Thursday, April 19, 2018

Retired Miami-Dade Police Lt. Lewis Velken was snuck in last night by recently hired Village Manager Marlen Martell. The four corruptocrats, Mayor Crazy Eyes Kreps, Commissioner Mary Kramer's Husband, Commissioner Laura Cattabriga* (*pending a lawsuit on her illegal installation), and "Vice Mayor" Andreana Jackson obligingly voted without comment to hire Velken.  Actual Vice Mayor Eddie Lim notified the clerk that he was too well to engage in the sleaze last night and sensibly absented himself.   (*note - Lim didn't share his reasoning with me.  I'm surmising.)

The first two choices withdrew from the process for unpublished reasons and it was absolutely critical to get a chief in ASAP.   So Velken, who had a good reputation at the MDPD but never served as a high level command officer, was hustled in and installed.   

The room was jam packed with ...
people from out of town.  You see, the announcement of Velken as a chief for North Bay Village was made countywide, including Crime Watch chair Carmen Caldwell, but was deliberately not posted or announced in North Bay Village.  Our commission and administration wanted it that way because they are terrible people.  

You see, it was critical to fill the chief spot because when Martell fired Carlos Noriega and she lied about not knowing that there was a whistle-blower notification presented to her, Noriega let the village know that he intends to sue.  

Our Village administration came to to the conclusion that since the chief is likely to prevail in his lawsuit,  it was critical to put in another chief now.  The courts hate complications and might be hesitant to insist that a recently installed chief be let go when they find the previous chief was fired illegally.   It just complicates things.  

So a chief had to be found and installed ASAP to make it more difficult for Noriega to come back.   And it might work.  

Now I don't know if Velken has been instructed that the North Bay Village PD is to stand down on the extortion investigation in the Hornsby matter, or told to make sure that a current embezzlement investigation does not implicate sitting members of the dais.   I'm pretty sure with his reputation in Miami Dade PD's Public Corruption unit that even our creep commission would have been careful to not be explicit.  But Velken must be aware that protecting the commission from prosecution is the prime directive and that he was hired in hurry by people who do things in the dark to replace a popular chief.  It's going to be a rocky run. 

Kevin Vericker
April 19, 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

New Comment Policy

I have long allowed Anonymous comments on the blog but recently the trolls have been out in force.  Hiding behind the courage of masked keyboards, the troll warriors are using the anonymity to attack individuals who are completely unrelated to the current low crimes and misdemeanors driving our village.  Names are mentioned.  Large scale conspiracies alleged.  No facts given then whiny butt hurt complaints that I am somehow a censor.  

So screw it.  You got something to say, put your name to it.  I'll publish it, once I verified it's you.   You don't want to put your name to it?  Then get lost.   You're useless.  

Special note to Anonymous KS:  you have a hell of a nerve questioning my integrity.   

Kevin Vericker
April 13, 2018  

Thursday, April 12, 2018

It's The Extortion. Don't You Get It?

There was a commission meeting on Tuesday night.   I wasn't there.  I have received a diagnosis from a well trained medical professional as having a case of whatever the hell is going around and the thought of vomiting in public was appealing but counterproductive.   Nevertheless, through the magic of the Internet I was able to watch the proceedings on my Facebook device.   

The meeting was nonsense.  At Good & Welfare, I counted 12 local residents who got up and asked the new village manager the very straightforward question, "Why did you fire our police chief?"   

Now there  were variations on the question.   A remarkable number of them were close supporters of the mayor and worked actively on her campaigns.  These people find themselves utterly baffled as to how someone they called a friend could have turned into the stonewalling, dishonest creep leading the commission.   Others wondered if new Village Manager Marlen Martell would share her reasoning on the different direction she believed law enforcement needed to take.   

But the question was the same:  "Why did you fire the chief?  We thought he was good for us."   

And the Village Manager, along with the commission, refused to answer.  Straight up stonewalled.  

As I mentioned, I participated by watching and it's probably just as well because I don't know that I could have held myself back from shouting, "It's the extortion, stupid."   (* Note to self:  That's how I lose friends.)

It's pretty simple.  It's the extortion, stupid.  

For years, anonymous threats, bullying, and extortion have been used by the ruling cabal of North Bay Village to silence questions and critics.  This was done with the tacit collaboration of the police department and resulted in people just walking away.   

So when Doug Hornsby refused to fire Frank Rollason over the odd issues that bugged the mayor, the old school extortion methods were rolled out, anonymous emails routed through a Bulgarian address readily available on the internet, printed mails sent through the post office and verbal threats were made.  But this time it backfired.   Hornsby didn't back down and brought matter public.  To quote him, "Millions for defense, not a penny for ransom."  

It worked.  The new police chief, Carlos Noriega, has no tolerance for lawbreaking, and he took the evidence to the Federal authorities and the State authorities.  Now one of the people of interest has some juice with State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle and the rumor is that through mutual favors, the state won't be in on it, but the feds are in so the danger is there.  

When Marlen Martell was recruited to be Village Manager, she was instructed to fire the police chief and she delivered.  

See, it's simple.  It's the extortion.  

The expectation was the police chief would take a nice settlement package and go away quietly.  

Because the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior expecting a different result, the administration was shocked when Carlos Noriega told them to stick it where the sun don't shine  (*not an actual quote) and they fired him.  

Now we go all North Bay Village Crazy.  Marlen Martell, Village Manager, and Norman Powell, Village Attorney, took to the press to deny knowing about the whistleblower complaint filed by Noriega.  

They lied.  I've seen the mail and the emails.  They saw the mails and the emails.  The commission saw the mails and the emails.   

They fired the chief because he was investigating the extortion attempts.  

Now as the meeting wore on, Marlen Martell, who comes from North Miami Beach, thanked the chief for his service but never explained either his firing or the new direction she wants for the police department.   She did however mention that she had put together a search committee for a new police chief.  The members are Larry Juriga, the police chief from North Miami Beach who spends most of his time managing the various police corruption scandals there.  (Click here for more info), Krishan Manners from Biscayne Park, who spends  most of his time defending police department incompetency.  (Click here for more info).  Also Norman Powell.  

I guess the direction Ms. Martell wants to take us in is the one that Biscayne Park and North Miami Beach have gone?   

Actually, it's all irrelevant.  The fix for the next police chief is in.  Norman Powell, Marlen Martell and four of the commissioners have already agreed that it will be John Buhrmaster, who will quash the detectives working on the extortion case.

So you see, Good and Welfare speakers, Mayor Kreps and the commissioners were never going to answer your questions because they have to do what they have to do to stop the extortion investigations.  And the new police chief, John Buhrmaster, will presumably cooperate like Martell like Powell.   

Kevin Vericker
April 12, 2018

Friday, April 6, 2018

Marlen Martell Paid Her Price Yesterday.

Marlen Martell
Yesterday afternoon, April 5, 2018, a day after responding that she would be evaluating all departments when asked in a Town Hall meeting about keeping the police chief and after several residents had expressed their deep satisfaction with the progress in the North Bay Village PD, Marlen Martell fired the police chief, saying "We want to go in a different direction." and then leaving the room.  

Village Attorney, Norman C. Powell, who knows Ms. Martell from their collaboration on strip club promotions in North Miami Beach where Powell, in addition to being a North Bay Village Magistrate and later Village Attorney, was also a registered lobbyist for SMG Entertainment, the Black Diamond Strip Club in North Miami Beach, was left alone with the Chief and offered a severance package in exchange not suing.  The Chief refused.   So he was fired.   

There was no reason given, other than "we are going in a different direction" which is the usual line given an actor who has failed an audition, and like the other firing, Village Attorney Robert Switkes, no offer of an explanation.   

But there are several interesting things to note.  

In a public letter to the residents of North Bay Village, available here, the chief refers to his having filed a whistleblower complaint.  Now the chief is far too discreet to have written about the specifics of the complaint or to have shared the details with me, but I have learned from other sources what is the probable basis of the complaint.  

Two employees of the village have told me that Norman Powell in January brought in a 3rd party company called Xact Data Discovery to extract all the data from the North Bay Village servers.  Everything.   

Then Village Manager Frank Rollason and Deputy Village Manager Jenice Rosado, along with the police chief, pointed out to Powell that the police servers contain Homeland Security information and FDLE information, and that without approval of those agencies or a court order clearing the release of the data to a third party, which by the way is also the definition of a contract attorney such as Norman Powell, this would be in violation of federal law.  Powell pushed the matter through anyway.   Rollason and Rosado resigned on the spot.  

A complaint has been made to Homeland Security and a source who does not want herself named, has told me that there is a very serious federal investigation into this data security breech.    

I am guessing this is the whistle blower complaint to which Noriega refers.   

There is a second part of this issue.   The data servers also contain all the evidence of the open extortion investigation in which our mayor and the wife of commissioner Alvarez have been publicly named as "subjects of interest", every police report filed, including presumably the noise complaints that commissioner Alvarez is routinely served with, and most importantly, HIPPA and FMLA information on every employee in the village.  There is a rumor that the FOP-A, the union representing the employees, is planning to take legal action on this issue.   

I have little doubt that the Chief's firing was in retaliation for his bringing the extortion investigation to the State Attorney and the Federal authorities, and in retaliation for his attempts to protect classified Homeland Security Information.   My experience with HSA is that they don't take this lightly and I believe we are going to be on the hook for massive violations of security, and breech of privacy for protected data.   

Marlen Martell and I spoke some weeks before her contract offer and I told her point blank that the police were the main pride point for North Bay Village and that the residents in general think very highly of the work they were doing.   I also told her that I believed that the mayor was making the job offer conditional on firing the chief and that it was due to the extortion investigation.  Ms. Martell claimed unbelievably that she knew nothing of the extortion investigation but she had read some things on the anonymous troll site, LEOAFFAIRS, about the police chief and she was worried.  Also that she had major doubts about Bert Wrains.   I figured the fix was in and this time, I hate being right.   

So now we have at least 5 active lawsuits against the village based on Norman Powell's bad legal advice, I am reliably informed that there are at least 3 separate criminal investigations involving the dais and the lawyer, and we're going to be stuck holding the bill.   

In the meantime, nothing is getting done and we are spiraling down.  

Anybody need a cute kittens video?   I need one.  

Kevin Vericker
April 6, 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Town Hall Meeting April 4 2018 With The New Village Manager

Wednesday night, April 4, 2018, recently hired village manager Marlen Martell is holding a Town Hall Telephone meeting at 7 PM.  To sign up, click the link here.   

The meeting will be to discuss her goals coming into North Bay Village.  

Now as regular readers know, the Village has been in turmoil ever since the disclosure of the extortion attempts against Commissioner Douglas Hornsby and subsequent public identification of Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps and the wife of Commissioner Jose Alvarez as "subjects of interest" in the same investigation.   

That investigation has reached the federal level and is ongoing but in the meantime, the former Village Attorney Robert Switkes has stated that he believes he was fired in retaliation for his cooperation with the investigation and I have learned that there are at least two whistleblower claims being made by village employees who are being threatened with dismissal for their cooperation.  The whole ugly mess will come out in time.  

But in the meantime, it's important for the Village Manager to know that from a community perspective, the North Bay Village Police Department has reached a new height of community service.  Just some of those accomplishments include:

  • The progress towards full accreditation.  
  • A Crime Watch program that has been brought back to life. 
  • Friday night movies and basketball nights. 
  • In school service programs. 
  • Senior wellness checks. 
  • Bicycle Rodeos. 
  • The motorcycle patrol on the Causeway.
  • The boat patrol to protect our waterfront properties.  
  • The relationship with our neighbor cities
  • Our already low crime rate has dropped and more cases are cleared.  
I believe our police chief's job is in jeopardy and it would be a good time to let the new Village Manager know what you think of the service the police are providing here.  Even if you don't agree with me that it is a great service, you should speak.  

There's a very good argument that the only reason for North Bay Village to exist is our police services and we can't let some sleazy, half assed extortion attempt kill that.  

Kevin Vericker
April 3, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

New Village Manager and I Apologize to Laura Cattabriga

North Miami Beach
Commissioner Marlen Martell

The commission voted 5-0 last night to offer North Miami Beach Commissioner Marlen Martell as the new North Bay Village Manager.   

Ms. Martell, who has an MPA from FIU, and a certification as a Certified Floodplains Manager from FEMA, is also a sitting commissioner in North Miami Beach.   This is her first job as a municipal manager although she has held several high level management positions around the county.  Her resume is posted here.

Ms. Martell was widely viewed as the popular choice as she has an existing relationship with the mayor, a long history with interim Village Attorney Norman C. Powell.  In 2011, as North Miami Beach Commissioner she voted Yes on a request to extend strip club hours to 6 AM.  Norman Powell was the attorney for the strip club owners at the time and I'm sure appreciated her support.

Ms. Martell has already been instructed to fire Police Chief Carlos Noriega and I'm certain she will comply in the next few weeks.

The Offense Was Public So The Apology Must Be Public:  An Apology From Me To Laura Cattabriga:

I don't trust people who say, "I'm the first to admit it when I'm wrong."  They are not.  Any reasonable person is the last to admit it when they are wrong and I am a reasonable person.   

I was wrong in posting unflattering pictures of Laura Cattabriga and I took them down.  

Surprising me, it was the mayor who pointed out that these pictures could be reasonably interpreted as shaming and I believe the word she used was "creepy."  

For what it's worth, I put them up as a satirical illustration of the commission "turning its back" on the public and hiding from transparency but looking at them after the meeting, I realized that the impression which the mayor explained was perfectly reasonable.   So I took them down and have reached out to Ms. Cattabriga to apologize.   

To be clear, I do not believe that Ms. Cattabriga appointment was legal and she should not have sought it or accepted it.   The removal of Dr. Hornsby was illegal, done deceptively by advertising the special meeting with the "sole purpose of discussion" and then forcing the forfeiture of office, completely ignoring the charter procedure for exactly this situation.  

So I will continue to hammer on the issue and I believe Ms. Cattabriga should step down and run in November, allowing the voters to make the decision.  That would be the dignified approach. 

Kevin Vericker
March 16, 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018

It's All About The Math

I'll keep this post as short as the Tuesday meeting was long.  Let me sum it up.  Nothing worth doing was done Tuesday night, yet the dais and the audience were left exhausted and bickering.

There were three highlights.

State Project Funding for NBV
Highlight 1:  State Senator Daphne Campbell did a legislative update in which she wished us  a Happy 73rd Anniversary as a municipality, presented a proclamation to that effect and then told us that she had been able to get $0 in state funding for our desperately needed infrastructure.  She did inform us that there's always next year and requested a standing ovation.   Senator Campbell is very enthusiastic. 

Highlight 2:  The extraordinary contract drafted by Norman C. Powell which included a term of 4 years with a full year severance or penalty for early termination for any reason caused much concern among residents and even some from the dais. 

One concern raised was that the 12 month payout in the event of early termination amounts to an end run around Florida Statute 215.425 which prohibits severance of more than 20 weeks by presenting this as a payment in exchange for agreeing to not sue.  That's $204,000. 

Another concern was the length of the contract, 4 years, which is pretty much unheard of in legal contracts with municipalities and we have always operated on a terminate at will basis here in the past, which allows us to change lawyers if the commission is unhappy with the work done, as was the case with Weiss Serota and presumably with Robert Switkes.  Four years well exceed the current commission's tenure and it is saddling future commissioners who may not like Mr. Powell's novel legal approaches with a poison pill. 

So after much discussion, the commission voted to send the matter back to negotiation with Andreana Jackson, who was filling in for the mayor when she stopped understanding the complex numbers and was no longer able to articulate what was being discussed, proposed that the contract termination be reduced to a combination of 20 weeks severance ($78,461) plus 3 months not to sue us ($51,000) for a total of $128,461.  Or not.  By that time, the commission was so confused that they had no idea on what they were asking to do but they kicked the decision to next month. 

Highlight 3:  The math.   The subject of buying the lot on the Causeway where the Sakura restaurant was for $2.9 million was on the agenda with a due of date of March 13.   The Decision was deferred as the village is also talking about buying an off island lot for the truck storage currently on Galleon St., still has no idea how much a community center would cost and we are still on the hook for burying our power lines and rebuilding the sewers.   So the commission deferred. 

Special note:  in defending the length of Norman Powell's contract and the generous severance terms, our mayor stated that the previous village manager had proposed buying this same lot for $2.9 million, which matched the appraisal.  The proposal was supposed to be submitted in February but of course Rollason had left.  

The mayor was certain it was all a trick and implied there was more to it than Rollason was letting on.  

Her new BFF interim attorney Norman C Powell said so and instead proposed that we purchase the property for $2.6 million. 

Great, we save $300,000.  

Oh wait, there's about $300,000 in fines outstanding against the property and the $2.6 million dollar offer also included forgiveness for the fines.   So the the net to the city would have been - ready for it - $2.9 million.  

The mayor found this brilliant and absolute proof that Norman Powell was looking out for our best interests in ways that Frank Rollason did not. 

The other commissioners did not and so they deferred action on the item until next month and instructed the village attorney or the village manager, it's not clear who, to go negotiate some more.  

And before you ask, I'm not sure why we need the Sakura lot.  We can't even take care of what we have.  

Lowlights:  So many.  Andreana Jackson badgered Eddie Lim all night.  The mayor decried criticisim of her as misogyny and racist.  The questions about Mr. Powell's behavior and contract went unanswered.   Here's a video of Andreana Jackson screaming at Eddie Lim.  It's unedited.  You can see the whole mess at  

Kevin Vericker
The Ides of March, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Commission Pays Norman Powell

Interim Village Attorney Norman Powell is up for permanent hire tomorrow night at the Commission Meeting.  And he has negotiated one sweet contract!  Powell's gonna get PAID, baby.  

In spite of the fact that he has none, zero, nada, experience as a municipal attorney, he is demanding $17,000 per month, a cool $7g more per month than Bob Switkes, our previous attorney.   

But it gets even better.   

When Powell accepted the position following the sneaky firing of Bob Switkes in November, residents were outraged that Switkes had been fired in the dark, at 11 PM, by a Sunshine busting cabal of Kreps, Jackson and Mary Kramer's Husband.  It had been planned well in advance and Norman was ready to jump in.  

But he's not going to let that crap happen to him.  Powell's too smart.  His contract stipulates that if the commission decides to terminate, it can only do so if the item has been noticed and at a public hearing.  No way he's gonna get Switkesed.   

Here's where it gets really good.  

The Village Must Pay Norman Powell $204,000 If They Terminate The Legal Agreement.  

That's right.  Norman's getting paid.  No matter if he doesn't show up for work.  No matter if he continues to break the law with his bad legal advice.  No matter...what.   His contract states that he gets 12 months pay ($204,000) if the Village decides not to continue the agreement.  

How Stupid Does He Think The Commission Is?  

It is a trick question.  Very stupid is the answer.  

The Mayor is finally getting some relief from the voices in her head as Norman Powell assures her suavely that she really is the victim here and if she just trusts him, he'll punish all those mean people who don't say so.   "Just trust me, baby.", he might whisper, "Just trust me.  But you know I got to get paid, right?"  

Commissioner Mary Kramer's Husband
Commissioner Mary Kramer's Husband.  Well, he just wants some peace.  Just some peace.  No more wife as a subject of interest in a criminal extortion investigation (*as noted by our previous village attorney) .  He'll vote a big Whatever and truly mean it.  Because he's his own dude, damnit?  Right?  

Is $204,000 like a lot?  
Recently installed and soon to be challenged by a lawsuit fighting that installation, Vice Mayor Andreana Jackson has finally gained access to the exclusive environs of North Bay Island and is currently basking in being the Mayor's principal handmaiden.  Besides, she's no good at money!  What with all those nasty credit companies suing her!  

 New Commissioner (*Pending the results of a current lawsuit) Laura Hughes Cattabriga is facing some stiff legal bills of her own as a result of her lawsuit against Doug Hornsby so she could take his place on the commission.  Seems that she is being sued for Hornsby's legal costs, and there is a lawsuit to set aside her illegal appointment to Hornsby's seat.  

Cattabriga owes big - to her lawyer, to Norman Powell for acting as her de facto lawyer, to the mayor and to Mary Kramer's Husband's wife and she sure ain't gonna pay it out of her pocket.    

So $204,000 of taxpayer money?  Yes please.  

Tomorrow night, March 13, Item 10c, which has already been agreed by 4 of the 5 commissioners will be passed and Norman Powell going to finally hit the jackpot.  

Unless of course, enough residents show up to question this.  

Kevin Vericker
March 12, 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

Bright Spots in NBV

In  spite of the tragic descent of our commission into madness and illegality, it is sometimes important to note the bright aspects of life here in North Bay Village.  

The Volunteer Cleanups

Recently arrived residents Kevin James Culp and Michelle DeSantis saw a dirty causeway and decided to get to work.   They used the Facebook group, North Bay Village Residents Speak, to recruit local volunteers on a series of Saturday mornings to get out and clean up the causeway.  

It's hard, dirty work but they encouraged and prodded to get people on it and it was very rewarding.   Our Vice Mayor Eddie Lim and Commissioner Doug Hornsby lent support that meant the trash bags would be picked up and volunteers recognized.  Thanks, Kevin and Michelle.  

The Welcome Back to Treasure Island Elementary

The day of the horrific massacre in Parkland, Optimist Club members Sissy Shute and Doris Acosta were on it.   As we were all feeling angry and helpless and frustrated, these two stalwart community volunteers were focused on the kids and helping them feel safe in school after what happened.  

In the meantime, our police chief, Carlos Noriega, was quick to deploy and publicize the school safety plan for Treasure Island, to reassure parents and the community that North Bay Village is looking out for our kids.  

No, it doesn't take away the horror of what happened but it says who are as a community.  

The Basketball Camp  

Under Carlos Noriega, the police presence in the community has greatly increased.  Programs that had been ignored have come back to life, including the ones focused on our kids.  One of the great ones is the Basketball Camp.  It started last week and is the first of many rec programs being run by our PD to give NBV kids a place to be kids. 

The Sewers Are Finally Getting Fixed

If you live on Treasure Island, you've noticed that there is a lot of work going on, loud, dusty and entirely welcome.  After decades of neglect, we are finally executing the bond money and using the state and federal grants to repair our sewer systems.   Not the most exciting project in the world but as any long time resident can tell you, it's time.

North Bay Village on the National Scene

Our state representative, David Richardson, is running for US Congress and yesterday Commissioner Hornsby and his wife, Sissy Shute, hosted a "Meet the Candidate" at their home on North Bay Island.  The guest list read like a "Who's Who" of North Bay Village.  Among the nearly 100 attendees were Vice Mayor Lim, former Vice Mayors Rey Trujillo, Al Blake, Jorge Gonzalez and former commissioner Richard Chervony.   Members of the Village administration past and present were there, along with nearly 100 neighbors to speak and get to know David Richardson.   It was a great time and most importantly, shows that constructive politics are not dead in North Bay Village.  I find reason for optimism in this.  

David Richardson, Congression

Introducing the candidate
Richard Chervony
Kevin Vericker
February 26, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Leadership Temper Tantrum

Yesterday, I published an email from the Mayor which she sent out to a wide mailing list and was also forwarded by Andreana Jackson.  I published it unedited including parts that are not really complimentary to me because good, bad or ugly, viewpoints need to be out there.  You can read the post here if you did not already see it. 

Every bone in my body is screaming "Yeah, well, what about ..." just fill in that blank.  I'm angry at what the mayor said and angrier at what she did not say.  But mostly I am disheartened at the approach to leadership that she is taking.  

Let's start with yeah, it's hard.  Being mayor is mostly a volunteer position in North Bay Village.  The "salary" is about $800 per month and it takes a lot of time.   Like being president of a condo association, it means contentious constituents, complex matters that you have no experience with, owning wrong decisions and demanding correct information and work from people who don't always have your best interest at heart.  There's a reason that a lot of people don't do it.  

Like a condo association, though, those people who actively seek the position and ambitiously pursue the office have to be prepared for disagreement, criticism and downright opposition.  And sometimes that illusion of power attracts the wrong people.  We've all seen it.  

A mayor, called upon to lead when there is an extortion attempt against the commission would quickly have acknowledged that getting to the core of the issues would make the resolution clear and fair.   

Connie Leon-Kreps is not that leader and it shows in every move, every self-justification, that she utters.  She has rewarded a group of residents who engaged in a fanciful lawsuit against Dr. Hornsby,  organized the firing of a Village Attorney who she brought on because he was trying to strike the balance between precipitous action and village stability, orchestrated a press campaign against Dr. Hornsby, and now brought in the latest in a list of an attorney whose advice is at best questionable. 

None of that will make it better for her.  

Look at the email she sent.  In it, she lists her grievances while never addressing the real questions brought forward, then Mrs. Kreps carefully and deliberately casts doubt on whether the extortion attempt was real, she refuses to discuss her reasons for firing the village attorney, and then she goes into a vitriolic attack on me, the readers of this blog, the Blakes and Chervony.  

I'm not above criticism and I do understand her frustration.  It probably felt good to write that email but it surely cannot feel good to have sent it. 

It's like a child who got caught stealing cookies and simply lashes out with "You don't understand.  You hate me.  You're a doodyhead.  What about that other thing?  Huh?"  The role of an adult in this situation is to help the child see how their behavior caused the problem.  And that's what we need.  A village adult.  But we have a village toddler.  

There will be more in this space about the specific implications of the legal advice that Mayor Kreps praises so effusively, and they are grave.   And it's important to know them.  

But before I finish this piece, there is one thing in her email that I want to specifically call out as emotionally disturbed bull.  She writes "I truly find Mr. Veriker, Mr. and Mrs. Blake, and Dr. Chervony’s  continued personal comments about Mr. Powell’s intelligence, competence and personal attacks simply inappropriate, unprofessional and racist."

I will speak only for me here.  I have never questioned Mr. Powell's intelligence or competence.  I have many questions about the quality of the legal advice we are getting and these questions are being ignored or deliberately misinterpreted.  Mrs. Kreps' statement above is the lie of a child trying to get even and she needs a timeout.  

Kevin Vericker
February 17, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

Mayor Kreps Claps Back

This is the unedited email received by dozens today in our Village.  I have invited her to post here, unedited, since 2010, and finally she did.  (Special note:  I do not seem to have the email that provoked this but will update if I find it.) 

Connie Leon-Kreps

Attachments5:21 PM (2 hours ago)
 to AlvinjaneblakemeRichardCNoriegaJoseAndreanaEddieal/lauraBertNorman
 Good Afternoon Everyone, As Village residents, current and former elected officials, we all should work together for the betterment of our Village.  Therefore, I feel it is my duty to respond to Mr. Blake’s statements and to urge everyone to personally get involved and obtain unbiased information.  Our Commission meetings are streamed and the minutes of all of our meetings are also available online.  Therefore, resorting to a blog as a method to obtain information is just ridiculous.  It is also a sure way to obtain  fake news. 

So let me take the time to point the instances where Mr. Blake and others have tried to turn an apple into a banana and peel away the misinformation. 

1.         The Special Commission Meeting held on Monday, January 29, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. concerning Dr. Hornsby’s qualifications to serve as a Commissioner under our Village’s Charter was publicly noticed on the afternoon of Friday, January 26, 2018.  The notice was included on the Village website and marquees.  The Village Clerk also delivered the notice directly to each Commission Member on the 26th.  It is clear that notice was not an issue because Dr. Hornsby, his lawyer, members of the press and several other people attend the Meeting.  So for Mr. Blake to even suggest that there was an illegal meeting is false.

 2.                 Since I moved our Commission to terminate the former Village Attorney at the end of the November meeting, I have publicly stated that I did that because I did not have any confidence in his legal services.  As a former Commissioner, Mr. Blake should be well aware of the provisions of our Charter concerning the hiring and firing of the Village Attorney.  He should also be well aware that the Village Attorney is not an elected official and does provide legal representation directly to the residents.  Instead, the Village Attorney’s role is to be the legal advisor to me, the Village Commission and Village staff.  Mr. Blake’s invitation to list or outline all of the reasons why I lost confidence in the former Village Attorney’s legal services for his and the public’s benefit is not required and could result in another lawsuit that he would be quick to highlight.

 3.                 Last Spring, Dr. Hornsby alleged he was the victim of threats, blackmail and extortion. I have no personal or professional knowledge of the status of any investigation. I regret that a neighbor and former commissioner feels it's appropriate to throw around such serious accusations.  Mr. Powell handed out his legal opinion concerning the Hornsby matter for the public and also read it into the record.  So, for Mr. Blake to act surprised  that the Commission followed his well-researched memorandum and legal opinion concerning Dr. Hornsby’s qualifications is ridiculous.  I have attached the Village Attorney’s opinion so that everyone can read it for themselves.  The sad fact is that Dr. Hornsby did not disclose that he was removed as an elector last year and was ineligible to serve on the Commission.

 4.                 The former Village Attorney advised the Commission that we must vote on a Vice-Mayor after filling a vacancy.  In fact, after Dr. Hornsby was appointed, the Commission voted Mr. Lim as our Vice-Mayor.  Therefore, I placed the Vice-Mayor item on the agenda and the Commission voted its' will.  Mr. Lim’s behavior at the last Commission meeting speaks volumes as to why he is no longer our Vice-Mayor.

 5.                 The Village Attorney reported on the five court cases involving the Village.  Dr. Hornsby filed a frivolous lawsuit on Monday.

 6.                 In the years Mr. Rollason served as Village Manager, nothing changed!  That is a fact.  He left the Village after hours with the assistant manager and his executive assistant with no notice.  So to make excuses for his unprofessional behavior is also ridiculous.

 7.       It seems that Mr. Veriker, Mr. Blake’s news source of choice, also has a problem with the difference between an apple and a banana.  I placed the Commission item concerning the Commission’s appointment of a Vice-Mayor on the agenda.  Mr. Lim requested the deletion of that agenda item and there was an objection.  If there is an objection, Mr. Veriker, a vote is required.  In the past, generally items that are deleted are removed from the agenda without objection from another Commissioner. Mr. Veriker’s blogs are available to online and anyone who has the misfortune to read them can plainly see that his comments are simply ugly and mean spirited.  He can’t make his point without resorting to name calling and personal attacks. 

So Mr. Blake as a former commissioner and someone who professes to want the best for our Village recommending Mr. Veriker and his hate filled rhetoric cannot further any of those professed desires.  As they say, tell me who your friends are? 

But frankly, I truly find Mr. Veriker, Mr. and Mrs. Blake, and Dr. Chervony’s  continued personal comments about Mr. Powell’s intelligence, competence and personal attacks simply inappropriate, unprofessional and racist.  So I have attached Mr. Powell’s amazing and exceptional qualifications so everyone can read them and then draw your own conclusions. 

What I find so troubling is that, like you Mr. Blake, I have lived and served here for years and I have never in all those years heard you or any of your latest bed fellows comment on the competency or qualifications of any of our former Village Attorneys or staff for that matter.  The fact is that at Mr. Powell’s first meeting, Mrs. Blake pointed to our Village Clerk, Ms. Jackson, and Mr. Powell, who are all Black, and stated that “something does not look right.”  Later that evening Mr. Blake sent our former Village Manager an e-mail questioning Mr. Powell qualifications and competency. At the next meeting, Mrs. Blake continued with the personal attacks. 

The latest is that Mr. Veriker, continues to comment on Mr. Powell’s competency.  Well, the fact is that in the time that I and many others in this Village have had the pleasure of dealing with Mr. Powell, there is absolutely no doubt that he is by far superior to what our Village’s legal representation has been in the past and is a welcomed and much needed change.

I truly hope that people like you who think that contributing to the public discussion is by resorting to ugly, nasty and vitriolic tactics do not cause him and others to move on.  Mr. Powell represents the professionalism, class, and quality you lack and that our Village needs.  So spend your idle time blogging away and commiserating on Facebook.         

8.       Last, Dr. Chervony all I can say is that you are a despicable and contemplable man.  I read your monstrous Facebook comments about Vice-Mayor Jackson and you’re encouraging that kind of filth saddened me.  Our Community will take a stand against that type of disgusting behavior, especially every woman who has been treated in that manner by people like you.  I have printed your disgusting Facebook remarks and at our next Commission meeting I will personally and publicly apologize to Ms. Jackson on behalf of our Village for your disgusting behavior and I will ask our Community to take a stand against monsters like you who encourage this type of treatment.  You are a disgrace. Our Commission, Village and residents will strive for better; and, I am confident our Village will move in a positive direction.  We will soon hire a professional manager who will bring fresh ideas and work on our Village’s priorities.  I encourage everyone to personally get involved.  

Connie Leon KrepsMayorNorth Bay Village1666 Kennedy CausewayNorth Bay Village, Fl 33141Tel:  305 756.7171Cell: 786 877. “There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self”Henri Frederic Amiel

Posted Verbatim
Kevin Vericker
Feb 16, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Commissioner Jackson Got Paid Last Night

Vice Mayor (*interim pending
legal action) Andreana Jackson
Well, I guess congratulations are in order.  One of North Bay Village's most engaging mysteries has been solved.  I refer not to the extortion case in which the wife of Commissioner Mary Kramer's Husband and Mayor Kreps have been named as "subjects of interest" nor to the Hornsby matter regarding his eligibility.  The first is still in active investigation by the state and federal authorities, and the Hornsby matter is in the courts with several new actions filed this week.

No indeed.  I am talking about the mystery of why Commissioner Jackson who had always prided herself on openness and transparency decide to join the Mayor and Commissioner Mary Kramer's Husband in doing the wrong things the wrong way.

It's not like she and Mayor Crazy Eyes were friends.  Just a year ago, the mayor assaulted Jackson at the Village Holiday Event.  Here's the police report.  My favorite part was the mayor's explanation that her slapping Jackson was understandable since it's only reasonable to assume that big scary "urban" women are bound to poke your eyes out.

But still, Commissioner Jackson is apparently a bigger person than most and forgave the Mayor.  I think. 

What was even more surprising was that Commissioner Jackson also forgave new interim commissioner Laura Cattabriga who accused Jackson of criminal conspiracy in a lawsuit no less.

You can read about that here.

Jackson by nbvrbc3373 on Scribd

Why no, Jackson forgave Laura Cattabriga and voted enthusiastically and illegally to install Cattabriga in the not legally vacant Hornsby chair.   Laura Cattabriga got up and pretended she didn't know that Mayor Crazy Eyes, Commissioner Mary Kramer's Husband and the "conspirator" Commissioner Jackson had already agreed to put her in the not vacant seat. 

Then, wait for it, yep, IT HAPPENED!  (Excuse my outburst.) 

Commissioner Mary Kramer's Husband
In a completely transparent move, Mayor Crazy Eyes announced that she had the honor and privilege of nominating Andreana Jackson for the not vacant office of Vice Mayor.  The groans delighted gasps that filled the chamber from the audience. Well, no. Nobody was that surprised.  I can't lie to you, unlike Jackson.  

So the mayor made the motion and it was promptly seconded by ... no one.  Commissioner Mary Kramer's Husband did not break his customary silence and between you and me, I think he was unhappy about the fact that on January 29, Commissioner Jackson called the cops on him because he was screaming at a constituent in front of Village Hall or maybe he had just been instructed to be quiet.   Anyway he said nothing.  

Newly installed Commissioner Laura Cattabriga just sat there smiling like the first runner up in a discount beauty pageant.  You know the smile.  "I should have won and they crushed me for that?"  I'm not sure but I think maybe she thought she was going to get the nod.  

Anyway, after an awkward silence, Commissioner Jackson seconded the motion herself.  Relieved looks all around, except of course for the actual Vice Mayor who may not be removed, it's not allowed in our charter or laws but Norm Powell said it was all like, you know, cool because he invented a new law that said so.  And the commission voted 3 to 1 to install our new Vice Mayor (*interim pending legal action.)   

And it all paid off!  All the people Jackson betrayed, the lies, the plotting behind closed doors, the insults, the assaults, but she has her triumph.  It's Payday!  

Well, I mean not literally but given the current circumstances of our mayor, with the likelihood of resignation or removal, it could lead to even better things soon.   Like the mayor's seat.  

Right now, the job pays next to nothing, like $600 per month.  Not enough to settle the two current open lawsuits against Vice Mayor (*interim pending legal action) Jackson.  Seems she has a bit of a problem there.  But it gives us all hope that if we only are willing to betray our principles, our friends, and the village that trusted us, and align ourselves with people who don't care about the law, maybe we too can become Vice Mayors someday.  So congratulations, Madame Vice Mayor (*interim pending legal action.)  
Screenshot of Open Lawsuits as of Feb 13, 2018 Source:  Miami Dade Clerk of the Courts.
Kevin Vericker
February 14, 2018