Friday, May 03, 2013

Lynda Bell's Chief of Staff Answers Your Questions About Housing Project Named After Bell's Mother. By Geniusofdespair

I submitted questions, submitted by one reader, to Lynda Bell's office regarding a posting of my previous public request on the Marilyn Hope project. To refresh your memory, that is the affordable housing project named after Lynda Bell's mother that was funded with about $10 million of public funds to a private developer with no bids. (You would do well to go to the link to understand this post)

Here is Borrego's email  to me verbatim (and I do thank him for doing even this minimal amount):

In response to your records request, responses to items 2, 3, 5 and 6 are attached and did not require extensive time to compile. To the extent records exist, the records requested in items 1 and 4 of your request will require extensive amount of staff time to compile.

Please be advised that there will be a charge for time and costs associated with compiling the records requested in items 1 and 4 of your Public Record Request. The estimate of the time required to fulfill items 1 and 4 below is $125.00. This estimated cost is calculated as follows: 5 hours of compilation time at a rate of $25.00 per hour.

If you wish to proceed with the documents requested in items 1 and 4, please provide the County with payment of $125.00 in a check or money order made payable to the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners.

If you provide us with payment of the estimated costs, we will commence the process of compiling the records. Once we have compiled the documents, we will know the number of pages of documents and then we will send you the estimated cost for reproduction of any documentation found.

1. Please provide documentation regarding the "many presentations/solicitations" that Commissioner Bell reviewed prior to her the decision to move forward with this project.

Eddie: - TBD

2. Can you provide a copy of the public notification regarding requests for presentations or solicitations? Where was it posted and for how long?

Eddie: - No request for "presentation or solicitations" was required.

3. Did Commissioner Bell request that this project be named after her mother or was this simply proposed by Mr. Atrio as an inducement for the Commissioner to find his project as the most worthy against the other bidders (style points)?

Eddie: - No to both questions above

4. Where can we view the other presentations?

Eddie: - TBD

5. Do we understand you correctly that the only major string for the $10 million is that the property be used for a mere 25 years as the senior affordable housing, that after that time, I presume Mr. Atrio is unfettered with any obligation as to the $10 million plus and can do as he pleases, free and clear, with the building/property? I assume that the $10 million will pay for construction on a building with a projected minimum life expectancy of 40 to 50 years.

Eddie - Please refer to the agreement which was sent to you earlier by Mrs. Susie Trutie, the County stipulates the terms and conditions of the GOB agreement not the Commissioner.

6. What happens to any surviving residents of the (temporarily) rent controlled facility once the 25 years has passed?
Eddie - Please refer to the agreement which was sent to you earlier by Mrs. Susie Trutie, the County stipulates the terms and conditions of the GOB agreement not the Commissioner.

There you have it. Anyone got some money to get some real answers?  I do find the answer to question 2 alarming. Please note, all the commissioners have this bond money to spend with little supervision.  I just happen to be looking at Bell.

My advice to you readers: STOP VOTING IN FAVOR OF BONDS AND START DOING YOUR OWN PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS. I won't be here forever to do them for you.

Remember public records request can get pricey (Eddie only gave an estimate, the cost will be much higher) as the Straw Buyer found out when doing a request from the Miami Dade County Police Department for one case file. This is an outrage.


Geniusofdespair said...

Here is my next public records request of Eddie Borrego:

Thank you for your answers:
On question 1, let me revise it:

How many presentations were reviewed?
How many solicitations were reviewed?

If it is less than 5, can you identify the entity/entities that made these presentations?

That way I can decide if I need to proceed with the costly public records request.

The Straw Buyer said...

What's most appalling about my public information request that you mentioned in your post is that it was simply for emails over the course of a few months. I can conduct a similar search in less than a minute's time yet somehow the state saw it fit to want to charge almost a half a million dollars!

Anonymous said...

County Attorney's office authored those answers, no doubt.

Anonymous said...

No one in Bell's office put that response together. In my opinion they all have the brain of a one cell organism an amoeba. Which includes Bell (ding dong ding dong).

Anonymous said...

Fa(s)t Eddie B is Lynda's brain

Anonymous said...

Commissioners have big slush funds. Wouldn't it be curious if they used those to defray costs of records requests?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget: this nonsense had a father: Jeb Bush. Until Jeb became governor in Florida, public records requests were routinely processed ... but Jeb's irritation with the great unwashed public lead him to fits of vindictiveness. This is one little known aspect of his legacy.

Anonymous said...

If bond funds were involved, there is typically a bond indenture associated with the debt issuance. Although the County Attorney has probably reviewed the legality of the Commissioner's allocations of bond funds, a review of the indenture could reveal whether or not it is legal.

Genius, if the costs associated with public records requests is hampering your investigations, I'm sure that there are those of us that would contribute to assist you.