Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Fishwrap

Earlier this week, I purchased a single mackerel to coax a kitten out of hiding. Like all cute cat stories, this one is dull as can be so I won't recount the full story, just the end. Within a few hours, the fish started to rot and the odor was foul. The kitten did not come out of hiding and it was necessary to take firm measures. I threw the fish out and spent an hour scrubbing the kitchen to get rid of the odor.

North Bay Village is stinking like this fish as we continue to let the corruption tainting the unnecessary move to the Lexi foul the place up. George Kane, the current vice mayor, organized, lobbied for and pushed the move to the Lexi and then at the last minute, recused himself from the final vote as he is the real estate agent on the move.

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics investigated and the Vice Mayor is now on the hook for $25,000 to be repaid to the city for the ill gotten commission. The full account can be found here at the post from June 14.

The move itself is unnecessary and costly, and as of today we have no firm move date, the Lexi still has signs advertising the space as available, and George Kane attempted to pull a cute move at the last full commission meeting to put himself in charge of negotiating another real estate deal for the city. That motion died in an embarrassed silence.

What we have here is not evidence of corruption. It is corruption. There is no indication that George Kane intends to do the honorable thing, which would be to apologize and resign.

Not one of our commission members, including the mayor, have introduced even a token motion of censure. Not Oscar Alfonso, our mayor, not Dr. Paul Vogel, our longest serving public official, nor Rey Trujillo or Frank Rodriguez. The silence is frightening.

Our usually quick to scream self appointed guardians of municipal disclosure have remained equally silent on the subject, including our best known nonresident activist. I watched at former commissioner Connie Kreps stormed the stage over a technical issue at the last commission meeting, and yet she has never spoken on this subject.

A motion of censure would not have any legal effect on Kane, but it would clearly state that North Bay Village does not approve of commissioners abusing their office for personal gain.

The deal stinks from top to bottom. It's costly, the new facility is not suitable for full police work and its only stated advantages are that City Hall would make the Lexi look better from the street and citizens would not have to take an elevator ride to the current facility. It should be withdrawn but failing that, at least the commission should censure the sitting Vice Mayor for a nasty, dishonest deal that stinks a lot worse than a mackerel on a hot August day.

Kevin Vericker
August 27, 2010

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