Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lynda Bell's New office in Palmetto Bay Is Costing Us A Bundle! By Geniusofdespair

County Commissioner Bell spent $28,100 on office furnishings for her new palatial district office. Like there isn't any existing Miami Dade County furniture laying around? Lynda's new district office was previously a raw space which had to be built out in order to facilitate a working office. The lease specifies that the landlord is responsible for the build-out of the space, estimated to cost $129,525.00 over a four-year period, of which the landlord will be responsible for $74,525.00. "Tenant Allowance" and the tenant are responsible for $55,000 over the four-year period ($13,750 annually).

The rent for the office between the Starbucks and Offerdahl's is $37,324.70 annually or $15.02 a square foot, steadily increasing. In year 4 of her lease her rent would go up to $47,637.45 which is $3,969.79 per month. The rate per square foot in the 4th year will be at $19.17. The rent for 4 years is $169,450. So with the rent, the renovation and furnishings we the taxpayers are paying about $63,137 a year to keep Lynda close to the coffee shops or a whopping $252,550 over four years!

Katy Sorenson used the South Dade Government Office as her district office and she paid no rent for that. Yep it was FREE! Lynda started at the no rent, same FREE space and then moved to her new expensive digs on our dime.

Commissioner Moss in comparison, pays no rent on the Government Center office which he calls his North office. His South Office In Florida City is $23,629.80 or $14.77 a square foot. So Lynda Bell's office cost about $39,508 a year more than Commissioner Moss who has 3 offices. Aren't we ALL tightening our belts? Everyone except Lynda Bell is on an austerity budget. Already Lynda Bell is slated to spend a quarter of a million more dollars than Katy spent in her last 4 years, and that is just for an office.


Anonymous said...

No doubt the County issued pick-'em-up truck is daughter Jenna's mommy-mobile.

Miss Lynda's selfishness, wasteful spending and total disregard for fiduciary responsibility is stunning.

Anonymous said...

The recall clock's ticking, Honey.

Anonymous said...

Any "Anonymous" Bell staffers care to weigh in?

Anonymous said...

She's protecting "her turf". She will win in Palmetto Bay next time now that it's her home town office. Did you check out the landscaping and furniture? Loved it but didn't want to pay for it with my tax dollars. That monetary difference would keep how many people employed? Everytime you get coffee or drive down dixie you see the name and sign. How can she lose?

Anonymous said...

The campaign criticism of the Palmetto Bay "Platinum City Hall" sort of rings hollow now doesn't it. She can spin this any way she wishes and no doubt will, but the fact remains that while even folks in the more affluent part of her district are in financial trouble and expect eleted officials to set the example and act prudently with our money,she has the audacity to spend that kind of money on office furniture, not to mentin the cost of the space. Thsi is truly the imperial commissioner who fully expects to be in ofice and enjoy the spoils as a victor for many years to come. She is not what she portrays herself to be while out on the campaign trail and I would bet that many who voted for her will not do so agian when reminded of this wasteful and selfish move.

Anonymous said...

Someone above said that the pick up truck is a mommy-mobile for one of the daughters. They already have a Sweetwater Police cruiser for that.

Anonymous said...

You failed to mention Moss has a Florida City office.
Could comparisons be made available for all of the commissioners?
Just to be objective.

Anonymous said...

The Bell lovers over at homesteadishome.blogspot.com have already let Bell and her minions unleash the positive spin on the move. Yes, the South Dade Govt Center is a dump, parking stinks and the riff raff, I mean fine folks of Districts 8 and 9 do seek charity on the grounds BUT now is not the time to be spending that kind of money to "move on up." The reality is that the atmosphere of the old location more closely reflects the state of affairs throughout the district than the serene, lushly landscaped and well appointed office in the small and affluent enclave of Pinecrest/Palmetto Bay. Who do you represent, Ms Bell, yourself or the economically challenged residents throughout District 8?

Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding me?!

I was at a meeting that the Commissioner held back in March at the Govt. Center. You can't call that an office. She had meeting space that she shared with some woman. There wasn't even enough chairs for all of us. The puggy receptionist guy even had to give up his seat.

I almost felt embarrassed for her. At least now, the place is centrally located.

Anonymous said...

Moss has a separate office in NW Florida City. You couldn't compare the two of them. Nothing fancy about his office.

It makes no sense for Bell to move out of the South Dade Government Center. Granted it isn't in her district, but it is more accessible to her consituents than Palmetto Bay.

The small town issues that commissioners deal with are going to be more prevalent where the South Dade Government Center is located. Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest have their own local goverments and don't need to access the commissioner like a resident of UMSA would.

Anonymous said...

Let's put things into perspective here. Doesn't Moss have 3 Offices? One of which is an old historic house in Florida City? I wonder how much did he, I mean we, had to pay for that?

Doesn't the Barreiro family own the building that houses their son's district office - essentially making money out of the deal?

If you're going to investigate, investigate everyone.

Anonymous said...

Our Golden Boy Mayor may be a conservative now and that's good but while he was Commissioner, wasn't he charged over $4,000 per month on District Office rent and over $36,000 on furniture alone.

And let's not forget the Mercedes Benz that he actually went to pick up in Germany. I mean, does he HAVE to drive a Benz on our tax dollars?

I heard that Bell does not have a County leased car and is the only Commissioner who uses Metrorail.

Is this true?

Anonymous said...

Fiscally conservative? Not as to spending on the queen. I like the blog headline: Let them eat cake. How appropriate.

How much new debt has this new commissioner approved for Miami-Dade County?

Over $300 million. This is in less than one year.

She promised fiscal reponsibilty. Promise broken.

How many County reforms has she championed?


She promised reforms, including term limits whcih she claimed during the campaign to support. Promise broken.

Cental office? hardly. Another Anon hit it on the head. She is located in a municipality that can handle its own problems. The real reason she relocated (as unintentionally revealed by her staffer or domestic-violent diva daughter, above) is that she wants to get as far from the riff-raff Homesteaders as much as possible.

Home many meetings have we all attended inthe South Dade Government center? We all survivled.

So much for her riving the South Dade government center as a thriving locvation of improved services for South Dade residents. And again,
Promise broken.

Maybe she will now be able to afford a better home once her husband finds some work and she cashes in on some graft. Being a rental slumlord is not all it is cracked (as in crack house) up to be.

Live the highlife Lynda baby. You can't make it in the private sector, so suck up the taxpayer dollars. You and your family deserve it. At least you got urself- a nice purdy truck wif ur name on it and all. Yeehaw.

Anonymous said...

She's not worried at all believing Jose Luis Castillo will deliver enough absentee ballots to keep her in office for life. She will work with the Republican incumbents whose districts overlap with her's.
Shelley Stanczyk better keep an eye on Lynda and her team. The Republicans want that mayoral seat badly as it helps agendas on several levels. Ditto for School Board member Larry Feldman.

Anonymous said...

Bell promised not to move the UDB during the campaign. That promise was broken last week. She is a liar.

Geniusofdespair said...

First of all I brought up Moss's 2 offices so some of you are not reading my blog first. Anymore who do that from Lynda's gang will be deleted.

Second only 4 commissioners went in during the critical finance shortfall of the county. Their offices will all be looked at. As for Barreiro and Martinez I blogged about their offices before. Barreiro will probably be facing a recall soon. This office is a critical mistake for Bell. It should be obvious to her there is no money in the county. The South Dade Government Center was good enough for the Mayor, Katy and Moss, it was good enough for Lynda.I was at the place a few times it is more than adequate. And you fuckers complaining about panhandlers had better stay away from the downtown office too. Poor people are part of life.

Anonymous said...

So then there was not an office space at Village of Palmetto Bay, City of Cutler Bay, City of Homestead???

Anonymous said...

How can anyone say she doesn't have a car? There is a truck in the picture with her name plastered on it. Taxpayers pay for all vehicles.

Patty said...

The UMSA comment above is correct. The cities address most constituent concerns. She wanted this new office to build up her voting base without a care to county woes in the money department.

Anonymous said...

I was at Barbara Jordan's district office. It was modest and not large.

Anonymous said...

Did Lynda Bell ever fix the ADA problems at the South Dade Government Center? No?

There you go, another broken promise.

Did she add value to land knowingly purchased outside the UDB and covered by a covenant?

Here is a promise kept.

For all you tea bagger losers out there, someone made money at your expense, yet you are probably happy about it. She voted to move the UDB. In fact, she was a cheerleader for the effort and made more money off your taxpaying back. The land owners now realized a healthy increase in land value and uses. This is how lang speculation works. You buy land that is cheap, because it can't be used for much. Then you chnage the rules. First you buy off a commissioner and get a land use change (move the UDB) and now the land is worth more.

Your land is now worth less as the supply has increased. Why buy your 20 to 50 year old home when I can buy a new one in Homestead?

Your tax burden is now more because the government (on your dime) spends lots of money to bring infrastructure such as water and sewer, not to mention more police and fire needs, to the land.

You didn't think the commissioner was going to make the land owner pay to bring the infrastructure to this land did you?

New jobs? Hardly. Workers move from more expensive land (but decreasing value) inside the UDB to work on the newly developable land formerly outside the UDB. No revitalized areas where you live or work, but just like in Pinecrest, you stay on well water while the new outposts get new muncipal water service. Only your taxes are higher.

It can all be summaraized in one word: "Suckers!"

Thank you Miss Lynda. Thank you Tea Party.

When is the big bus delarting for the Villages? Can't we tell these people its their "Rapture" and get them on the bus fleet?

out of sight said...

There is much empty office space at the South Dade government center that could been made workable. I am very ticked that she moved out of there.

It had great Turnpike access for everyone in the district. We now have a time consuming drive with heavy traffic to get to her office from Kendall or Homestead. You can't even get to the office from south bound lanes of US1 without having to risk a U-turn in front of north bound US1 traffic.

I recently heard from 2 different sources that her Chief of Staff made her move.

Excuse me? My commissioner, my leader, allowed her Chief of Staff to "make her move" her office against her will? Geeze. Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Palmetto Bay is a penurious little town; they're not going to appreciate this kind of unnecessary spending.

There is a fiscal storm brewing in Palmetto Bay that threatens every incumbent. The Palmer litigation is rumored to expose the Village to $2 million or more to pay Palmer's legal fees and costs.

If this happens, Stanczyk and her crew will be finished.

Anonymous said...

Her biggest problems are going to be the voters in the UMSA area, which is actually the largest voting block in 8. They hate her because they know what she is. Her new office is as far and inaccessible to those people as possible. How did Katy manage all those years?

Bell is tinkering with the PB voters for sport. She's probably trying to make headway in to Cutler Bay too. The problem is, those areas have LOCAL government and don't really rely on the County for much (well, except the crap VNS made them do when they incorporated)

Dist. 8 runs South all the way to SW 328th St. How can Palmetto Bay be easier to get to for those residents to the South? And, how is it easier for the people in Kendall? The government center is right off the turnpike, truly accessible to ALL dist. 8 voters.

Anonymous said...

None of the other County Commissioners mentioned, except Gimenez, ran on being fiscal conservatives. Why when the finger is pointed at one do they try to deflect to the other 12? Let's hold this one commissioner's feet to the fire and then move on to others. Saying "well he spends too much too" doesn't make it right for Bell, especially since she knew the county's dire finances when elected and when planning this office space. With all the empty space around, she could have cut a better deal. Is there not a county store where one can go to get surplus furniture for free? Am I misinformed?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that this crook spent the right amount of money, After all, she needs a certain degree of luxury so the lobbyists can feel at ease when proposing their deals. You can't expect her to make millions when her place is a shabby environment. I have a hunch the lady will be a one-term commissioner. Let's help so she doesn't get re-elected!!! And, Genius, I have not been a supporter of Carlos Gimenez -- in fact, you think I am one of Joe Martinez' people, YAK! -- but the more I read about what Gimenez is doing, the more I like him. If this is how he intends to do "mayoring business," I'LL KILL TO HAVE THIS MAN AS OUR ELECTED MAYOR. YES, SIR!

Steve in PB (not Cody) said...

Timing is everything. Just like the county commissioners who approved the stadium this will go down as her watershed moment. Adios

Anonymous said...

Commish Bell: There's lotsa vacant store fronts along North Krome Avenue in Downtown Homestead.

Granted, they're not up to you're high standards. In fact, most of 'em do double duty as urinals for the homeless and stank to high Heaven.

But I digress. How's about the US 1 corridor, south of, say, Leisure City? Or is that too cloase to the Church from which you were ex-communicated?

Maybe your puggy office helper could borry ya'all's nice pick-'em-up truck and find some cheaper digs?

Anonymous said...

Where was this outrage when Sorenson gave bonuses to her staff on her way to retirement?
There wasn't any either when Sean and Alfie were working out of Katies offices for Gene Flinn either. Sorry but Flinn still lost last time I checked get over it.

Geniusofdespair said...

Looks like I already reported on this...no memory in this brain.

Lynda Bell's Lease Information:

Year Annual Rent Monthly Rent Rate PSF

2 $40,381.25 $3,365.10 $16.25
3 $44,108.75 $3,675.73 $17.75
4 $47,637.45 $3,969.79 $19.17
FISCAL IMPACT: The total fiscal impact for the first lease year is estimated to be $74,378.02, which is calculated below. This expense has been budgeted in the County Commission’s operating budget. Funding source: General Fund, Index Code: CCENT010896.

First lease year of the initial term:

Annual Base Rent: Total Dollars PSF

Total annual base rent $37,324.70 $15.02

Direct Expenses:

Build-out Cost: $13,750.00 $ 5.53
Electricity: $ 4,522.08 $ 1.82
Janitorial & custodial: $ 3,106.25 $ 1.25
Security alarm: $ 432.00 $ .17
$21,810.33 $23.80
Indirect Expense:

Signage (One-time fee) $ 5,000.00
Phones & Data set-up: $ 8,750.00
Lease Management Fee: $ 1,492.99
Total Cost to County,
First lease year: $74,378.02

The total projected fiscal impact for the initial four-year term of the lease and the four-year renewal option period is $533,093.81.

(don't think this counts furniture)

Anonymous said...

Get over it? Not likely. This is just beginning. Lynda Bell promised a diet and we intend on making sure she stays on one. Who cares who she beat. This is now. The election is over. YOU and Lynda Bell need to get over the election. This is about fiscal responsiblity, not who won or lost. The truth squad is up and running. The "eyes" are upon Lynda Bell and maybe she shuld rethink whether she wants to remain in office if she can't take the heat. I don't think her daughter will be able to pull a gun on all of us.

We are here and keeping track, so Lynda Bell better keep her promises or prepare to lose yet another reelection campaign.

Anonymous said...

Amen brother (or sister) Anon above. You are preaching to the choir. May Miss Lynda Bell see the light. Let's church her on the belief of fiscal responsiblity.

We all should pray for her.

Anonymous said...

Had Eugene Flinn been elected as Commissioner of Dist 8 we would have had the gov center back on line-----his District office-"No Rent" and probably the tag offices. His frugality and fiscal
responsibility the county voters would have been proud of. Re-Call
should be in the making just like
Alvarez(93 Blog Archive)and Seijas
(350)Blog Archive) will show you.
Keep up the Surveilance, folks.

Anonymous said...

Genius: does your estimate include the signs all over US 1 and SW 152 ST advertising her name, er, directing people to her office?

Also, who is the landlord? Any connection as a campaign contributor?

(I like to think of myself as an unpaid editor.)

Anonymous said...

I did not know you could use a government vehicle to advertise your name. Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Barbara Jordan has one of the white SUV's with
her name plastered all over it to. It's like a 24/7 election mobile, paid by the taxpayers.

out of sight said...

The commissioners are allowed to have service trucks... Souto even has an RV. It comes from their office expenses - or maybe it is now part of the code enforcement budget - it started with Moss and TeamMetro.

But there are signs in Pinecrest pointing to an left turn at 136 to get to her office (a mile?). Tell me, is there such a demand for Lynda Bells office that people are clambering for directions? Or does she have to remind the folks in the Pinecrest area that they don't have to use their Iphones to find her?

She has a 6 foot or larger concrete sign outside her building on US1 just north of her illegally parked truck. Just to the south of her illegally parked truck on US1 is another Find Lynda Bell sign only about 5 car lengths south of the concrete one.

Anonymous said...

I did not know an elected official could use a government item to advertise their name. How much did this cost the taxpayer? Now everyone is understanding the reason she was not reelected in Homestead, We have not seen anything yet. Once she starts to rant and rave from her throne you will then see her vindictiveness toward her voters who dare to questioned or disagree with her. RECALL!! RECALL!!! RECALL!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anybody check into how much GSA would have charged her to make the S. Dade Govt Ctr space usable? If there was a County Department that could get cut, GSA fits the bill. Get rid of a bunch of worthless people and the excessive fees they charge other County Departments.

Anonymous said...

The truck is a total joke and an insult to the collective intelligence of the district 8 voters. It also is an example of the hypocrisy of the tea partiers. What a waste of money. Nice to see that she stimulated the economy and bought brand new. No use of an existing truck from the County motor pool for this new imperial commissioner. She is brand new, so her truck should be brand new.

First of all, it’s a "Lynda Bell, District 8 commissioner" truck. Commissioners are policy makers. None of her assigned staff perform the operational duties of any of the departments. Her staffers don't go out and patch roads, fix malfunctioning signals, or pick up trash from the sides of roads. They certainly are not picking up any of the numerous dead animals along US1 or Palmetto Bay roadsides. It is not used as a STS shuttle. Her staffers are not using it for police ops. The only legitimate purpose is as a mobile billboard. I am sure her office is not required to pay any of the license taxes that the county collects from legitimate mobile billboard vehicles.

So what is the purpose of the truck? Can I call her to pick up an item too large for the county trash service, to assist me in getting items to the neighborhood dump? Yeah, when Bell’s daughter flies!

This truck is a minor boondoggle. There, I beat Genius to the punch on this one. Here is yet another example of Lynda Bell's money wasting, this time on a show piece to provide the misconception that public works or county services are being provided directly by the commissioner.

The misuse of tax dollars on the truck is another nugget to place in the Lynda Bell campaign recall clippings file. Another promise broken. Katy never insulted our intelligence with charades. Bell obviously thinks we are as stupid and those voters who continue to fall for the Martinez', Souto and Barrero voters. Perhaps she is right, given that the District voters were gullible enough to fall for her smoke and mirrors and outright lies on November 2nd.

The District 8 voters won't fall for it again, we won’t let them. We are watching and keeping score. The roaches from Seijas’ office (Castillo) slithered from Seijas to infest Bell and the Palmetto Bay Taj Mahal district office. This November, the one year anniversary, will signal the start time for the voter and recall volunteers to do some additional fumigation of County government.

Anonymous said...

As to the truck - Sally Heyman has an identical truck with her name on it. Disgusting! She was driving in North Miami on election night (she was on the ballot) and honking her horn while driving. I was distracted by the honking only to look in her direction and see that she was the one honking - I guess it was her way of getting the masses out to vote for her ass.

It was the most disgraceful thing I have witnessed. Not only do these commissioners get their own personal war chests, they are given free advertising. and we are picking up the tab. I am so f...ing sick of them all.

Anonymous said...

So much for Lynda Bell being a reformer. I'm sorry that I voted for her. No one from my family will vote for her again unless she suddenly shapes up and puts forward the conservative reforms she promised.

Getting rid of this stupid truck would be a great start on the path to redemption.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

How much did the truck cost? How much was paid to personalize the truck? Katy did not have a truck, so this represents additional spending by Lynda Bell, on herself.

dignity4 said...

The Building Lynda Bell moved into is on a list to be sued for Massive ADA violations. The restrooms on the 4th floor are now all in office suites, and not accessible for people in wheelchairs. All the door handles on floors 4,3 and 2 are illegal round handles. There is one water fountain, not ADA accessible. The restrooms on floors 2 and 3 are not ADA accessible. Of the 18 parking spaces there is an additional one for the disabled, located so that anyone in a van cannot use it. Starbucks, next door, same owner, has an exit that people in wheelchairs cannot get out of, the manuevering space of 24 inches is missing on the latch side of the door. Both buildings were on a list of Palmetto Bay violations given to the Chief Code Enforcement Officer, Mayor Jimenez. When the recall effort begins, I will be there. Denny Wood