an op-ed piece published in Community Newspapers and Gables Insider.

“At the commission meeting he blurted out that his vote would not make a difference because he said he knew there were four ‘yes’ votes from the mayor and three other commissioners. That’s uncanny,” Kellner wrote, “given Florida’s strict Sunshine Laws which prohibit commissioners from speaking to each other in private about city business.

“So, how did he know the other commissioners would vote in favor of the sale?”

Mike Mena’s Coral Gables land deal looks shady; residents ask for his head – Political Cortadito

OPINION (Thomas Kennedy): Ron DeSantis Is an Authoritarian

Ron DeSantis increasingly acts like an authoritarian rather than a governor elected by a razor-thin margin of about 30,000 votes. We are seeing the end of a legislative session that can only be described as a direct assault on Floridians.

Republicans in the state legislature passed bills that bully trans kids that want to play sports, criminalize protesting, suppress the right to vote, raised sales taxes for consumers, and blocked raising unemployment benefits for those who are still struggling through the pandemic.

While doing nothing to better the lives of Floridians, DeSantis and his acolytes were busy trying to distract the public by passing a silly and likely unconstitutional bill going after social media companies for “deplatforming” candidates running statewide in the state.

OPINION: Ron DeSantis Is an Authoritarian

Mask rules at Dadeland, Dolphin and other Miami malls | Miami Herald

Now that the CDC says it’s OK for fully vaccinated people to not wear a mask in most places, some South Florida businesses are ending their mandates while others are keeping it for now. But what about malls, filled with stores and restaurants that have different policies? Here’s a guide:

Mask rules at Dadeland, Dolphin and other Miami malls | Miami Herald

OVERDEVELOPMENT PROMOTED BY THE COMMISSION OF CORAL GABLES

This clearly demonstrates that the city selling its land to a developer, just ADDS TO THE OVERDEVELOPMENT, OVERBUILDING TREND IN CORAL GABLES. The solution–stop selling public land to developers.

The Coral Gables City Commission voted Tuesday to move forward with a plan to sell a public parking lot for $3.5 million to a developer that would join the property with two adjacent lots for a new project.

But a wrinkle came up during the meeting: The partners behind the listed buyer — Delaware-registered JRFQ Holdings, LLC. — also own the MSP Recovery Law Firm where Vice Mayor Michael Mena has been employed since July 2019.

Gables commissioner voted to sell city property to his bosses | Miami Herald

Conflict of Interest and Appearance of Corruption in the Commission of Coral Gables

It may be two years away, but newly-minted Coral Gables Vice Mayor Mike Mena just lost any chance he had to be re-elected in 2023. No, it’s not just because of the condescending matter in which he dismissed resident-driven ideas from newly-elected Commissioner Rhonda Anderson, who proposed amending the zoning code to require approval and notice for “as of right” commercial developments. The Gables Insider correctly called Mena’s arguments mansplaining. It was also pathetic. But the reason he’s not fit for office is because of his shameful and unethical vote to sell city-owned land to his boss. The commission voted unanimously Tuesday to sell a parking lot at 350 Greco Avenue for $3.5 million to JRFQ Holdings, a company registered in Delaware and owned by John Ruiz and former Commissioner Frank Quesada, who also own the company that employ Mena.

Coral Gables Vice Mayor Mike Mena votes to sell city land to his bosses – Political Cortadito

2. UM to wipe George Merrick, Fillmore from campus buildings | Miami Herald

The students worked with historians to bring to light some of George Merrick’s actions on the planning board. In 1937, for example, a “Negro Resettlement Plan” was proposed to relocate Black community members to the “least preferred locations outside of the Miami city limits,” according to meeting minutes from the time. The proposal was never put into action. The petition was first presented to the university’s Board of Trustees at a July meeting, and the students were told that renaming the education school building requires returning the land and the money used to pay for the building, which was not possible. The parking structure, however, will be given a “neutral, directional name.”

UM to wipe George Merrick, Fillmore from campus buildings | Miami Herald