In the age of Coronavirus, every second counts. Every success must be replicated as quickly as possible. Otherwise, people die.
Unfortunately, the new reality in the age of Coronavirus and possibly beyond hasn’t reached some of our local leaders. Today, where politics, parochialism, and micromanagement intersect, you still find the County Commissioners wasting time, looking for angles for their cronies.
Take the latest grab-your-torches example that risks the lives of some of our most vulnerable neighbors.
When Miami-Dade decided to shut down Senior Centers, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we needed a solution to feed seniors who rely on these facilities for their daily meals and interaction. To his credit, Mayor Carlos Gimenez and his administration didn’t miss a beat. They found a way to deliver over 50,000 fresh meals a day to these homebound seniors. They were able to do so because their Emergency Managers had vetted companies outside Miami-Dade that were capable of making and delivering meals to Seniors after a Hurricane. However, in the “no good deed goes unpunished” world of local politics, County Commissioners were aghast that the company used to pull off this monumental task, had an address in Broward County. OH, THE HUMANITY!
“What about my friends?” Commissioners asked, before jumping all over the administration. They never asked where the meals were being made or if the Company making the meals had Miami-Dade businesses as partners. Despite the fact that DeliverLean, sourced all its food, chefs, drivers, and kitchens in Miami-Dade, some Commissioners pushed hard to ONLY use companies headquartered in Miami-Dade. That’s right – 100% of the meals were prepared in Miami-Dade with eight Miami-Dade facilities cooking, packaging, and delivering 50,000 meals per day to our seniors in need. And yet, certain Commissioners found that to be a problem because their buddies weren’t involved.
Because of the work, DeliverLean and its partners – like Sergios’ Restraraunts, the Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami, the Shelborne Hotel in Miami Beach, Hard Rock Stadium, Marriott Turnberry, and other Miami-Dade businesses – were able to hire back almost 1,000 previously furloughed employees.
Enter Politics like Medusa and her snakes! Rather than commending Mayor Gimenez and his staff, some Commissioners instead demanded an investigation into how a company from Broward could possibly get the contract. I can’t think of anything more ridiculous! Never mind the logistics of sourcing, cooking, packaging, and delivering almost 50,000 meals per day across our vast and gridlocked county. Never mind that all the meals are cooked in Miami-Dade and that almost a thousand Miami-Dade residents were back at work thanks to the program. The worst of parochial politics reared its head and froze the entire process, like a Medusa’s victim turning to stone.
I guarantee you that not a single Senior asked, “Where is this company headquartered?”
In the end, Commissioners got what they wanted, hiring companies with local offices including ILS Services. But in the truest sense of, “watch out what you wish for”, ILS was caught delivering frozen meals that were sourced, made, and packaged in Pearl, Mississippi! How ironic that all that time and money was wasted when everything was going just fine and Mayor Gimenez was doing the right thing……only because certain County Commissioners were putting their cronies ahead of the people most in need of a decent meal, our Seniors.