Monday, December 20, 2010

The Projects

Last year at this time, the two most visible signs of progress in our city, operational restructuring to reduce costs and grant seeking to develop our tax base, were encouraging. The various city departments were working to reign in costs and perform more efficiently, citizens were active in looking at ways to reduce costs and the projects were constantly under review. In fact, it seemed that everybody in the city administration was looking for bragging rights on who brought in more money. (This was a good thing, a very healthy competition.)

So now in December 2010, where are we? All of our grant seeking has stopped dead in its tracks. Grant requests have been allowed to expire without any action. Our economic base is getting weaker not stronger. Businesses see nothing different happening in North Bay Village. Our PD has not even paid lip service to the commission mandated cuts.

We have an unqualified part time city manager whose contempt for his bosses, the commission, is so deep that he could not even be bothered to give a perfunctory report at the first full commission meeting on December 14.

North Bay Village is still in deep economic crisis. Our revenues are down. We are exceptionally vulnerable to the projected "double dip" recession. Mortgage rates are creeping up while we are still wrestling with the effects of real estate over-development.

We need and deserve full time, professional city management. The self inflicted wound of firing Matt Schwartz because he did sufficiently condescend to three of the commission members has not yet healed.

Our commission needs to get to work. We have to find a city manager with experience, knowledge and connections to get us at least on the right track. North Bay Village cannot continue to pretend that things are going well. They're not and the evidence would have been right there if the commission had insisted on a report.

Kevin Vericker
December 20, 2010

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