Tuesday, October 19, 2010

City Commission Agenda

Tonight is the regular city commission meeting. You'll find the agenda at the North Bay Village Website. The controversial items are likly to be 9B, 9D and 10A.

  • 9 B

    is a resolution supporting the designation of the synagogue on Hispanola Avenue as an historic landmark. There is a dispute in the congregation over the future of the synagogue and the property. Sunny Isles has a current controversy with the same issue. "Insults fly in ugly debate on temple's `historic' label". It will be interesting to hear the reasoning as to why North Bay Village City Government should involve itself in the argument over a religious institution.

  • 9 D

    would prohibit the hiring of any city commissioners as a city employee or consultant for two years after their term expires.

    I support this. In the past, I have opposed this as I dislike class prohibitions in general, but I have come to believe that it is an imperfect solution to a pervasive problem.

    Federal law and county law are both very clear on this issue and have this prohibition.

    In North Bay Village, the current Vice Mayor George Kane is already setting up his post commission real estate deals and negotiating his ongoing fees, just as he does in office. It's clear that the project money flowing through the city is of great interest and I have come to appreciate the wisdom of this move.

    It won't pass. The usual fix is in and Rey Trujillo, Paul Vogel and George Kane, will vote it down. Trujillo needs Kane's vote this month so he'll cave. Our only hope is that the next commission will not hire George Kane. But if Trujillo is elected, I'm sure he will find Kane's record satisfactory and make sure Kane gets his cut.

  • 10 A

    is the approval for a new commercial building at 1415 Kennedy Causeway, the Channel 7 property. The Planning and Zoning commission deadlocked on this one and the motion will most likely be postponed tonight.

    The property in question is the only property in North Bay Village that is zoned for a strip joint high end gentleman's club and this makes the parcel very valuable indeed.

    Planning and Zoning, which is an advisory board, could not agree on approving the site plans and a second meeting is being planned. P and Z should continue to reject the plans and force the commission to vote without a recommendation. Right now, there is a huge amount of pressure on the P and Z members to get a consent, so that the commissioners can then say "Oh, we were just following the P and Z recommendation. Who knew there would be a strip joint gentleman's club?"

    The developer, Scott Greenwald, has already donated $500 each to Rey Trujillo and Eddie Lim, so the piper must be paid, but this should be done in the light of day, not as a technical recommendation.

Finally, our commission has been too busy to read and approve the minutes for over a year. Tonight they will vote to approve or disapprove them. It will be a long night.

Kevin Vericker
October 19, 2010

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