City Politicians: Get Your Hands Out of the People’s Pockets

Grant Miller

Local city leaders have blasted Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the County Commission for not giving them blank checks for Cares Act funds. But before we get into the politics of the matter, let’s deal with the facts first.

The money was meant for citizens and businesses, not City leaders with a gap in their budgets. Just yesterday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez admitted that he wants to use the money to subsidize Miami’s revenue shortage.  Miami’s finances were already teetering before COVID-19 because of a softening in the real estate market. So, Mayor Suarez is asking Coral Gables, Hialeah, Opa-locka and unincorporated Miami-Dade to pay for a warranty on Miami’ budget because it’s certain to break.

Another important point that Gimenez is sure to be weighing is that Miami-Dade is on the hook if CARES ACT money is misspent. The buck literally stops with him. I don’t know about you, but there are several City governments that I do not trust with my money, and I will be damned if I have to pay for their cronyism and outright corruption.

Miami’s ears must be burning because I’m talking about the Magic City again here. The 124-year old City is home to Crazy Joe Carollo, who has never seen a lawsuit he doesn’t like. Like a vampire, he’s sucking the city dry as it spends hundreds of thousands defending him in court on multiple fronts. Things have gotten so bad that Crazy Joe has sued the City, yet the City Attorney still hires Joe’s attorney to represent Miami in court on a separate matter. So guess what taxpayers – your CARES Act money could be  used to defend Joe Carollo from human malpractice.

Are you ready for the kicker Cities are pegging their requests to the County for CARES Act funds to the size of their population, which is stupid, plain and simple, especially for cities like Miami and Hialeah that have more residents and businesses per capita than let’s say Coral Gables or Aventura that will qualify for the help.  So cities like Miami and Hialeah are potentially shorchanging their own residents and businesses, because both are areas of high need.

If everyone was forced to be honest here, City leaders would admit that citizens are not top of mind. Instead, local leaders want the money so they have something to talk about on national TV when the media calls. At the end of the day, they are immune to the real world pain on the streets. Like in Washington, Miami politicos ignore the men and women facing possible foreclosures and evictions. They are unable to hear their cries while they party mask-less at local bars.

So, what is really behind these City politicians’ righteous indignation?  Are they afraid that they will have to increase taxes and face losing re-election, or in Crazy Joe’s case, lose a recall? Are they desperate for slush funds to fund campaign-style giveaways to detract from their collective failure as public servants?  Despite the reason, the CARES Act funds must go to our residents and businesses Countywide in a fair and equitable manner, which is exactly what the current process allows.  City politicians, my message to you:  LET THE PEOPLE GET THE HELP THEY NEED WITHOUT YOUR HANDS IN THEIR POCKETS.

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