Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trujillo Stands Against North Bay Village Police

Let's jump right into the most exciting part of last night's meeting - the mayor introduced a resolution directing the city manager to use $260,000 of the moneys collected on the red light traffic cameras to prevent the layoff of sworn officers. The resolution passed 3 to 1 or 3 to 2 depending on whether former vice mayor Rey Trujillo, author of the North Bay Village Trujillo Tax, was counted or not.

The breakdown was Alfonso, Rodriguez and Kane voted Yes, while Vogel voted No and Trujillo

Rey Trujillo was so enraged by this audacity that he claimed a "No Vote" since he said he wasn't there. I'm not making this up. When it was pointed out to him that others could see him, he toddled off the stage. We could still see him so I don't know how that works when his vote is counted.

Connie Leon-Kreps, self declared candidate for commission, was also so outraged by this resolution that when Fane Lozman decided to storm the microphone, she joined him at the podium to protest. (This brings to mind the old Spanish proverb Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres roughly translating as "You are known by the company you keep.") When her Rosa Parks moment failed, she managed to regain her composure long enough to shriek at Dr. Paul Vogel to vote "No", which he obliged.

Has there been a time when it was clearer that the whole agenda of this group of citizens and Rey Trujillo is "If Oscar likes it, we don't."?

The money from the red light fund is there. The city in the past used anticipated revenues to balance the budget and failed, but this money is not anticipated. It's there. One concern voiced is that because of a lawsuit filed by citizens unhappy with having to stop at red lights, we may have to return the money. Well, it's hard to see how but assuming that this lawsuit does prevail, we still keep enough money in reserve to cover it. In addition to the over a quarter of a million dollars we already have, revenues are coming in at between $10,000 and $13,000 per week.

Just as we could see former vice mayor Rey Trujillo last night, we can see this money.

Now just in case this wasn't crazy enough, Trujillo at one point actually said, "if we fund the cops, they won't look at cuts." Okay. That was the point.

There's a lot more to cover about the commission meeting, and I will. Right now though, I am still shaking my head over the alternate universe last night. When we had a clear opportunity to prevent layoffs in public safety, Trujillo walked off the dais.

Kevin Vericker
August 11, 2010

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