Friday, April 1, 2011

And The Third New Member - Corina Esquijarosa

Esquijarosa has had a bumpy start. As a newcomer who won the election against Rey Trujillo a sitting commissioner with high name recognition and more than the double the financing, Esquijarosa has faced powerful entrenched interests in the city. Her election over Rey Trujillo was more a protest vote about the casual misuse of power in the city than a real pro change effort and her mayoralty has not yet coalesced.

Some the entrenched interests, represent by two of the commissioners, Eddie Lim and Connie Leon-Kreps, have opposed even discussing the poor decisions of the previous commission and Dr. Paul Vogel appears less and less able to vote his own mind (more about that over the weekend.) The City Manager has passively refused to respond to her basic requests while the Police Chief simply ignores direct orders from her in the position as the chair of the Commission meeting.

Esquijarosa has spent the first four months trying to reason and persuade with deep opposition and it hasn't worked. The Mayor in our form of government does not have a strong position - her vote is equal in all matters - but does have the bully pulpit of the position. Esquijarosa needs to take advantage of that.

It's time to put out publicly what is happening privately.

Esquijarosa needs to highlight the ongoing deceptions around the Waste Management Systems contract, which would eliminate side yard pickup, save the city at best 3% of the budget, and has only been pushed through to repay favors. Rey Trujillo received $2000 from Waste Management, Eddie Lim got $500.

Esquijarosa has to start pointing out that the largest tax debtor in North Bay Village is now a financial advisor to the city.

Esquijarosa needs to bring out the politically motivated investigations going on in the police department, costing the city tens of thousands of dollars, establishing that the police department is poorly run with deep morale problems and is not achieving any savings.

There are a host of other issues and I hope that the mayor has come to realize that the people who put her there are not being heard. There's no chance of convincing Lim Kreps to do the people's business and if Dr. Vogel won't step up, there's no chance of doing things right.

Her only option is to publicly lay out all the shenanigans and self serving actions that pass for governance in North Bay Village. Esquijarosa has been reluctant to do so and by continuing the pretext that the situation is one where people of goodwill honestly disagree, she allows these same people to run roughshod over the city.

By being polite, she gains nothing. It's not like they will be more cooperative or less avaricious.

You will probably see an old story, that her house was foreclosed, recycled by the Herald soon. The story is here from October 28. There's nothing new in the story but it is part of larger attempt to shut up everyone and anyone who could expose the waste and mismanagement. I hope Esquijarosa will prove herself and do the job for which she was elected by clearly and strongly laying out the abuses in City Hall.

Kevin Vericker
April 1, 2011

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