Saturday, December 15, 2018

The First Commission Meeting

The first commission meeting of the new administration, held on Tuesday, December 11, was a failure. 

The newly installed commission members, Mayor Brent Latham and Commissioners Marvin Wilmoth and Julianna Strout need to get some slack for it being their first day on the job and facing a hostile, paid professional staff is never easy, but they failed to coalesce to restructure the Village administration to one that works for the residents and not the highly paid Village attorney. 

In the end, it was clearly Marvin Wilmoth's fault.  In what he presented as an attempt to reasonably evaluate the attorney, he joined with  Andreana Jackson and Mary Kramer's Husband to protect the Village attorney by proposing that instead of firing Norman Powell, he be put on a "probation" period without specifying what the terms of the probation are, what the results might be, and what actions should happen next.  It was sad to watch this. 

It's probably important to note that last September, in Andreana Jackson and Connie Kreps' attempt to fire Yvonne Hamilton, our longest serving, highly respected civil servant, Wilmoth was caught in the cross fire and the same attorney he is now "evaluating" forced a complaint implicating him in a criminal violation of state law, long after it had been established that no such violation existed.  This could have derailed his political ambitions and hurt his career. 

It's not "rising above" to propose keeping the same attorney, it's driving off a cliff with political expediency to avoid a difficult decision. 

Wilmoth needs to step up.  We don't have time for political games. 

If there was any doubt about how bad the situation with Powell is, watch the video of the consideration to terminate him.  Powell acted as both counsel to the commission and as opposing counsel to defend his position.  

In most people's eyes, this would be a serious violation of ethics.  We'd expect our attorney to advise the commission that they should seek different counsel because of the obvious conflict of interest, not act on both parts to his own benefit. 

Then yesterday, Powell fired our labor attorneys.  The people we rely on for advice about things like "probation" and "legality of contracts."  Whether this is legal under the Village ordinances is an open question, but it sure looks like a retaliatory firing.  You know, to the untrained legal eye that most decent people have.  But the result is that we do not have an independent labor attorney to help us with the issues around Powell.  

If He's So Bad, Who Supports Him?

Well, the list of supporters at the meeting was scant but loud.  

Laura Cattabriga got up and explained that during her unsuccessful election bid, a crash and burn operation, the message she heard from the voters was "Don't fire Powell."  That may be why she lost.  The voters were saying "You destabilized the administration."  

Powell's longtime partner in strip club lobbying, Mitch Edelstein, attested to Powell's abilities and pointedly reminded Commissioner Andreana Jackson that she owes him since he pulled off the miracle of getting her elected.   Jackson obligingly paid her political debt.  Edelstein also lobbies for every developer in North Bay Village.  

Some out of town guy whose multiple North Bay Village Code violations were magically erased expressed that he doesn't like me so Powell should stay.  Also, apparently I terrify him.  

Former mayor Connie was sitting ominously in the back row, looking like someone just dropped a house on her sister, letting us all know that she is still here.  

And that was about it.  

Nevertheless, money and legal impunity are great motivators and for the moment they prevailed.   

What Happens Now?

I understand that one commissioner, Julianna Strout, has called for a special meeting to fix the broken resolution by at least doing the minimum of establishing the terms of the probation.  

It requires another  commissioner to also request and in the end three have to show up.  

I hope Wilmoth has the intestinal fortitude and integrity to be there.   I hope he doesn't weasel out under the guise of "being busy."  He broke it.  He needs to fix it.  

And Now For Your Amusement and Pleasure

Heavily edited because that top
makes me look fat...I mean because
it's obscene.  
An anonymous video, always the best kind, was circulated yesterday to various unwilling residents, mostly in the Bayswater, under the subject "What's Really Wrong With North Bay Village" where my face is superimposed over a clip of a surrealist ecdysiast doing a strip tease.   

Yeah, that is the best place to get your news.  

I'm not sure what fever-driven demented mind thought this was somehow relevant but it's part of the nasty pattern of anonymous attacks that have prevailed in this Village since 2010, when Connie Leon-Kreps first sued her way on to the commission and then bullied her way into the mayor's seat.  

Unfortunately, you can no longer see it on YouTube as they have judged it obscene.  But like the incels over at LeoAffairs (no, I'm not linking.  Find it yourself), they shroud their identities under anonymous IP's and names and then have the chutzpah to criticize their betters, who post with names, dates, pictures and contact information, to spread their lies and filth.  

In other news, Marvin Wilmoth was selected as Vice Mayor, nominated by Andreana Jackson, and is poised to step into the mayoral seat if the attacks on Latham succeed.  

Kevin Vericker
December 15, 2018

1 comment:

  1. Shocked that Willmoth seems to have another agenda rather than that for the good of the community, at least that's what I get from reading about it. This brings us back to where we started. And now he is Vice-Mayor. What do we know about him, his resume, his background, or did I miss something? We need to really eradicate Normal Powell. He is a menace.


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