Thursday, November 5, 2015

Same Stuff, Different Year

It's been a year since the heavily contested election of November 2014 in North Bay Village.  Mayor Kreps and Commission Gonzalez ran a de facto ticket to maintain their rule over North Bay Village.  Since they ran virtually substance free and used every dirty trick in the book to maintain their positions, there's no real measure of how well or poorly they've done so let's look at where we were last year and what's going on now.  

The Kennedy House:  This venerable condo on Treasure Island was deeply embroiled in a legal and criminal matter.  The residents accused the management company and the board president of stealing owners appliances and other assets and misusing funds.  

The North Bay Village Police investigated and the investigation was so badly done that the village manager cited it in his decision to fire the police chief.  When the county and the media got involved, it resulted in a series of arrests.  

Here's the mayor and her best supporter last year.
A group of strip club lobbyists supporting Kreps and Gonzalez used this opportunity to attack mayoral candidate and Kennedy House resident Jorge Brito for helping to investigate the situation.  In fact, our mayor counted among her proud supporters one Alejandra Salcedo who was arrested in connection with the investigation and just this week copped a plea deal to testify against the others arrested, according to what I've been told.

At least there's finally progress for the residents of the Kennedy House.

The Baywalk:  Commissioner Gonzalez told the Miami Herald that he saw no solution to the Baywalk problem.  Like most everything he says, this was a self serving lie.  The solution is for his condo 360 to comply with the law, work with the village, and deliver the easements they are required to.  Instead, he and the mayor led a workshop and only invited residents of Fortress 360 who complained that since nobody told them about the easements it was unfair and also that they would be attacked in their homes since North Bay Village is just like Syria.  The dynamic duo Kreps and Gonzalez have blocked any further attempt to allow residents our legally required access.  So good job.

Harbor Island Parking:  This one is such a perennial that it should be on every blog post and agenda.  The mayor's former good friend, one rootin' tootin' straight shootin' son of a gun Frank Rollason and our village manager, has been screwing the program up for years.  After several tearful recountings of how bad the situation for parking is on Harbor Island, he created, implemented and then suspended and then implemented a sticker program that would force the residents of the Bayshore Yacht & Tennis Club to pave over their tennis courts, making them the Bayshore Yacht & Parking Club.  Only he never pulled the documents to see if the Bayshore Yacht & Parking Club is required to provide off street parking and guess what, it's not.  So it's not getting better but it must be because nobody bothered to show up at the last meeting to ask about it.  The mayor had her finger right on the pulse of Harbor Island sentiment, I should say the undetectable pulse of Harbor Island apathy, and has left this issue alone.  

The Boards:  When the Kreps and Gonzalez first crept into office, we have vibrant boards to advise and work on:

  • Animal Control (stray cats and missing dogs mostly plus the occassional possums)  
  • Budget Oversight.
  • Business Development
They combined forces and disbanded these boards because the boards were recommending stuff we don't have a problem with any of these issues.  This left:
  • The Community Enhancement Board which the mayor has used as her personal platform in her campaign to fire Rootin' Tootin' Straight Shootin' Son of a Gun Frank Rollason, our village manager, and has resulted in an active investigation by the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics for Sunshine Violation.  Not to worry, the mayor's good friend and neighbor, Michael Murawski, CoE Advocate, will make sure the complaint is squashed but whew, close one.  
  • The Youth Services and Education Board which gets together from time to time to discuss new ways to raise off the books cash or something and has never made a report or published any minutes.   In the meantime, nobody knows how the school is doing.  
  • The Planning & Zoning Board which lost its chair a few months ago.   Kreps and Gonzalez decided not to appoint a long time resident and former friend because another candidate looked super interesting.  Then the other candidate dropped out.  In the meantime, someone who had served the village well was cut off.  
  • A Brand New Board For Special Needs Residents.  This was Gonzalez's idea, poorly conceived, to create a board to provide direct services to residents with special needs.  This is a spectacularly bad idea since the very definition of such services requires highly specialized skills and experience and it's not surprising that there have been no members applying.  A more sensible approach would be to have a study group to evaluate current services offered and make recommendations but that would mean actual work and vision, something Gonzalez  doesn't approve of.  
Commission Relationships:  It's bad.  When not babbling nonsense about the many many people who talk to her that only the Mayor can hear, the Mayor loses her place on the agenda, insults her colleagues, misses no opportunity for self aggrandizement, shamelessly promotes herself and brown noses anybody she perceives as useful by giving them awards.  Her shambolic chairing has meant no end of trouble. 

She started out her only elected term as close allies with:
  • Commissioner Gonzalez  who she made Vice Mayor
  • Commissioner Lim who she pushed out of the Vice Mayor chair. 
  • One Rootin' Tootin' Straight Shootin' Frank Rollason, our Village Manager. 
  • The chairs of two boards now gone.  
At the end of the year, her relations with all of them were broken.  Lim is quiet and says little but when he does speak, she shuts him down and you can only do that so long to a guy. Gonzalez   who just last year vouched for her integrity is so outraged by her stealing an appointment to the Chamber of Commerce that many people are telling me Gonzalez plans to run against her in next year's mayoral race.  She is openly plotting to fire Rootin' Tootin' Straight Shootin' Frank Rollason, who she brought to the village in a sleazy deal.  (It would be no great loss if she succeeds in getting him out.) So there she sits, all alone, predictably a failure surrounded by incompetence and anger.   

But in fairness, that's exactly what she promised last  year.  Finally, a politician who told the truth. 

Happy Anniversary! 

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