Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Recall and The Lies

By now some of you will have seen the email sent by the Citizens for Full Disclosure. Signed by Al Blake, who replaced Connie Kreps as Vice President of this secretive group, the email calls for the recall of Mayor Esquijarosa.

Here's what happened. The mayor had a foreclosure. And like many foreclosures, the paperwork got screwed up. The property appraiser looked at it, said she owed money, she set up a plan to pay it. It has happened hundred of times during the crash and it should not have. The real test of character is what you do when you find out you've screwed up and the mayor acted quickly and transparently to fix a personal problem.

Now this recall is in the works. Originally led by a nonresident, Al Blake has taken the helm to call for the removal of a sitting mayor.

In his email, he accuses the mayor of being the cause of last year's 26% drop in property taxes, of this year's additional 7% decline, the poor rental market in North Bay Village, the loss of businesses in North Bay Village and all the evils in the city.

This is a calculated lie. One designed to put blame for the very problems that the CFD and their sock puppets on the dais have caused.

But then Blake comes to the most vicious accusation, and a true one - SHE'S A RENTER - just like the 63% of the city. Whoa.

Look, anyone with even a basic knowledge of our city knows that the 26% decline happened under the previous commission, also controlled by the CFD. Just watch a commission meeting. Everything the mayor tries to do to stop our decline, such as a Foreclosure Registry which would generate income, bring in the county to help residents avoid foreclosure, ideas to attract new residents to the city and support our businesses, reigning in the generous salaries and benefits of top management are summarily dismissed by Lim-Kreps CFD sponsored members and the increasingly befuddled Paul Vogel.

Which is what this is really about. Dr. Vogel has long and honorably served North Bay Village. His health decline following his two strokes has been a sad sight, and the obvious deterioration of his mental faculties is a cruel tragedy. But this decline has been ruthlessly exploited by the CFD cabal. And they know it can't go on forever so they have to plan now to make sure that they have the seat to vote down transparency, to allow the dirty deals, the historic pay to play of North Bay Village to continue in the dark, the only place for it.

Now you may not agree with me. Maybe you think a simple foreclosure followed by tax complications is a good enough reason alone to recall a mayor. Maybe you haven't seen the mayor's efforts to bring transparency to the city government and stop the real estate decline.

But before you sign a recall petition, ask first. What's the plan? How has the mayor caused this record property decline? What is the plan to fix it?

And for good measure, ask some other questions. What are the real savings from the Waste Management contract? Why do we have to give up side yard pickup? Why have our legal expenses gone through the roof? And most importantly, how much will this cost us?

More tomorrow.

Kevin Vericker
June 8, 2011

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