Mayor and two commissioners get slapped around

Vice Mayor Josh Leibman is playing target practice on the foreheads of the current mayor, which by the way happens to be Phil Stoddard and two of our other fearless leaders Commissioners Wally and Bobble Head.

Not sure what has gotten into Josh recently, but I’ll just betya that he is fed up with all the nonsense and rhetoric that escapes from the mouths of Josh’s dais buddies.

Folks, it’s a sad state of affairs over at city hall and I urge you to listen to what Josh is saying and to watch Channel 77, where you can watch the commission meetings, old ones, as well as live ones, too. Make sure you have your Barf Bag next to you, cuz ya going to feel like vomiting after you see what is going on at city hall.

And on my eating rounds:

Over at Deli Lane: Former Vice Mayor Brian Beasley and Oliver von Gundlach, were there and sitting nearby was former mayor Horace Feliu and current vice mayor Josh Liebman and no they were not sitting together. But if they were, my oh my what stories that could tell.

And at Casa Larios; Obdulio Piedra from Great Florida Bank, Donna and Ronald Shelley, Dr. Jorge Blanco, Angelo Bosques,Jr. the personal trainer from Fitness Together, Armando Oliveros, the former vice mayor and lots of South Miami’s Finest, as well.

While at Town Kitchen and Grill, I ran into Paul & Lizette Marolf, Susan Greene, as well as Levi and Lauren Meyer all there along with lots of other beautiful people enjoying a Sunday brunch.

I hear that some city hall staffers are being bugged now- a- days, not just by the little pests that are you can step on, but by the larger pests, the two legged ones that are making their jobs a lot harder to do. And by the way, I’m not saying that the place is really bugged, as in recording your every move, but there are cameras everywhere and I’m told really everywhere.

What the heck is going on over at the bathrooms at the city owned, Murray Park. Ooops did I really write that? Folks, don’t worry too much it’s not that bad unless you think that dirty bathrooms and no toilet paper on many an occasion are Ok. But be that as it may, I wonder if the bathrooms over at city hall are treated the same.

With speculation on whether U. S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL might run against GOP Gov. Rick Scott in the fall of 2014 a hot topic. Nelson on Friday was coy when veteran Miami Herald political reporter Marc Caputo suggested reasons why he might, or might not run for governor in the coming years. And the senior senator from Florida told the reporter when it came to him running for governor. “You figure it out,” he said. However, Nelson is the only statewide Democrat in office in a state dominated by the GOP, and some party faithful want him to ride back from Washington as Gov. Lawton Childes did back in 2004 when he left the Senate and defeated a young Jeb Bush in his first gubernatorial campaign.

Scott who spent some $73 million of his own money to be elected in 2010 has proved since then to be an effective Republican Party fundraiser as gubernatorial challengers in the GOP for the moment are keeping their political powder dry and are not running in the race. However, this widespread speculation that Nelson would be a great challenger for the Democratic Party has been out there, but some pundits wonder why he would want to run. Since he just was reelected to the world’s most exclusive club, has major seniority since he was first elected in 2000, and at 74 if he ran. He could find the younger Scott a formidable challenge even thought the governor is low in the polls. Editor’s note: I believe Nelson will stay in the U.S. Senate.

“I trust but I verify,” says Carvalho when it comes to projects program manager Parsons Brinckerhoff for $1.2 billion bond program

Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of the nation’s fourth largest public school district has put his reputation on the line when it comes to the projects to be financed by a $1.2 billion bond offering passed overwhelmingly by voters in Nov. 2012. And he recommended to the school board that Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. be the district’s program manager and to provide support services to assist in the delivery of district wide school renovations, replacements and technology upgrades for the bond, state district documents. Carvalho told the school board members on Wednesday that he negotiated a “rate and cost multiplier that is significantly less,” for other program management firms that were used for the “Houston and L.A.” public schools system and these markups were “the lowest cost multipliers in the country,” he told the board.

And while he had faith in the large company that also did much of the work at the new American Airline terminal at MIA. “I trust but I verify,” and with the district’s “power of verification” he is “assured we will get to the goal,” because the oversight of the projects and money is being “done at the highest level.” And the superintendent since Sept. 2008 told the board it will be “reflective in the outcome” of the hundreds of projects and the whole program will be done through an “honest, transparent and legitimate process,” he assured the nine member board. Further, of this over billion in projects to be done over the next six to seven years. In this first year, the school district is expected to sell some $508 million in bonds to get the ball rolling and Carvalho noted with this contract. Parsons is “responsible,” for the results and there is “no other company,” to place the blame on. And he expects all the projects to be “on time” and “under budget,” he concluded his discussions.

The pediatric heart surgery program at Jackson Health System’s Holtz’s Children’s Hospital is “voluntarily accepting probation designation in order to allow us sufficient time to demonstrate full compliance with CMS Standards,” and would “welcome a later assessment,” wrote Steven Burghart, the Sr. VP and Chief Administrative Officer of Holtz’s Children Hospital & Women Hospital Center. The cardiac program is required to do at least 150 cases a year and this past low surgical volume had been under review over the past months after a past unsatisfactory review earlier detailed in a past Watchdog Report. Two of the program’s physicians also signed the letter by the top administrator.

The letter further said the request came because the pediatric cardiac program “will fall short of the CMS Facility Standard of 150 cases annually,” and they are “pursuing a number of avenues toward programmatic growth but developing and modifying such a large academic program takes time.” In addition, there has been “insufficient time since the last evaluation for us to demonstrate a substantial change in surgical volume.” And they wish more time to become compliant with the required surgical volume. And when it came to the “upcoming CMS visit to UM/Jackson Pediatric Cardiovascular Program.” The Jackson executive says, “We suggest canceling a Jun. 4 site visit.” And the Apr. 25 letter was sent to Jeffrey P. Jacobs, M.D., head of the CMS Cardiac Subcommittee, which is a Division of Children’s Medical Services.

In a past CMS review, the program’s surgical volume was becoming an issue and there was also a need to replace a cardiac surgeon, since the program was short on one, but this new wrinkle for such a high profile medical service so important to the community’s kids at Jackson deserves being monitored and why the Watchdog Report over the past nine months has been keeping my eye on the matter.

Fairchild Gardens turns 75, Miami- Dade’s version of Camp David

Acommunity treasure has turned 75-years old recently and it is the Fairchild Tropical and Botanical Gardens located on Old Cutler nestled on the bay. The Gardens dubbed by the Watchdog Report as the community’s Camp David after a potentially contentious political meeting was held there in 2001 but turned into a kumbaya event between state legislators and county commissioners at the time. Fairchild hosts a variety of different events including the yearly Ramble that show cases the beautiful gardens, and includes the new attraction Wings of the Tropics, featuring thousands of butterflies from all over the world. Further, part of the Garden’s experience is the large number of volunteers that work there seven days a week, and these peoples giving countless hours helps keep the Gardens manicured and in great shape and saves the taxpayers millions of dollars by this free activity. And the Watchdog Report gives all the volunteers a Tip of the Hat. For more go to:

(The last four items were provided by

Thought of the Day:

Wishes cost nothing unless you want them to come true.

— Frank Tyger

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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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