Dick Ward pushes back about recent column

In the October 1- 14 South Miami News, you took the mayor to task as if he were responsible for all of the city’s problems. I don’t agree with the way the police chief was fired. However, I do remember that you were very critical of this same police chief during his first term back in the early 2000’s.

As far as the mayor doing things that look like re-election actions – I can remember when you and I had candidates doing the same thing. This is nothing new, all candidates do it.

I don’t understand why you’re saying that the mayor was responsible for the firing of several city managers. You know as well as I do that Commissioner Newman was responsible for some of these firings.

You state that the mayor is responsible for many lawsuits against the city. I don’t know where you have been. I think that if you research that comment, you will see that the entire commission has had a hand in most of those suits. And don’t you remember the lawsuits Commissioner Newman caused? She demanded the investigation of the parking garage contract with the city and Mr. Richman. The investigation revealed that the city should be paying property taxes on the garage, thus costing the city thousands of dollars each year. She led the fight to have City Manager Ajibola Balogun fired. He took the city to court and won his case. This cost the city more than $250,000.

Mr. Miller, I found it hard to believe that you laid all the blame on the mayor. Have you been to a commission meeting lately? Commissioner Newman has disrupted each meeting with attacks on her fellow commissioners, mayor, city attorney, finance director and city manager. Her unprofessional behavior includes loudly calling the city manager and finance director liars. You would think that she is the only one who knows what’s going on. Her outlandish behavior is an embarrassment to the city. People often ask me, “Who is that lady?”

You say that the chickens have come home to roost. That’s true. This is the most ineffective city commission that I have had the pleasure of observing during the last 51 years. I hope that the voters will give us some new commissioners come February 2014.

Let me close by saying that I did not support the mayor in either of his election campaigns. I doubt that I will support him in the coming election. I just wanted to explain that your article was not entirely correct. But I do give you credit for some of your reporting.


Dick Ward

Thought of the Day:

Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.

— Madonna

Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to Michael@communitynewspapers.com

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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 michael@communitynewspapers.com

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