The pattern of bidding is causing our fair mayor to feel “slapped across the face” as he said at the recent commission meeting regarding a tabled resolution for speed bumps in the Pinecrest Villas neighborhood. Commissioner Bob Welsh brought up (in meticulous detail) what he perceives as discrepancies in the process before passing the torch on to Stoddard who expressed outrage. He made strong accusations of collusion. Citing separate bidders with presumably the same phone numbers and vehicles, Stoddard requested the city attorney investigate possible collusion. He called the bid results “implausible” and added “We need more information to know who is colluding; this is the hallmark of a rigged process.” Director of Public Works Keith Ng appeared completely mystified about what was coming out of the mayor’s mouth. In response to the alleged collusion possibility a befuddled Ng said, “I’m not sure what they are talking about.”
And we have to say, Keith Ng seems to be one of the most consummate professionals the city is lucky enough to have recently added to their staff. With an impressive C.V. and relevant experience to boot, he has always been approachable, friendly, and as helpful as possible when South Miami News has requested information. He’s a class act and deserved to be treated with a heck of a lot more respect than he received that night. No wonder Keith Ng has since resigned.
WITHER THE MURRAY POOL?
We understand how effective delay strategies are. The apparent city slogan “if you can’t beat them delay them to death” seems appropriate on the Murray Pool Proposal. The decision to move forward was last November according to the mayor and the questionable grant renewals appear secured but alas nothing is happening. Mayor Philip Stoddard said he is frustrated with the process at the last meeting. “I have to say I’m frustrated. The commission gave staff direction last November and we still don’t have a contract. I’m frustrated.”
In his defense, the city attorney said the current stall tactic, I mean set back, is because the language regarding the grants was not in the original RFP contract proposal. “At the request of the purchasing department we have plugged in the appropriate numbers and referenced appropriate documents to be sure to reference the grant. It is in front of DiPompeo now (winning bidder) and the attorneys are taking a look at it.”
Do you think the pool ready kids who are putting away bathing suits after another sweltering summer will get why the pool they were promised so many years ago has yet to put shovel to the ground? “Attorneys are still being paid to talk about it dear, don’t you understand?”
NEWS YOU CAN USE
A while back, Yours Truly spoke at a city commission meeting and told the esteemed group of elected officials that “we” wanted a commission that “we” could be proud of. And shortly thereafter Commissioner Newman told the audience something to the effect that “we wanted a newspaper that we could be proud of.” Fair enough, that’s a pretty good goal for both. Her point is well made and we are proud of what we do and have a great time regurgitating the shenanigans that take place from the dais at city hall.
In an ironic twist, Commissioner Valerie has started her own blog/website and it’s so full of so much stuff that we can all be proud of. So, take a look see at www.insidethehornestnest. com. Kid you not; she has got some real inside stuff that will give you an insider’s view of happenings at city hall. And you will be so proud to know that your elected officials are mentioned frequently throughout the masterpiece.
So, sit back, sip on your Mojitos and puff a bit on your stogie or on your blunt (oops did I write that) and enjoy. I’ll just betcha you could make some comments of your own on the site.
PEE IN A CUP?
And speaking of puffing, I’m still awaiting someone take us up on the drug test challenge. Let’s have the folks at city hall take a drug test. I will join them and get the party started. You know the same test that employees have to take. Maybe Margaret Sotham, from the South Miami Drug Free Coalition might just go to a city commission meeting and ask them to join in and set an example. She would be the perfect third party to supervise the process. (Just as a reminder, I do not think that any of the boys and girls at city hall partakes in the use of any illicit drugs).
Can you imagine the great things that our city leaders could do with a renewed DRUG FREE program at the local schools? This might be the one thing that this commission could actually agree on and do some good for our local kids. So, city commissioners… whatta ya say?
By the way there is an old saying coined by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”
BAD BOYS, BAD BOYS
Had the opportunity to personally witness the execution of a bunch of arrest warrants the other day. Starting off in the predawn dew, more than 40 law enforcement personnel, from area police departments, plus FBI, US Marshals office, and reps from the state attorney’s office broke out into teams and descended on the bad guys in South Miami. They brought in about half the folks that they went out to fetch. It appeared to be seamless, well done and the cops kept their collective cool. There was no craziness, no beat-ups and no out of control stuff. I am proud of the SMPD and of Chief Orlando Martinez and Major Rene Landa for doing a great job in leading the ladies and gentlemen who I am proud to say, serve and protect the citizens of South Miami.
SOCCER, SOCCER, SOCCER
Hurray for Grey Ghosts soccer! After a surprising withdrawal from the new RFP process by former operator (and default winning bidder until the judge said no-no) South Miami United, the original bid winner Grey Ghosts renewed their victory and were approved by the city commission as the official soccer vendor in the last meeting.
“I can’t explain how happy and optimistic we are about moving forward finally,” said Grey Ghosts President Javier Rodriguez. “We can put all this behind us now and work with the city rather than against the process.”
The South Miami United Program (default bid winner stripped of title from judge) has resumed play at the YMCAPark.
Thought for the Day:
It’s a cruel and random world,
but the chaos is all so beautiful.
— Hiromu Arakawa
Got Tips? For news tips call 305-669- 7030 or send to Michael@communitynewspapers.Com