Love in this Room?

By Michael Miller….

Dachshund puppy Leroy is ready for Halloween.

The City Commission unanimously supported the Chamber South’s 40th Annual South Miami Art Festival recently in a resolution that also waived over $10,000 in permit fees to operate in downtown. Chamber South President Mary Scott Russell says she appreciated the strong message of support which made her and her team of seven staff and volunteers present at the meeting feel all “warm and fuzzy inside.”

The anticipated 50,000 attendees who generally not only stroll downtown but also eat and shop and fill the rate-hiked municipal parking garage several times over according to Scott Russell, would make any enterprising politician feel warm and fuzzy as well.

Who let the Goblins out?
Another South Miami tradition appears to be in the full swing planning masked head. The family friendly event offers the community an opportunity to get together and showcase wonderful and wacky costume delights sure to impress. So kids of all ages get ready for your special Halloween party evening in a safe communal- spirit(s) space with plenty of police patrol to back up your runway presentations. Contact Maria Stout Tate at 305-498- 3088 for more details.

Why Tinker with Our Community Gym Rates?
Come on Gibson Bethel Community Center, give a fitness fan a break! Fostering a sense of community for business people looking for a good work out comes at a high price. When residents pay $15 per week and non-residents $25 to use the exercise facilities it comes out to about $800 or $1300 respectively for a year membership. For prices like that I can get better rates at LA Fitness which averages about $600 annually for all memberships or M Cycle Gym which is just $1100 for unlimited access all year round. The message is loud and clear to South Miami based business owners and staff: thank you very little for paying property taxes, occupational license fees, parking privilege payments and etc. Now let’s turn you upside down and shake out what’s left in your dwindling pants pockets by charging you Bally’s of Vegas style fees so you can get healthy in your own neighborhood.

Gas Prices are Not Enough?
Just when you managed to rework your monthly budget so you can actually afford to drive to work…look out, here come more parking meters! Now we get to be nickel and dimed via an automated machine demanding 25 cents for every 12 minutes we park our car at the office. There goes my lunch budget. Can’t wait to see the meter readers busting the local scofflaws.

Party or Bust?
Speaking of scofflaws, my inside sources over at city hall tell me that another drug bust is imminent over in the Lee Park area. Seems as though the cops have been undercover for a while and now they have enough evidence to pop the pot dealers and send them away for a while. And then there is the well-known local who got busted recently for selling a Viagra type product; you know that’s the drug for guys that need a little lift. Yup, he was selling that stuff prescription free. Jeez, I guess the prosecutors must be trying to figure out what to do with this stand-up guy.

Tuesday Night Live Anyone?
BTW, I love watching the City Commission meetings on the internet. It is super easy, I just go to and click on Channel 77 and away we go. We get to sit around munching popcorn and enjoying the reality based live skits. Situation comedy, I mean, local government in progress, is wonderfully entertaining.

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
Story around town is that one of the sitting commissioners has put her house up for sale even though I did not see a sign on her property…hmmn? And then there is Brian “The Brain” Beasley who may or may not be moving. But according to a somewhat unreliable source he is getting ready to relaunch his re-election campaign nonetheless. Perhaps he is too exhausted after being deposed at length recently regarding his testimony concerning the firing of the former city manager to make a decision.

Gator or Hurricane?
Let’s set the record straight here. Megamarathoner running for a city commission seat this spring Josh Leibman actually bleeds orange and green and orange and blue. The University of Miami MBAgraduate got his educational start at the University of Florida where he received his undergraduate degree and not the University of Miami as reported last issue. Sorry Josh! We promise not to hold that against you. Oh and congratulations on completing your 89th! Marathon last week in Chicago roadrunner.

Do as I say not as I do?
Looks like the city commission is ready to endorse the anti –candy flavored tobacco campaign on one hand and on the other hand some on the board support the legalization of marijuana. Something smells funny here.

Seen in SoMi
Casa Lario’s continues to be Hang Out Central for the happenin’ politicos around town. Seen recently enjoying morning coladas and empanadas…Miami Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez and Florida City Mayor OtisWallace. Also spotted enjoying the company of friends Shawn Crews and at a nearby table Horace Fileu.

“Openly questioning the way the world works and challenging the power of the powerful is not an activity customarily rewarded.”
-Dale Splender

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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