Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sun Post Weekly

The cuts at the Miami Herald have made its local coverage sporadic and amateurish (almost nothing on the Beach scandals and seriously, do we need to know about Aqua Girl?) while the Miami New Times is only a front for the sex trafficking site Backpage.  

For quality reporting, The Miami Sun Post Weekly has become  my favorite paper for its extensive and reasonable political coverage.  This week The Sun Post has been concentrating much on the issues in Miami Beach over allegations of corruption.   Reading the articles, this one stood out.  It's Very Hard To Hold The City Manager Accountable in which Miami Beach Commissioner Ed Tobin talks about the limitations of a part time, elected commission.

I like Matti Bower, the mayor of Miami Beach,  and I think she and Jorge Gonzalez, the Miami Beach city manager, have done a terrific job of navigating Miami Beach through the fiscal crisis.  The development of the New World Symphony space, the new plaza at the west end of Lincoln Road, the traffic improvements throughout the beach, the new park at North Beach, are all major pluses for the Beach.

What Ed Tobin does point out is very interesting - the commission is at the mercy of the staff information flow.  We've seen that here in North Bay Village when Bob Pushkin lied about the savings that outsourcing sanitation would bring, when interim city manager / police chief Bob Daniels would not respond to direct requests for information from the mayor.

Current North Bay Village city manager Dennis Kelly was recently criticized by Commissioner Chervony, who expressed frustration over lack of information.

Maybe it's not the manager but the system.  The whole strong city manager and weak commission form of government assumes equal competency by both parts.  When you get a city manager, like our previous two in North Bay Village, who were openly contemptuous of the elected commission, they have too much power.

Me, I think Dennis Kelly is doing a good job of stabilizing an unstable situation in a city that has been badly mismanaged in the last two years.   He seems to be listening as carefully as possible and making moves deliberately with specific outcomes in mind.   That's a good thing and I hope it's allowed to continue.

Read the article.  It's worth it.  And you should be checking the Sun Post Weekly for your North Bay Village news.  It's nice to see a periodical taking local coverage seriously.

Kevin Vericker
May 5, 2012


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