Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Press and North Bay Village (plus Red Lights)

Francisco Alvarado, of the Miami New Times, wrote another post about North Bay Village. This time it was about the mayor's house and numerous code violations. Click Here. I haven't been a big fan of Alvarado's reporting on North Bay Village but I have to give him credit here. He did call and seek comment from the city manager and it appears that Oscar Alfonso has until March 19 to get this in order.

It's time. The house itself has become a distraction from the real issues facing North Bay Village and it needs to get fixed. So by the way do several other houses, including the three story code breaker on South Treasure Drive and the abandoned houseboat by the West Drive Park

We've grown so lax in North Bay Village enforcing code that it's beginning to look like a chaotic slum around here.

On the red lights, you may have seen in today's Herald that Aventura's red light program was set aside by a court decision. The court in essence said that towns in Florida do not have the right to levy traffic fines. The towns in response are saying that these are not traffic fines but code violations, similar to parking tickets. It's bound to be appealed and we'll see how that sorts out.

One thing is clear, follow the money. The plaintiff was represented by Bret Lusskin, owner of Ticket Cricket. That's right "Ticket Cricket" whose motto is "Don't Pay That Ticket."

Look, I actually defend trial lawyers as they are often the only ones out there supporting the civil rights of people who get pushed aside but...

"Ticket Cricket" is part of the mass Florida scam designed to keep otherwise unemployable lawyers in cash and bad drivers on the road. Haven't you ever wondered why there is near zero traffic enforcement in Florida? The Ticket Crickets and their ill conceived ilk make sure there are no consequences.

Heck, I don't even know why the cops stop people for traffic violations, putting themselves in danger, for someone who is going to write a check to Ticket Cricket and speed on.

So Bret Lusskin, Mr. Ticket Cricket, and his friends are going to continue to ensure the inalienable rights of morons running red lights are protected.

Special note: A study done at the University of South Florida, also known as the Harvard of the Greater Tampa area, has been thrown about as conclusively showing that red light cameras increase accidents, particularly rear ending. It was done in 2008 by Barbara Langland-Orban of the Public Health School at USF and she assures us all that her study was in no way related to her traffic conviction for, you guessed it, rear ending a car stopped at a red light.


  1. I just want to make a few comments, not here to initiate war or anything like that. On Oscar's house: First, he did submit plans and obtain a Building Permit for the addition on his house. Second,if this structure did not get inspections or pass inspections, that falls on the Building Official who should have been following up on the building of said structure. At this point, it is my opinion that this issue is beyond code enforcement as far as the structure goes and I will explain why: If the structure is deemed unfit or unsafe (which must be done by the Building Official) or Miami-Dade Unsafe Structure Board-NOT Code Enforcement Officers then it is up to The Unsafe Structure Board to order it be brought up to standard or order the structure to be removed. The cost of the removal of the structure would probably be placed upon NBV to do this and then a Lien would be filed against the property for the amount of such removal of the unsafe structure. Now, if it is true that a Foreclosure proceeding has already begun, it negates all Code Enforcement Fines and Liens on or to be placed on this property because it is in Foreclosure by the bank or basically it runs in favor of the first lien holder which would be the bank/mortgage company. Secondly, it is against the law to place a Lien against a Homesteaded property, in the first place and like I said, even if it were done, it would be wiped clean in favor of the first mortgage holder in a Foreclosure proceeding. Next, the IRS IS THE ONLY OTHER ENTITY THAT CAN TAKE POSESSION OF A HOMESTEADED PROPERTY OTHER THAN A BANK IN A FORECLOSURE PROCEEDING. So, if there is an IRS Tax Lien, as reported, more than likely the IRS will get posession of this property at some point in time. So, be that as it may, one of two things will happen, the First Mortgage Holder will take posession by Foreclosure or the IRS by Tax Lien. Either way, all Liens due or owed NBV will be wiped away, so essentially there is no avenue for Code Enforcement fines or liens at this time, its a waste of time to go that avenue. Also, if NBV takes the burden of the expense to remove said structure because it is deemed unsafe by the Miami-Dade Unsafe Structure Board, chances are they will NOT re-coup these monies. In any instance, Oscar Alfonso appears to be loosing this property and has no reason to try and fix it up or clean it up and more than likely will not fix it or clean it up. It is a shame that he does not want to have a nice property and leaves it a mess, but the reality of it all is that it is beyond Code Enforcement actions at this time. Code Enforcement on this property at this time, will do no good. I may be incorrect and you can correct me if I am wrong, but this is just one opinion and an opinion only. You may want to look into this, as these reasons may be the reasons why Oscar just does not care and will live there without paying his mortgage or taxes, ect. until he is forced to leave either by Foreclosure or the IRS. Also, since it is really illegal to place a Code Enforcement Lien against a Homesteaded property, there is also no reason for him to go out and clean up the yard area (front and rear) either. Its really a shame that there is nothing that can be done right now and basically the Manager giving him 30 days to clean it up means nothing because in reality nothing can be done about it.

  2. About the Red Light Running: I think the camera thing is a great idea, however, I too, must stop and think of the legality of it all as it pertains to Code Enforcement. The cities are saying that these tickets will be handled under Code Enforcement Proceedings thereby allowing for a fine to be imposed by a Code Board or a Special Magistrate without putting points on a person's license. Florida Statute 162 is the Code Enforcement Statute that every city, municipality, ect. follows. Florida Statute 162 specifically states that as part of a persons(alledged violator) right to due process (remember under Code Enforcement Statute FS 162) is the "right to cross-examine a witness" there is no way to cross-examine a camera. That right there would violate a persons due process rights (in code enforcement)there must be an officer there to observe the violation. If there is no officer to observe a violation in Code Enforcement, the Officer can obtain a sworn affidavit from someone else, but that is not generally a practice accepted by the Board or Special Magistrates and is used as a last resort, but again, a camera cannot make a sworn affidavit. Also under the due process of a violator under Code Enforcement they have to be given a "reasonable" time to correct a violation. So how do un-due or correct running a red light, once it happens it happens and I agree that it is illegal to run a red light, it may just have to be handled by a Traffic Magistrate in a different form or venue so it will not fall under Code Enforcement. Again, just my opinion and you may want to look into this. This is why there is so much controversy about the red-light camera issue, I think most people agree, as I do, that no matter it is still illegal to run a red light whether you get caught or not.


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