Monday, April 01, 2013

Term Limited Coral Gables Commissioner Maria Anderson goes out with a bang. By Geniusofdespair

Commissioner Maria Anderson, said sayonara at her last Coral Gables commission meeting March 26. She had even more to say, as evidenced by this press release:

“It's been a privilege to serve my hometown for 12 years. I survived three tough elections and am humbled that the citizens of Coral Gables placed their trust in me in 2001, 2005 and 2009. I am proud that I am leaving public service rich in amazing experiences, not but no richer in money than when I started in 2001. I never took a city computer, cell phone and declined to participate in the city's pension.

My work with seniors, keeping the process alive for a senior center is now
bearing fruit. The Coral Gables Charrette was the impetus for the re-write of the city's Zoning Code, and was also a great community event. In 2003, we did the heavy lifting in starting the reform of the city's pension by making it a contributory system again. But I leave heavy-hearted and troubled by the direction our city is heading. The Mayor's race in particular is pivotal. The standing mayor has become the puppet for a despotic City Manager. Furthermore the mayor never truly expresses an opinion of his own and is scripted by the manager whose interest is never about what's best for the City. Shoddily re-paved streets and skinny palm trees do not a good mayor make. They are merely cosmetic cover-ups that hide the true issues.

Cason's popularity with Cubans because of his Cuban Foreign Service work makes no sense to me. After all, I am a Cuban-born;53-year resident of Coral Gables and my colleague, Ralph Cabrera is a Cuban born, 47-year resident. Our parents lost everything, and then made a life again in Coral Gables.

1. Jim Cason refuses to admit that the City has had a 13%+ increase in crimes and allowed the Manager to cover it up before the election.

2. Jim Cason approved an unprecedented number of no-bid contracts that cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s the “good old boy” network at it worst.

3. Jim Cason views city employees like actuarial statistics and the manager views them as chattel. Morale has flat-lined in City Hall. He has not figured out that fairly treated employees give the quality service residents expect. My last few weeks will be spent in helping my 12-year colleague Ralph Cabrera be elected Mayor. That's the least I can do for my hometown."

I sent my readers to for an analysis of the Mayoral race in Coral Gables. Law Professor Michael Froomkin has been following it, I have not.

(I must have been German in another life. I keep capitalizing all nouns as I type and I am forever correcting. Should Mayoral be capitalized in this instance? Readers?)


100panthers said...

Cason has not lived up to to his promises made during the last election. Where is the promised sustainability manager etc.? The guy is a professional politician. I am voting for anyone but Cason. Coral Gables will lose its highest residential tax base from sea level rise, look at the mansions east of Old Cutler. Yet the city pretends sea level rise is not a problem as the police/parking enforcement cars are not hybrid, no solar, no composting. They plant non-natives and fertilize and spray pesticides that run off into the Bay. " Jim, you're doing a Hell of a job'!

Anonymous said...

mayoral is not capitalized. i really like anderson's passion and straight talk. very unusual in the gables, where it's considered impolite to confront uncomfortable truths.

Anonymous said...

Coral Gables has no sustainability plan. $.80 of every $1 goes to entitlements, as I am to understand. Can that be so? It seems very high. Please comment if this is not correct.

Ross said...

No, 80% is not correct.

Casper said...

if you consider a salary part of an "entitlement" that you are mostly correct. payroll/compensation is past 70 percent, which isn't unusual.

but it depends on what the denominator is: general fund, or all funds (enterprise, etc).

if an important issue for you is payroll expenses, then look at who is making out the best at city hall.

the top echelon of managers is growing in size and overall expense under current admin. no cuts at the top.

those on the bottom of the municipal ladder are the ones who made significant concessions.

i'm just saying that cuts are needed. just make sure everyone has to put some money in the till.

Mayor Philip Stoddard said...

The word "mayoral" is not capitalized, nor are other adjectives describing mayors.

Anonymous said...

Mrs Anderson was not a good commissioner because she is there to serve residents for equal rights and not in favor of there friends.
Thank you.