Showdown at City Hall

By Michael Miller….
Last Tuesday night was a showdown of sorts with Commissioner Velma Palmer blasting her elected colleagues in the hiring process of the new city manager.

She just let ‘er rip, hurling what might be considered insults on the lack of transparency and the commission’s failure to do a complete and thorough background check of the now-appointed city manager, Hector Mirabile.

At one point, Mayor Phillip Stoddard exclaimed his colleague had been “Missing in Action” during the interviewing and hiring process, Palmer shooting back:

“I was not missing in action” (or MIA, in battlefront bulletins).

After that mini-tirade with her fellow- commissioners at a boiling point, a 4-0 vote sanctioned Palmer for her action — whatever that means. My guess is that it was just a way of rapping her knuckles for un-commissionlike behavior.

How odd that Vice Mayor Newman voted to sanction Palmer.

If anybody should be sanctioned, it should be Vice-Mayor Newman who has 10 ethic charges against her by the Dade County Commission on Ethics.

Vice Mayor Newman has been very instrumental in having two city managers, a police chief, and a recreations director dismissed. On a recent agenda, she was trying to fired the current city manager. However, she withdrew this resolution for unknown reasons.

Anyway, the Ethics folks had already ruled ‘probable cause’ on the Newman charges and as my (sometimes) reliable sources emphasize that the Ethics Commission is very very tired of her delaying tactics. Even though a date is set once again for her Trial of the Century, you needn’t worry. Miz Newman won’t go to jail; she’ll just have to fork over the fines which could get pretty pricey, I’m RELIABLY told.

Speaking of ethics, I wonder if any ethics or Sunshine Law violations occurred around City Hall of recent days. Betcha’ there have been. Count on it that civic activist and all- around busybody Sharon McCain is doing her best to bury all of those on the dais that she helped get elected.

Yup, Sharon stood up at the meeting to draw that proverbial line in the sand by blasting the commission on how it does business, alleging violations of the Sunshine Law. So, now, swords are drawn in Sharon vs. the Commission which, I am told, has been researching state law, as well as county and city regulations to prepare to throw Sharon out of city hall, should she continue to behave inappropriately. Is this a replay of the removal of Yvonne Beckman from City Hall a few years ago when Mayor Mary Scott Russell was Mayor and Marie Davis the City Manager?

My guess is that the commission might just be rattling swords, threatening ‘nasty’ just to get her out of there, but maybe this time, the collective will is there to do the dastardly deed.

And if she does get tossed out, count on us to be there with a smile on our face, recording the event to keep you posted, as always, on the never-ending circus at City Hall.

The city has spent $20,000 on a national search for a new city manager. After a nationwide search for the new manager, the city last night hired a new permanent city manager who was not even on the list of candidates from the search company.

Oops! I hear one commissioner lost at least one piece of real estate in foreclosure and is trying to hold on to another in jeopardy of losing. Tch, tch!

Thought of the Day: We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life. — Sir William Osler

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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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