Around Town

South Miami taxpayers will once again be required to dig into their pockets and pay for more attorneys!

This time it will be to defend Mayor Stoddard on yet another ethics complaint, this time filed by Steve Cody.

Mr. Cody was kept from speaking during a Commission Meeting on February 6, presumably regarding an issue that didn’t compliment Stoddard’s behavior concerning his former colleague, neighbor and friend, Valerie Newman.

Then again, he might have said something completely innocuous, but alas, we’ll never know the reason for which his right of free speech was denied. 

We’ll stay away from the the juicy details of what he might have said, to instead focus on the issue now at hand.

Why should South Miami taxpayers have to keep paying for legal bills caused by a politician? What are the limits of these legal bills? Were fees budgeted and from what account will the legal bills be paid?  Why can’t South Miami City attorney Mr. Pepe pay for the legal fees, considering that he provided advice during the meeting?

While these are issues that certainly trigger a hmmmmmm response, it certainly should raise all types of red flags regarding the ethics, or lack there of, in government. Is this inconsiderate behavior the new norm? We all discovered early this year, that South Miami taxpayers are currently paying 50% on a personal defamation lawsuit against Mayor Stoddard. To add insult to injury, as a direct result of the Mayor Stoddard’s leadership, taxpayers were also slapped with a $1.2 million tab, which didn’t even include the roughly $400,000 billed by the city attorney.

Come to think of it, perhaps this was the issue that Mr. Cody wanted to discuss.

Got plans for Fourth of July? If you’re thinking it’s a little early, well, think again. The City of South Miami is thinking ahead and if you’re a food vendor, maybe you should be, too. City administration is already seeking mobile food vendors for their annual 4th of July Celebration at Palmer Park on Wednesday, July 4  — and its first-come, first-serve for anyone interested in setting up a tent or food truck.

The big event happens at 6100 SW 67th Ave. from 5 to 9:30 p.m. And, as is the case with anything having to do with the City, there’s a bunch or rules and regulations to follow. You have to prove you have a State of FL Business License and have general liability insurance. Contact Special Events Coordinator Yvette E. Valdes for information at 305-668-3873 or her at  email

Hey, and if you’re not doing anything on May 12, head over to enjoy a “Barnacle Under Moonlight” concert – easily the most popular program at The Barnacle Historic State Park. On this Saturday take in the tunes of Pitbull of Blues, from 7 to 9 p.m. (gate opens at 6 p.m.). Admission ranges from $10 for adults; $8 for members. $3 for kids 6-9; and under 6 is , free. 

Spread out a picnic blanket or relax in your favorite lawn chair as the Pitbull of Blues Band brings its own breed of blues music on The Barnacle’s front porch. Concerts are held every second Saturday in the months September-May. No pets, please, but for all the poop on the shows, visit

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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