Coral Gables Commissioners Should Watch Mayor Diaz

Mr. Diaz reputation has gone up in my estimation. Instead of either acting like this is a transitory problem and delaying hard decisions he seems to be really facing spending, salary and benefits reductions. Coral Gables should take a lesson from Miami’s real austerity.

Affordable Housing for Miami Political and Government Friends

This demonstrates government ethics problems are not reserved for the Miami-Dade County government friends and authorities, the attempt of local governments to subsidize affordable housing can easily be gotten around so that there is not certainty that they will benefit the desired group, and the concept of “affordable housing” is a just another rouge to misdirect public funds to friends and political cohorts.  At least one commissioner is offended by what happened.

(CBS4) MIAMI CBS4.com has learned the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has begun a probe into what one Miami commissioner is calling “insider trading” among some employees of the City of Miami who may have used inside information about a city-sponsored affordable housing program to buy up the publicly subsidized condos, re-sell them, and pocket profits of as much as 83%.
Other buyers appeared to have purchased the specially designated ‘affordable’ condos at “The Loft” for investment or re-sale, not with the intent of buying an affordable home with the intent of living in downtown Miami, as is the stated goal of the city program.
“It is the kind of thing that gives Miami a very very bad name,” said Commissioner Tomas Regalado, a member of the commission when the decision was made to use public funds to subsidize affordable housing at the project.

Source: cbs4.com – Exclusive-City $$ Buys Insiders Sweet Condo Deal?

Miami Dade County is Better than Living in (say) Haiti–Thus Speaks our Commissioner

Kathy Sorenson, 8th District Commissioner of Miami Dade County is living on another planet. She argues with a straight face that our government is pretty much ok, is not too bad in the way it spends our money and, except for a few embarrassing flaws, is much better than what you would find in another country where people don’t have good or any government. Granted Miami Dade County government is better than governments in Haiti, El Salvador, Kenya, etc. I thought we should compare Miami Dade County government to (say) Montgomery County Maryland in Washington, DC area, or take pick in any good, solid well run government in a U.S. metropolitan area.

With some notable and glaring exceptions, our county government functions reasonably well. If you don’t believe me, go to a country that doesn’t have a functioning government.

We have a greedy county government, overstaffed, (mis)managers of important projects for your city, quick to tax, quick to spend and quick to waste and with little time to look at the road ahead.

Time has come for our commissioners to do their job–run government in both good and bad times.

Source: Property taxes keep community working – 04/30/2007 – MiamiHerald.com

Spitzter’s Government Reforms: Dare Miami-Dade Commissioners Take Note

A first step of the new governor of New York was to institute clear steps toward establishing honest government. Would it be that both state, county and local governments take the same interest in good, ethical and open government. One can only hope that Spitzer is successful and that other states learn from this challenge and be driven to change.

Spitzer enacted measures to limit political consideration and mandate ethical behavior by employees of the executive branch.They ban gifts from lobbyists; end personal use of state cars, computers and equipment; prohibit nepotismand ban ex-employees hired by the Spitzer administration from lobbying the executive branch for two years.

Other executive orders ban statewide officials _ including Spitzer _ from appearing in state-paid commercials _ stopping a practice expanded greatly under Republican Governor Pataki, which critics called free campaign ads.

Another measure established a state commission to make sure candidates for judicial appointments are qualified. Yet another order requires many public meetings to soon be broadcast.

Increased Urban Density: The Logical Solution to Urban Sprawl in Miami

The following succinctly defines “urban sprawl”.

The unlimited outward extension of suburbs characterized by low-density residential and commercial settlements, unchecked land development, dominance of transportation by private automotive vehicles, and widespread strip commercial development. Concerns associated with sprawl include loss of farmland and open space, increased public service costs, and environmental degradation as well as other concerns associated with transportation.
www.njtpa.org/capital_programming/glossary.htm

I recommended the recent post in Transit Miami in which the issue of greater urban density is raised as a response to urban sprawl in Miami. For greater urban density to be successful it must be accompanied by protection of the characteristics of existing high quality urban neighborhoods, the insertion of reasonable small green areas, the increase in mass transportation and the incorporation of good zoning and land management that promote a good quality of life.

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Rep. Tancredo’s undelivered speech–Miami as the Third World

Read what Rep. Tancredo planned to say at the cancelled Rotary Club meeting.

More Corruption in Miami

Another reason to have a strong mayor-county manager form of government!

Miami man admits to $1 million theft from county

Vance deposited 20 $50,000 checks in Modular accounts, though the
company spent only about $100,000 delivering mail, prosecutors said.

Does any keep track of the money in Miami-Dade County? Are there auditors in Miami-Dade County and do they work?