Philip Stoddard And The Pants Off/Dance Off

Mayor Philip Stoddard

The Stoddard Era is coming to a close in South Miami after 10 years. All I can say is, “Thank God, the party’s over.”

I’m not a resident of South Miami and you might wonder why I should have an opinion on anything to do with the City of Pleasant Living.  I live down US 1 in Palmetto Bay.

On paper, Hizzoner and I should be political kinsmen. He’s a liberal Democrat. I’m a liberal Democrat. He’s concerned about global warming. I worry about the world that my grandchildren will live in after I’m gone.  He’s a dad. I’m a father and a grandfather.

Phil has the bearing of Ichabod Crane, the lanky and ambitious schoolteacher from Washington Irving’s short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.  While no one has ever used the word “lanky” to describe me, I can be just as socially awkward as both Ichabod and Stoddard.

Phil was recognized as the best local mayor by New Times in 2017. (Keep in mind that they also named another Phil, then Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, as “Best Chutzpah” for his antics.) President Barrack Obama named him to the Governance Coordinating Committee of the National Ocean Council.  Phil also knows a lot about mosquitoes.  Go ahead. Ask him.  (As a diabetic, mosquitoes use my sweet blood as a dessert topping.)

His time with his hand on the tiller in South Miami hasn’t been without scandal. He claimed that a burglar broke into his house one morning at dawn while his wife and his parents were driving to Miami International Airport.

Phil was asleep naked in his bed. There’s nothing wrong with that by itself. But it turns out his daughter was asleep on a futon mattress on the floor in his room. She was sleeping with a 16-year-old Russian exchange student that the Stoddards were hosting. Although the contract Phil signed with the foreign exchange agency required the Russian girl to have her own bedroom, that seemed difficult in a three-bedroom house were one bedroom was Phil’s home office, one was his daughter’s room, and one was the master bedroom.  (Phil’s parents’ visit meant the girls had to camp out on the floor in his room next to the nekkid Mayor.)

When the police arrived, they found Phil going commando while putting on his pants in front of his daughter and the girl from Russia.  As bad as that was, it got worse.

Phil took to his private blog to eventually go after a police officer who included the fact of Stoddard’s nudity with an unrelated minor in a police report. Phil retaliated against Orlando Martinez de Castro, the police chief at the time, for his unwillingness to remove the police report from the file. Eventually, that led to Martinez’s firing.

And that led to a lawsuit that cost the City over one and a half million dollars over the Chief’s illegal ouster.  It also led to a lawsuit for defamation against Phil for what he wrote in his private blog about the officer who talked about the Mayor’s bits wafting in the breeze in front of the two girls.  The City settled the defamation lawsuit with the officer.

Phil also hosted a Halloween party for his daughter and her friends. A young man fell into distress at the party where there were allegations that underaged drinking was facilitated at least in part by Phil. That also resulted in a lawsuit which was settled by Phil and his insurance company without the City having to pay for the lawyer or the damages.

So how did I get involved in a city I only drove through occasionally to get from my house to downtown?

Phil gave a deposition in the case with the Police Chief where he admitted under oath that he was naked with the girls when the cops answered the 911 call.  Having just researched, written, and illustrated a children’s book about childhood sexual abuse, Phil’s sworn testimony troubled me.  I was also alarmed to hear that these shenanigans cost the City taxpayers about a million and a half dollars. So, I decided to speak out about it.

I went to a Commission meeting to ask the Commissioners to find out why the City wasted so much money on Stoddard’s attempt to coverup his lack of covering up.  Phil wouldn’t let me speak and I eventually complained to the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics.

Most recently, Phil and his anointed successor, Sally Philips, put out a political hit piece on the three Hispanic candidates for Mayor: Horace Feliu, Lina Sierra, and Mark Lago. I met Horace a few years ago, after Phil and I started butting heads. I met Lina and Mark more recently at a Dade delegation function. I think the City would be well served by any of the three of them. I’m not enthused by Philips’ attack on her Hispanic rival and I’m even more wary after I found out that Phil’s bony hand was all over that mailer.

Put Phil’s green agenda on one side of the ledger and his lack of impulse control and his less that subtle racism on the other. The people of South Miami are going to have to decide where the balance lies.  Choose wisely.

As for me, I’m just happy that Philip Stoddard’s Pants Off/Dance Off is coming to a close. Tell the DJ to pack it up and tell Phil to put his trousers back on.

The party’s over.

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  1. The self proclaimed “Environmentalist” who has voted consistently for whatever his developer financiers have wanted will officially be gone next week. His legacy? Over $2.5 million dollars worth of taxpayer funded lawsuits, high density and traffic.

  2. Our city has become a sanctuary city for both illegal immigrants and mosquitoes making us the laughing stock of the state. Adding insult to injury the morally and ethically bankrupt Stoddard wants to continue his agenda via his clone.

  3. Stoddard is far from an environmentalist. He recently orchestrated an ordinance requiring ALL new residential construction to have solar (this expenditure runs from 20,000 -40,000) but did not require his developer buddies ,building massive stories of concrete in the city, to have solar. So how green is the soon to be former Mayor? The only green thing about this scandalous Mayor is the green money he deposited from developers over the years who contributed to his campaign fund . Pity South Miami residents bought into his BS for ten years, unfortunately the rest of the current commission needs to be gone. If Mr. Stoddard plans on running for another political office, he won’t be so lucky to squeak out of the messes he created and get away with what he did in South Miami. He will be scrutinized and will be investigated by opponents looking into his past, and no doubt, he will be deemed unelectable. Mr. Stoddard isn’t capable of running with the big dogs in politics, he got away with too many “things” in South Miami. He got lucky for 10 years, it won’t happen again.

  4. My opinion based on various versions of the naked story, evidence and lack of evidence.
    Regarding the so called “robbery/home invasion”, with no suspects ever brought in for questions, no evidence of a break in, no trace of a perp, there was only one type of damage done. The innocence of two young girls was stolen from them by a middle-aged man who did not have the common decency to wear pajamas when those girls were forced by circumstances to sleep in the same bedroom as the real perp. The perp who exposed his genitals to his own daughter and an exchange student.
    Isn’t that a crime called lewd and lascivious exposure?
    As a woman, I can tell you that I have always wanted to be in charge of who I see naked, and find it highly offensive when the sight is forced upon me by an undesirable and unwanted male. Those girls were robbed of their right to choose who, how, and when this would take place in their lives. That was the only robbery that took place. The robbery story was a cover for Stoddard’s own crime.

    • I sat just a few seats behind the podium when Mr. Cody was denied his right to speak as an individual at Public Remarks. There have been different rules for different people under Stoddard’s application of our right to speak. He was let off the hook by the Commission on Ethics because of a loophole policy created by the Commission on Ethics. These are tactics used in a banana republic. He was, in fact, guilty of the charge made by Mr. Cody. Mr. Cody was wronged not only by the Mayor, but also by the COE. I believe that when an injustice is suffered by one person, all of us are wronged.
      Stoddard has interrupted my public remarks countless times during the last 10 years. He has used an electronic device to control the volume of my speech and others. He has also had the video turned off when something happens or is said that he does not want the public to see or hear.
      Stoddard and his dear friends who stand to profit from high density projects should buy one way tickets on a slow boat to China, where they can revel in the extreme high density lifestyle and a Communist dictatorship.

  5. I lived in South Miami during Stoddard’s reign.
    He talked the talked and didn’t walk the walk
    No green endeavors were completed . Not one solar panel was put on a public building. Our FPL bills and our tax bills could have been lowered a great deal ( with my panels my bill is zero) .
    He used the Green Task Force to sell city hall , citing green benefits. The GTF meeting was populated at the last minute with folks who needed upzoning and would be favorable to Stoddard’s plan. Alas there was no quorum at the meeting when the said letter was promulgated.
    Stoddard and cohorts approved one upzoning after another in the Snapper Creek area. One 80 year old oak was cut to accommodate developers. Did you as citizens of South Miami reap any tax deductions from all the Mc mansionites who pay higher ad valorem taxes?
    And when Trump put a 3 story
    Building next to the bedrooms of folks in our historic black district where you proud of him and his racist ways? Not me.
    Now he’s promoting Sally
    for Mayor so he can run her as his puppet. She has already proven lack of knowledge about city issues and heavily biased votes FOR developers on the planning board.
    And there is much more but my battery is running out.
    Love South Miami and believe that Horace will bring it back to its name:
    City Of Pleasant Living.

  6. Boy… and to think sometimes I miss my old town of South Miami… the more things change… the more they stay the same.

    Mike you forgot the hilarious Phil Pool Permit…. errr I mean “lagoon” story. Yeah Phil is a colorful character, if nothing else. I’m sure he will be missed.

    Are Walter “Pot head” Harris and Bicycle Bob still on the dais? Quite a dynasty for a group of hippies that had no political ambitions nor thirst for power… Long live the King… or Mayor!

  7. Correction of previous comment:
    Stoddard, Welsh and cohorts approved the destruction of hundred of large oak trees and other champion trees in the Snapper Creek area to make room for Mc. Mansions.

  8. Hector, Phil will be missed about as much as Ebola virus by those of us who have been betrayed by elected officials who have done everything in their power to pimp this city out to high density developers and facilitate the destruction of urban wildlife habitat.
    I wish he and cronies would emigrate to Communist China where they can live in a horribly ugly high rise project designed by the Communist school of architecture. He does not deserve to live here.

  9. Antoinette: I hope that by taking a jab a bad architecture and bad architects, you weren’t throwing shade at Mrs. Stoddard, Gray Reed. I understand she teaches architecture at FIU. While her name will never be used in the same sentence as the greats like I.M. Pei and Frank Lloyd Wright (oops, this probably the only time you’ll see the names in the same sentence), I’m sure she’s very good at what she does. They say you have to suffer for your art, and just being married to Phil with all of his peccadillos, means that she’s suffered a lot. Of course, if she had cared, she could have helped him reign in his worst instincts.

    Or at least she could have said: “For God’s sake, Phil, put your pants on. We have company.”

  10. Mr. Johnson, I am referring to the hideous architecture that comes before the Commission and the ERPB for approval. Concrete boxes with absolutely no redeeming esthetic. Stoddard and cronies accept the ugliest of the ugly. It disgusts and angers me that the bar is set so low. They have zero interest in making sure that we get a product that will be beautiful, outstanding, attract positive attention to the city, and be worthy of the residents of this city. Instead Stoddard promotes and accepts every ugly piece of crap that will no doubt become slum and blight. His primary criteria for approval is that a project be high rise, mixed use, less than the required parking, concrete monstrosity out to the sidewalks (fine with him for the Winn/Dixie site), and adds a ridiculous number of people to our already dense urban area. I have never seen Grey Read’s work, nor have I seen her name attached to any proposed project.

    As for the nudist life style in an inappropriate situation, if she said or did nothing to correct her husband and protect the girls, then she was complicit. The situation was ignominious. Maybe they should go live in a nudist colony.


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