Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jerry Springer Show at the Commission Meeting Last Night

Yeah, our housing prices continue to fall, and the businesses we have are dying from neglect, our taxes are up and three of our commissioners are determined to end side yard pickup to pay a political debt, but the important thing at last night's commission was that no matter how nasty, stupid and slanderous the resident and non resident speakers chose to be, they have the right.

It was that kind of night. In the first part, while Police Chief Daniels got up to talk about plans for summer camp, local CFD spokesmodel and Lincoln Road fundraiser Elaine Beutel interrupted him to say that she didn't want one penny of the tax dollars she works so hard to raise to go for kids outside the city. She had clearly been coached about what to say on the proposal since the chief never got to the part about other cities when she exploded.

Then Ms. Beutel followed it up with a belching rant about how she can talk about whatever she wants to talk about and what she wanted to talk about was how not one penny of our money should go to the PAL camp. Then as always, she stomped out into the dark night. Tourist season is her busy time and there were new friends to be met on Lincoln Road.

After this witless performance, the commission moved on to the docks. Fane Lozman, who either does not live at 7918 West Drive or is squatting there illegally as this is a vacant lot and a not very well kept one at that, got up. I don't know. Maybe Lozman just lurks around the docks and under the bridges. His residence remains shrouded in mystery.

Regardless of where he may or may not live, Lozman launched into a vicious attack on our mayor. Lozman does this. It's how he made $225,000 from the city and he's clearly looking for another lottery win since things have not gone well with his attempts at Riviera Beach.

Lozman loves the Big Reveal, you know the moment in a telenovela when the heroine speaks the unholy truth and everybody gasps. But usually the heroine is pretty and the news is interesting. Neither was true of this big reveal but he keeps trying. It's tragic in an annoying sort of way.

The mayor recessed the meeting until order could be restored.

Lozman kept ranting and here's the only reveal, the not so big twist. Remember Connie Leon-Kreps and Eddie Lim, both of whom professed profound shock at the last meeting that anybody (me) would disrespect the city manager by questioning the savings on the garbage service elimination? Well, they stayed and politely listened to Fane Lozman. Commissioner Lim-Kreps (why bother separating them by name? They vote like conjoined twins. Henceforth, they will be known as CLK) will do anything, anything, to make sure that people who don't want what they want, a large transfer of taxpayer wealth to private hands, are alienated. The twins are a sad duo, unloved and unlovable, the stuff of children's nightmares. Yet still they sat, breathing rhythmically together and taking in the sweet, putrid aroma of the bile being spilled on the assembled citizens. Afterwards, they shared a satisfied cackle at the antics and the meeting proceeded.

Then once again, the Waste Management Systems contract came up. This time, it was a resolution to ensure that the commission vote on the final contract. You know, stand up and admit that they don't know the savings, they don't know the cost, they do know that side yard pickup is ending, unless there's a last minute switcheroo which would not surprise me at all. It was agreed by all four and a half commissioners to review the final contract.

Here's a prediction. Don't be shocked if the final contract includes a substantially increased price rise and side yard pickup. It was never about saving money. It was about paying back for generous campaign contributions ($2,500 to the Lim Trujillo Campaign alone) and eliminating the sanitation workers. But after last night, the commission will reluctantly agree to add on side yard pickup at a significant cost to the taxpayers ensuring WMS profit and the continued well financed campaigns.

In one interesting comment, half of Commissioner Lim-Kreps noted that the previous commission had not raised taxes. Interesting since her taxes to North Bay Village were $829.30 for 2010, as opposed to $709.11 for 2009. That's a 17% rise. She should check with her other brain before talking. It would save time but maybe only one organ works at a time. I'm not familiar with the anatomy of conjoined twins. Perhaps a faux doctor would care to weigh in?

And so like a bad dream, the meeting ground to a close. Surprisingly, Dr. Paul Vogel did not vote to put Rey Trujillo on the Citizen's Budget Oversight Board, although Lim-Kreps did. Instead, he proposed another candidate and she was enthusiastically voted in by 3.5 of the commission. I guess the Trujillo Tax may finally have worn out its welcome.

Kevin Vericker
March 9, 2011

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