Commission should stop meddling with the charter

By Michael Miller….
Golly…all of you elected officials over at city hall have managed to go through five city managers in seven years and now you want to diminish the power of the manager by requiring that he or she get your approval to hire department heads. Why? Don’t you have enough to do fiddling around at city hall pretending to be important?

Surely the commission members are joking when they say, “Well, look at all the managers we’ve gone through” and “if we had more input, the government would be more stable.” Who are they kidding?! The elected officials are the ones who have it so unstable at city hall, not the office of the city manager.

Over the years, South Miami has been destabilized and has become the laughing stock of local governments. But alas, these present officials want to continue injecting their own ”expertise” into the mix and make it so the commission will have to say “yea” to the hiring of department heads. As far as I am concerned, that is a MISTAKE. But what the heck, what do I know?

What I do know is that this commission has chased away five managers in recent years and those departed souls have landed on their collective feet. As I wrote a few weeks ago, four of them have gone on to be successful city managers after they left South Miami: Charles Scurr in Palmetto Bay, Marie Davis in a city in Palm Beach County, Yvonne McKinley in Doral and Ajibola Balogun in a town in Broward County.

So, city commissions, business people, voters and politicos, point the finger where it belongs and not at the city manager’s position.

Okay, back to the way it works now: The commission hires a “STRONG” city manager that runs the city. He or she hires and fires folks, including department heads. The commission provides the direction for the city without “telling” the manager who to hire or fire. Pretty clear lines of authority with room for the “quiet nod” of approval or dissatisfaction.

It’s been that way for years and until the commission got tired of playing second fiddle to the city manager, it worked pretty well. Now this commission is acting like they want to play city manager and if this proposed ordinance passes on second reading, it’ll go before the voters in November.

It’s been said that this is a power grab by this commission to get more control of the city and I couldn’t disagree more. It’s way more than that. They’re adding a whole new layer of bologna and ego soothing before a department head gets hired.

At the end of the day, the commission is probably going to vote for approval and send it to the voters to decide in the November election. Any bets on which way it’ll go?

The city rejected the building plans for one of our neighbors who wants to build a four-story building right next door to us. I support this for several reasons… It would increase the value of our property, and would serve as a catalyst for some long overdue attention to some of the largest pieces of underdeveloped parcels of land in the city and improve SW 62nd Avenue, one of the major entrances into the city.

But alas, the city has spoken. As with most things, though, it ain’t over till the skinny lady sings or in this case, till the judge rules. Our neighbor, Dr. Alex Zakharia, has sued the city and we have joined him.

And speaking of a much needed improvement on SW 62nd Avenue… The county is starting construction on this street, putting in large sidewalks, making one lane in each direction and creating a median strip filled with trees and bushes. The project, which will cost $1 million plus, will supposedly take about ten months and hopefully raise the spirits of the neighbors.

And speaking of spirits… I was driving down Sunset Drive the other day and the police were there handing out speeding tickets like candy at a kids’ party. The cops, who are only doing their jobs, seem pretty happy and in good spirits when they pull over car after care after car. In some cases, the speed limit is 20, in other areas, it’s 25 and in others, it’s 30. As you know, it’s hard to do just 20 mph in many areas, but you’d better or else when you look up from texting while your driving, you’ll see that South Miami’s finest are standing in front of you, motioning you over to receive an early Christmas present, a speeding ticket compliments of the South Miami Police Department.

By the way, you’ll notice that 25 mph speed limit signs were posted all over the place in the neighborhood west of SW 62 Avenue from 72 Street to 64 Street. You can count on seeing the South Miami police back there, handing out tickets where you would least expect it. And no, I’m sure they are not hanging out at the vice-mayor’s house, who lives somewhere back in that neighborhood.

Yes…I’m a proud Dad… My son, Jeff, who received his master’s degree in International Business from Florida International University, spent some time at the University of Chicago this summer. While he was there, he ran into someone from Miami (who will remain anonymous), and they had dinner and a great time at Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse. P.S. I know that Jeff’s host will be reading this…So many thanks to you for our friendship and for reaching out to my son.

Though of the Day: Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together. — Eugene Ionesco

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

Connect To Your Customers & Grow Your Business

Click Here

Print Friendly

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

Be the first to comment on "Commission should stop meddling with the charter"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.