Letters to the editor about the pool

By Antoinette Fischer

A PLEA FOR PRUDENCE, SANITY, RATIONAL THINKING, LOGIC AND FISCAL CONSERVATISM

To those of you who want the pool so badly that you are willing to toss out all of the aforementioned virtues:

It is time to bite the bullet, and swallow the bitter pill of disappointment. You did not get your act together in time to present a total picture which would include all aspects of the proposed pool project, including a true and accurate listing of the cost of operating said pool(s), and how much of this financial burden would have to be borne by us taxpayers.

Now it is crunch time. Commissioners Harris and Welsh are desperately working to come up with all the necessary research that should have been done in a professional manner a long time ago. All of the talk that I heard of the pool becoming self supporting is “pie in the sky”. How many people in the CRA district do you really think will rent out the pool for their childrens’ birthday parties? How many schools (all dealing with very draconian budgetary cutbacks) will rent out the pool for swim teams? Certainly not nearly enough to cover the expenses that Commissioner Leibman enumerated as a result of his research in the real world!

Please do not attempt to pander to a segment of the population with “bread and circuses”. “Bread and circuses” policies of governance only leads to the downfall of society on every level, and is lacking in integrity! There is no free lunch, or free pool. Someone always has to pay! As our elected leaders, I expect you to confront the truth and give the public the news, in the same way that a good and responsible parent tells their children when a family cannot afford something!

The responsible thing to do for those who want to promote swimming lessons, is to do it in a cost effective manner. Parents need to be invested in this and pay at least part of the expense. Maybe the CRA can help to fund such a project. It is not for me to work out the details of such a project. Why not sponsor some workshops and see how many parents show up ready and willing to participate and become invested.The city could facilitate this; however I still have the same question that I asked last night.” Why haven’t those people who are so distressed about children drowning, done anything about it on their own steam throughout all these years?” Lip service and no action does not impress me. Government cannot and should not rush to supply every need and demand that comes from the public when they have demonstrated no personal investment in the solution.

You really need to call another special meeting, to repeal your vote on a straw ballot a.s.a.p., and have the courage to put this pool idea to rest permanently. Our little city does not have the revenue to maintain a municipal pool! That is the bottom line. You cannot even maintain the landscaping that is put in by the city, and the foliage that obstructs safe passage on our sidewalks! It’s time for a serious reality check!

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By Sharon McCain

 Dear Members of the Commission, City Manager, and City Attorney:

This nonsense needs to stop. There is absolutely no guidelines set in place for Walter, Bob’s and Phil’s letter to be distributed by a voting commissioner regarding approval of the pool. We might as well live in Cuba, Iraq, or any other third world country after the exhibit of these three members of the commission last evening.

1. Our city government has fallen to just classless, unprofessional levels, almost hillybilly style! To have a letter bicycled around the city by Commissioner Welsh who is going to vote on the item?

2. I can just see it now. Bob with a bunch of letters, pen in hand, knocking on doors, telling residents whatever needed in order to get the box of approval checked before he leaves a resident’s doorstep. He will do this, in order to get his pool built and the pool Harris and Stoddard are so hell bent on building.

3. Bob has a connection with a printing company who prints his flyers. Will anybody be watching to see if Bob has extra letters of approval printed up?

4. Who is going to verify that Bob or anybody else didn’t sign the name of a specific household? Poor Walter Harris, stating, “one per household,” boy folks, this city is in serious trouble. Qualifications for commissioner in this city should be more than being a nice guy, they need brains, and hopefully not fall asleep at commission meetings, as observed last evening. Wake up Walter!

5. Of course Bob will concentrate where he thinks he can get yes approvals.

6. Isn’t it time we questioned why Commissioner Bob Welsh is so hell bent on getting this pool built? Bob Welsh, a citizen at the time, brought Oca to the city to be the pool vendor? Bob Welsh stated at a commission meeting two weeks ago that he wanted to use some of his commissioner contingency money to repay Oca, the pool vendor?

7. Where did Mr. Harris (no longer can be called commissioner after last evening) come up with the pool costing 10 cents a family per day? Did Mayor Stoddard help him with his fuzzy math? We are used to seeing fuzzy math on the dais when Mayor Stoddard wants something passed, i.e. the I pads and the pool. Mr. Harris, where is the documentation based on your 10 cents.? Yes, the letter that is suppose to be generated is based on 10 cents a household.

8. Let us all remember that former Comm. Beasley, Mayor Stoddard, and Walter Harris voted not to amend but kill the resolution Comm. Newman had on the commission agenda to have input of all South Miami residents put on the ballot for this past February’s election regarding the pool In her absense, (her father was gravely ill) they did what they do best, they took advantage of Comm. Newman and disrespected her and the residents of this city by killing it so it would never appear on the ballot. Stoddard, Welsh, and Harris now think they are getting public input by having Commissioner Welsh ride around certain areas of town to get approval? Mayor Stoddard was heard telling Walter Harris to go around his neighborhood with the letter? Can you believe what we all put in office and making decisions for our city? Mr. Pepe, our city attorney, and a personal friend of Bob Welsh and Walter Harris, prior to becoming our city attorney, sat there, blessed this, and said nothing? I guess Mr. Pepe realizes three votes are needed to retain employment in this city.

Thank you Comm Newman and Vice Mayor Liebman for having intelligence, rationale, and doing your due diligence as to why this will hurt the city and the taxpayers. Obviously Comm. Harris should have stayed home with his 10 cents a family paperwork. Our city is the laughing stock of Dade County, more than ever, and the residents of this city deserve better. Ever since elected, Bob Welsh goes off in tangents.Last evening residents in the audience shouted they don’t want Bob delivering flyers on his bike about the pool. It has become very apparent since re elected that Mayor Stoddard is no longer a leader and is not making rationale decisions, even though he proudly reminds everyone about his PhD status.

Recall is the only choice for this city. If anyone sees Comm. Bob Welsh at your doorstep with a paper for you to sign regarding approval of the pool, call the police, he was not given permission to do so. Do not sign any paper for this pool, until democracy returns to our city.

One other thing. It is apparent one very important aspect of this pool has not been made clear, especially to residents of the cra….We have the funds to build the pool but we do not have the funds to maintain the pool, which will cost in the range of over $400.,000 a year, based on the due diligence of two commissioners by getting the figures of other areas pools in Dade County.

Kindly pass the email on and warn your neighbors about not signing this letter of approval and that our city is quickly drowning in quick sand for lack of leadership!

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By Donna M. Shelley

Dear Mayor, Vice Mayor and Commissioners,

I have been in favor of the pool, but have always recognized that there was little-to-no political will to actually make it a reality. I can only guess that the entire subject has been nothing more than a false promise, designed to placate some members of the community, as it has been passed along from commission to commission for decades. Now that grant funding deadlines are forcing a decision, the dithering continues. It continues because we have at least three people on the Commission who are unwilling to risk a decision and who have voted for a ridiculous solution: to conduct a statistically-flawed straw poll to find out if the residents want to pay to maintain the pool.

Our government is a representative Democracy, not a plebiscite. All of you on the dais are there because the people voted you into office–you are our representatives and as such, are expected to make the decisions, not run around conducting straw polls when you don’t have the courage of your convictions to vote the issue up or down.

To anoint one Commissioner to draft a letter with no approval of said letter’s language and to anoint another Commissioner to “distribute” it by going house to house (again with no oversight regarding what this person will say to each resident he encounters during his mission) is fundamentally corrupt, especially as both these elected officials have expressed their support for the project in question.

I once lived in a city many referred to as “backwards.” It was a town of 520 people, isolated from the mainstream and deeply entrenched in cronyism. Their city council never proposed anything as remotely unethical, nonsensical, or ludicrous as the one the majority of you proffered yesterday.

Thank you Vice Mayor Liebman and Commissioner Newman for being the only grown-ups sitting on the dais last night.

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By John Edward Smith

To: The CITY OF SOUTH MIAMI
Mayor Philip K. Stoddard
Vice Mayor Josh Liebman
Comm. Valerie Newman
Comm. Walter Harris
Comm. Bob Welsh

Hector Mirabile, Ph.D., City Manager
Thomas Pepe, Esq., City Attorney
Maria M. Menendez, City Clerk

The actions (3-2 Liebman/Newman) taken this evening regarding a decision to move forward (or not) with the “Murray Park Pool” was the most inane, nonsensical, inappropriate and ill-advised decision I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing in my thirty years of civic service to this community, attending city commission meetings for over twenty years. It was appalling and a disgrace of your elected office!

The manager requested a decision based on six “courses of action” and you failed to provide that direction. Rather, a willy-nilly, let’s conduct a “straw poll of the residents,” was the order of the evening, viz., let’s put-off making tough decisions.

What was voted upon: conduct a “straw poll” letter based on some undisclosed financial numbers, distributed by an elected official (who has already indicated his preference and whose distribution would be very suspect and incomplete), is a complete lack of scientific objectivity and credibility and any results forthcoming are outrageously flawed from the outset. The commission gave no direction to the content of the “letter” and you have someone who has a perceived lack of credibility deliver these in the name of the city in an official capacity. What a very sad joke! In my years in conducting marketing research, organizational development and focus groups, this is an abomination!

Mr. Attorney, I would strongly suggest that you render an opinion to discharge this matter within the next 24 hours. Should the “will of the commission” be to conduct a straw poll of the residents/homeowners/electorate then it should be done in an unbiased manner via certified mail with a postage paid return address envelope. The form/letter/question should be properly vetted.

I am exceptionally disappointed in the lack of governance.

Homeowner/Resident since 1974

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By Sharon McCain

Dear Members of the Commission, City Manager, and City Attorney:

This nonsense needs to stop. There is absolutely no guidelines set in place for Walter, Bob’s and Phil’s letter to be distributed by a voting commissioner regarding approval of the pool. We might as well live in Cuba, Iraq, or any other third world country after the exhibit of these three members of the commission last evening.

1. Our city government has fallen to just classless, unprofessional levels, almost hillybilly style! To have a letter bicycled around the city by Commissioner Welsh who is going to vote on the item?

2. I can just see it now. Bob with a bunch of letters, pen in hand, knocking on doors, telling residents whatever needed in order to get the box of approval checked before he leaves a resident’s doorstep. He will do this, in order to get his pool built and the pool Harris and Stoddard are so hell bent on building.

3. Bob has a connection with a printing company who prints his flyers. Will anybody be watching to see if Bob has extra letters of approval printed up?

4. Who is going to verify that Bob or anybody else didn’t sign the name of a specific household? Poor Walter Harris, stating, “one per household,” boy folks, this city is in serious trouble. Qualifications for commissioner in this city should be more than being a nice guy, they need brains, and hopefully not fall asleep at commission meetings, as observed last evening. Wake up Walter!

5. Of course Bob will concentrate where he thinks he can get yes approvals.

6. Isn’t it time we questioned why Commissioner Bob Welsh is so hell bent on getting this pool built? Bob Welsh, a citizen at the time, brought Oca to the city to be the pool vendor? Bob Welsh stated at a commission meeting two weeks ago that he wanted to use some of his commissioner contingency money to repay Oca, the pool vendor?

7. Where did Mr. Harris (no longer can be called commissioner after last evening) come up with the pool costing 10 cents a family per day? Did Mayor Stoddard help him with his fuzzy math? We are used to seeing fuzzy math on the dais when Mayor Stoddard wants something passed, i.e. the I pads and the pool. Mr. Harris, where is the documentation based on your 10 cents.? Yes, the letter that is suppose to be generated is based on 10 cents a household.

8. Let us all remember that former Comm. Beasley, Mayor Stoddard, and Walter Harris voted not to amend but kill the resolution Comm. Newman had on the commission agenda to have input of all South Miami residents put on the ballot for this past February’s election regarding the pool In her absense, (her father was gravely ill) they did what they do best, they took advantage of Comm. Newman and disrespected her and the residents of this city by killing it so it would never appear on the ballot. Stoddard, Welsh, and Harris now think they are getting public input by having Commissioner Welsh ride around certain areas of town to get approval? Mayor Stoddard was heard telling Walter Harris to go around his neighborhood with the letter? Can you believe what we all put in office and making decisions for our city? Mr. Pepe, our city attorney, and a personal friend of Bob Welsh and Walter Harris, prior to becoming our city attorney, sat there, blessed this, and said nothing? I guess Mr. Pepe realizes three votes are needed to retain employment in this city.

Thank you Comm Newman and Vice Mayor Liebman for having intelligence, rationale, and doing your due diligence as to why this will hurt the city and the taxpayers. Obviously Comm. Harris should have stayed home with his 10 cents a family paperwork. Our city is the laughing stock of Dade County, more than ever, and the residents of this city deserve better. Ever since elected, Bob Welsh goes off in tangents.Last evening residents in the audience shouted they don’t want Bob delivering flyers on his bike about the pool. It has become very apparent since re elected that Mayor Stoddard is no longer a leader and is not making rationale decisions, even though he proudly reminds everyone about his PhD status.

Recall is the only choice for this city. If anyone sees Comm. Bob Welsh at your doorstep with a paper for you to sign regarding approval of the pool, call the police, he was not given permission to do so. Do not sign any paper for this pool, until democracy returns to our city.

One other thing. It is apparent one very important aspect of this pool has not been made clear, especially to residents of the cra….We have the funds to build the pool but we do not have the funds to maintain the pool, which will cost in the range of over $400.,000 a year, based on the due diligence of two commissioners by getting the figures of other areas pools in Dade County.

Kindly pass the email on and warn your neighbors about not signing this letter of approval and that our city is quickly drowning in quick sand for lack of leadership!


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