Thursday, June 23, 2011

City of Miami: no accountability, anywhere ... by gimleteye

Chuck Rabin's report in The Miami Herald has a couple of interesting points worth noting: "When Miami’s Chief Financial Officer Larry Spring resigned last week, he left with a hefty payout that included $61,824 in severance approved by now-departed City Manager Tony Crapp Jr. – a payment that violates a city policy instituted last fall as a response to revenue shortfalls. The policy clearly states severance shall not be paid when “the employee exercises voluntary resignation,” as Spring did. The policy also says that if the city manager wishes to “exceed” what the policy allows, he must seek commission approval, which Crapp did not. The payout to Spring—first reported on Al Crespo’s blog, thecrespogramreportcom — has created a furor in the local blogosphere, confusion at City Hall, and anger among some city commissioners and the mayor."

The first point: interesting that Herald journalists are reporting news and commentary that appears on the blogsphere. (Eyeonmiami ia part of this trend.) This is a positive development and a step toward convergence of print journalism and the blogsphere. I'm still not sure what the business model is (especially since we have NO business model). It was only a few years ago that Eyeonmiami received acidic letters from Herald attorney/s for quoting Herald news stories. Chalk it up, to an evolving environment for news.

On Rabin's report, there is no accountability for government malfeasance, especially at the level of elected officials who seem to endure despite the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Eyeonmiami gets a lot of the inside story, right, and so do readers who bring valuable commentary to the comments section. But there is plenty that goes on, undetected.

People in positions of power have been getting away with scamming in Miami-Dade for so long, there is an unspoken code: do it in plain sight, so long as you don't attract attention. It is the flip side of the Republican premise that no business would jeopardize the success of its enterprise and therefore, self-regulation is the best way to protect free markets. What the flip side says is "steal, but don't get caught". Attract attention either crossing or getting too close to the edge of the law -- and I don't mean prosecutions, because there are virtually none-- get off the stage and go away. There is a Tony Crapp side to the story: I'm interested to hear what it is, because I suspect he wouldn't have violated city policy without having a few dimes to drop on a few elected officials.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't Regalado get anything right in the city? Even his most trusted foot soldier Tony Crap makes him look like a fool.