Wednesday, July 29, 2015


July Is Budget Time


It's Budget season again and time for the annual tax hike.  This year there's great news for people who really love municipal spending.   The county said that our values had gone up 11% so we can use our current millage rate (5.474) and still get 11% more revenue.  Hearing that, our administration said "Hooray, huzzah, let us be like the other cities in Miami-Dade and hold the rate steady while wisely using the extra 11% to improve our village."  

Hah, hah. no.  Instead the proposed budget will gobble up that extra 11% and increase the tax rate to 6.2904 to pay for things.  Yep, that's right.  We need more.  

This increase, nearly 26%, was quickly noted and the additional $1,261,000 was mostly agreed.  The commission set the top tax rate and then agreed to meet on Sept 8 and Sept 24 to discuss the details.  

Drama Time!

The meeting itself was sparsely attended by the public.  I was there.  The mayor invited her posse to sit in the front row so that was four more.  Two new residents were there and then another pal of the mayor's showed up.  Yep, 8 people, half of whom left before the end. 

Nevertheless, the Mayor who has decided that she wants to fire Village Manager Rootin' Tootin' Straight Shootin' Son of a Gun Frank Rollason used the platform to address the assembled multitude and show just how bad things are.  

It started out with the Mayoral Invocation of  Wrong Things.  (Book of Common Complaints, 1928)

  1. It's too hot.  Why can't the Village Manager get the landlord to fix the A/C?
  2. We should have more money for Code Enforcement and less for other stuff.
  3. Why are we hiring a new administrative generalist and she better not be attractive?
  4. Other cities use fancy automated phone systems and it's embarrassing when people call North Bay Village and a human answers.  What are we?  Hooterville?
  5. For the record, when the Mayor said to the Village Manager, "Please look into body cameras for the police."  she didn't mean it and she's glad it's gone.  Why did anyone think she meant it?
  6. How come the GPS for the police didn't get purchased last year?
  7. Was it just laziness? 
  8. And what's with the meeting time?  The mayor had to field many, many calls from her imaginary friends to explain the time to them. 

But like in any bad relationship, the fight was not about the fight.  No.  It's about the Note Cards that he didn't get for her and his complete refusal to support her in her mayoring.  So Frank Rollason must go, just like all the managers she once loved and who finally disappointed her.   The campaign to get rid of him has started.  My email is flooded with "anonymous" complaints.  The mayor is being sweet to Chervony because if the Rootin' Tootin' Straight Shootin' Son of a Gun won't quit, she might need the votes to fire him. Last night was not about the budget, it was about the divorce.  

Now for his part, Rootin' Tootin' Straight Shootin' Son of a Gun Frank Rollason patiently explained that he needed the new person to backup those employees with specialty certification, that the items proposed were by the commission, and other stuff.  But that's not what the fight is about.  It's about the relationship, dude.

It's always a bad idea for family members to get involved in a divorce.  It just doesn't turn out well for anyone but still two of the other commissioners, not understanding I think that this is not about the budget, tried their darnedest.  

Vice Mayor Jorge Gonzalez looked at the $1.261,000 and zeroed in on why we are spending $10k for the dog park, why does it cost $50,000 to bring in CitiBike,  how come it costs $30,000 for the basketball renovation, and what's the deal with the $15,000 for the License Plate reader.   That's right.  Fiscal Hawk Jorge Gonzalez was concerned that 7¢ of the new dollars was going to stuff the residents want, and something that the police want.  

Rootin' Tootin' Straight Shootin' Son of a Gun  Frank Rollason explained that the $15k was because Pedophiles.  And the rest is because the commission for some reason want the residents to get something out of the tax hikes too.  Gonzalez immediately got on board about the anti-pedophile license plate reader but remained unconvinced until the  mayor slapped him right in the concerns.  

Eddie Lim simply warned the Mayor to let the manager do his job.    The mayor did not hear him.  

A Resident's View

From the hot, stuffy seat in the audience, this drama unfolded like a refreshing winter breeze as I sat watching the Mayor, Vice Mayor and Village Manager snipe and snarl at each other.  These are not good people.  These are not people who put their positions of trust above all other considerations.  

These are three competing egomaniacs each of whom in their own way have targeted residents who care about the village, pushed meaningful discussion of how to improve things around here off the agenda, love the sounds of their own voices and have no civic pride.  

Given all that, the best we can hope for is that their utter inability to keep their delusional egos in check will mean a standoff as they destroy each other.  It keeps them from doing the very serious damage they are capable of were they to unite.  

So I say, pass the popcorn!  Let's keep this show running.  

Kevin Vericker
July 29, 2015


  1. Its just time to wait until November I guess... Is anyone up for re-election??


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