What about Bob?

Michael MIller Executive Editor

At the May 1 regular city commission meeting an “add-on item” was included as a resolution sponsored by Mayor Philip Stoddard “censuring Commissioner Robert Welsh (aka Bobblehead Bobnoxious Bicycle Bob) due to his interference with the administrative services of the City and his persistent interference with the City’s financial affairs.”

The commission ran out of time to hear the resolution so the mayor called a special meeting for “unfinished business.” Maybe it was because the auditorium was full of Bobnoxious supporters, maybe not, but at that special meeting, the mayor withdrew his resolution. The issue was however moved to the next city commission meeting anyway.

So…at the last city commission meeting it was Commissioner Valerie Newman who sponsored the resolution. Again Bicycle Bob filled the room with supporters ready to speak on his behalf but it was his attorney, Benedict Kuehne that seemed to speak for everyone. He told the commission they were unauthorized to move on a censure of a colleague. Among his remarks, “there is a procedure in the code for sworn notification (of censure attempts) followed by probable cause determination and fact finding and then conclusion and resolution and none of that was done.”

Before the speakers came forward during public remarks in support of Bob (15 raised their hands to speak when the mayor asked), Commissioner Newman said “I make a motion to withdraw this at this point until I can rewrite it according to the laws but trust me this will be back but I make a motion to withdraw at this time.”

She later stated that Bob was going to hang himself anyway. And although they certainly don’t seem to have gone about it the right way, it is no secret that Bobnoxious is meddling in the middle of city business and making staff bonkers in the process. There has to be a way to reign him in so work can get done by those hired to execute pool contracts etc. It’s not all about Bob so give everybody a break Bobblehead and stick to muddying the waters you are playing in and not the entire ocean.

Why isn’t the Murray Pool Proposal moving on a fast track when the city is already awaiting yet another extension of the over one million secured pool grant dollars at risk of being lost? Well, by the sounds of the many speakers who spoke at the last city commission meeting, they seem to believe there is obfuscation afoot.

The distraction of Bobblehead has caused numerous staff (including the city attorney and city manager) to take away time from crucial city business (like the pool) to address Bob’s interference and theatrics.

Chair of Parks and Recreation Dick Ward accused Newman of filibustering her way to lose grant dollars by delaying the pool issue from any authentic discussion that could move it forward. And Dick loves those classic southern colloquial expressions, admonishing Newman to “stay on the porch if you can’t run with the big dogs” (to which he credited beloved Governor Lawton Chiles RIP). And my personal favorite, “if a bulldog had wings he wouldn’t keep bumping his butt on the ground.” So let’s dive in and git ‘er dun y’all!

It seems our new city attorney is getting all the on the job training he needs with the long line of pending and foreseeable lawsuits ahead on the horizon. At the last meeting during his remarks he said:
1. Balogun case is set to go to trial this summer.
2. Attorney John Dellagloria has apparently filed a law suit regarding the pension discrepancy he pleaded to the commission about several meetings ago.
3. Hole in the Wall Restaurant (recently denied an operational permit in a strip mall zoned for restaurants) is appealing that decision.
4. Cal Rosenbaum was recently denied the ability to sell his apartment building for an affordable elderly housing development although zoning allowed for that use. He has also secured counsel according to my sources.

And according to developer Brandon Lurie, the Red Sunset Merchant Association and South Miami Hometown Inc. have lawyered up as well. The associations’ advocacy is a result of what is perceived as micromanagement by the commissioners preventing business owners from doing their job. Talk about “A Few Good Men,” this should be more entertaining than that Jack Nicholson blockbuster film! (Or maybe it is more like 12 Angry Men starring Jack Lemmon?)

At the 19th Annual Miami-Dade County Police Benevolent Association Law Enforcement Awards Gala, our very own Chief Orlando Martinez de Castro received the Fred Maas “Outstanding Law E n f o r c e m e n t Leadership Award.” The award is given to honor law enforcement professionals who embody what it takes to be a true leader, and serve as a model for others to follow according to SMPD PIO Major Rene Landa. The Chief said about winning the recent award, “I am humbled and honored to receive this kind of recognition for simply doing my job.”

Had dinner at Outback on SW 73 St recently and ran into none other than former City Manager Charles Scurr and his wife Bobbie. They seem to be doing quite well, thanks for asking. Ron Weeks, President of the Bird Kendall Homeowners Association was also there with friends.

And I thought we would have a bit of fun in this issue’s column… can you guess who is in the photo above, pictured with son? The first to email me at Michael@communitynewspapers. com the name of the person swimming (in what appears to be a community pool), will win a $20 gift certificate for Deli Lane. If you also know the name of his son, you will get another $20 and no I am not offering any hints!

Thought of the Day:
Getting things done in this country,
if you want to build something,
if you want to start a company,
it’s getting to be virtually impossible
with all of the bureaucracy
and all of the approvals.

— Donald Trump

Raquel Garcia contributed to this column.

For news tips, call 305-669-7455, 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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