‘It’s a jungle out there’ at City Hall

By Michael Miller….
Rumor has it that Watson, the escaped monkey at Jungle Island, was headed over to apply for the city manager’s job in South Miami. On the way out, he even convinced Mahesh, the 500-pound Tiger, to be his “protector,” convincing him to hop over a 14- foot high fence to head to the City of Pleasant Living. (See photos on pg. 3).

But alas! Both changed their minds and after wandering around aimlessly, returned to their cages. Dick Tracy, our private eye, said that while Watson and Mahesh were in ‘lock-down,” a couple of headhunters were asking the pair to reconsider and actually apply for the City Hall post.

You gotta know by now that as of press time, the position technically remained open because Hector Mirabile hadn’t gotten final approval of his proposed $140,000 salaried contract. The vote to make Hector become the newest-soon-to-be-former City Manager of the City of Pleasant Living, is set to take place Tuesday, September 21.

Nevertheless, the story Around Town is that the little critters at Jungle Island could get credit for time served and if they don’t get the full time City Hall gig, they might consider working as consultants (like Sandy Youkelis.)

To back up their qualifications, I’m told that a vote was taken among the Jungle’s four-legged inhabitants who decided Watsonand Maheshwould be a purr-fect fits with the current elected city officials.

Speaking of animals, peacocks wandering around SW 68th Street and 64th Avenue are eating bugs, plants, an occasional snake, snails, as well as cat and dog food left outside by well-meaning pet owners who call South Miami home.

The big problem, I’m told, is that those beautiful birds love to leave a residue of their meals on area porches and driveways… so, would someone please tell the brood to head on over to City Hall where they can join some of our elected officials to wander, forage, and generally muck up the works together. The birds can then leave their residue next to the piles that some of those elected officials have left there for all to see.

And, oh, by the way, would someone call the Public Works Department to bring their machines over to City Hall, with a few big trucks and lots of guys with gas masks to clean up the mess?

If true, the following is a real stinker. Elected officials need to come clean with this one. I hear at least one elected official has specific knowledge that there is a deed restriction on the Sylva Martin building which severely limits the type of use that can be placed inside its historic walls. Right now the city is using very old building, which is at City Hall, for several functions, including offices for the CRA and the Planning Department. And I hear that there are some other things going on over there, as well.

So, maybe, the city just might want to look up the usage details and make an announcement at an upcoming commission meeting to clear up any potential confusion before the descendants of Sylva Martin, the city’s first city clerk, start crying foul and make a real stink about it.

Many, many thanks to Miami Dade County and to the taxpayers for funding the million bucks-plus being spent to beautify SW 62nd Avenue from approximately SW 70th to SW 64th Street, right smack in front of our offices. When complete (projected by May 2011), we’ll have nice big sidewalks, a large median strip in the middle of the road filled with trees and plants, some new drainage and, for the most part, one lane in either direction right up to SW 69th Street where SW 62nd will open to two lanes in either direction.

It should be beautiful, adding a lot of value to neighborhood properties, including our own, so I do want to thank all taxpayers for their contribution to make all of this possible.

PS. I’m not sold that single lanes in each direction will help control traffic. At this point only time will tell if the experts were right.

Thought of the Day:

Saying what we think gives us a wider conversational range than saying what we know.

— Cullen Hightower

Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to michael@communitynewspapers.com.

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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 michael@communitynewspapers.com

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