Status Report proposed; ‘Parade of Elves’ saved

By Suzell Rodriguez….
In one of his first official actions, newly-hired City Manager Hector Mirabile wants to keep weekly tabs on the progress of city affairs.

Mirabile has proposed to City Commissioners that he maintain a monthly manager’s report that would include a task list and city statistics, including police figures and weekly reports.

The report would even provide an evaluation of his performance regarding assigned responsibilities.

Commission members initially appeared open to the proposal when apprised of the status report during Mirabile’s first session with the board on September 21.


Leading the “Public Remarks” discussion September 21 was continuation of “Santa’s Parade of the Elves” during a period of city budget cutting.

Slated to get axed this year, public sentiment was evident to save the event, a South Miami community tradition residents fondly recalled with nostalgic stories of their children’s involvement.

Revered by so many, Barbara Acker, in charge of the parade for 20 years, made a special plea to spare the event, not only for South Miami and neighboring communities to enjoy but for its economic value to local businesses.

Previous parade years have seen crowds of up to 7,000 onlookers, most of whom enjoy food, drinks, shopping and entertainment, she pointed out.

“Already late in the game to get things started for the 2010 parade,” Acker said street performers and volunteers are currently awaiting an answer from the commission.

“I am willing to volunteer my services to organize the parade this year but I’ll need an answer by tomorrow”, added Acker.

With his colleagues apparently in agreement, Walter Harris felt the board should find the budget funding or ask for contributions.

Vice Mayor Valerie Newman went a step further, volunteering $500 from her current budget, $250 from her next term’s allotment and $250 from her expense account, making a total of $1,000, a step closer to the $2,500 Ms. Acker said was needed to make the parade a reality.

Her verbal commitment indicated sufficient approval not only to continue planning but parading for the 2010 holiday event.

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