Thursday, August 29, 2013

Homestead: the most corrupt little city in America ... by gimleteye

I did a quick scan of Eye On Miami archives (really, a PhD could be gathered just by researching our archive) for Homestead, Florida: we've written hundreds of posts with Homestead in focus.

To mainstream news, Homestead is a backwater. For a select group of observers, Homestead has always been a breeding ground for the worst in the most corrupt little city in America.

With yesterday's arrest of Mayor Steve Bateman, the mainstream news focus is again on Homestead.

Bateman was arrested in the only way that public officials are caught by the Miami-Dade State Attorney: he was blatantly -- in plain view -- flouting private employment with a regulated entity seeking favorable permits. So much ethically challenged behavior has gone on in Homestead and neighboring Florida City, Bateman thought no one in law enforcement would notice.

In the past three weeks, three Miami-Dade mayors have been arrested by law enforcement. Who will it be next week?

Law enforcement is barely scratching the surface of ethical violations at the edge of mainstream political behavior in Miami and Miami-Dade County. To get to the heart of matter, someone on the inside will have to "sing".

Take Natacha Seijas, for example: the discredited former county commissioner who apparently penned a book for school-aged children on the wrongs of "bullying". Seijas was known as the chief bully and enforcer on the county commission for many, many years, and though she was never charged -- Seijas knew well enough never to leave a paper trail--  she shunned email, for example -- perhaps she is now far enough separated by time from her history to consider "telling all". It would be a best-seller and money maker.

In the meantime, all we have to go on is the hope that law enforcement will find a way in, to unravel the threads of corruption that tangle from so many directions in Homestead, the most corrupt little city in America.


19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I want to know how Steve Shiver never ended up in Jail. After all the unaccounted for fed funds from Andrew reconstructed, to the Maggie Valley millions lost, after the sale of the shotgun housing for 10 times it's actual value to the Homestead CRA. Because Bateman didn't fill in paperwork or disclose which normally would have ended up with a snotty letter from the ethics to to dog and pony show to help Mark Bell. The City Manager from Homestead (who is actually from Ft. Lauderdale) - talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I watched him during the Homestead attempt to annex Redland - again. He kept going on about "how Broward did it" with no regard for the hundreds in attendance busting at the seams in anger. He should be relieved of duty immediately. He also had no business speaking when he bloats the City payroll with employees who have no clue what they're doing in un posted jobs which were created. This is in fact the tip of the iceberg. Burgess looks like a saint in all of this. I hope he runs. At least he has a real job! Let's not forget about the Roscoe Warren years of pave over everything with the help of Alger & Williams annexing their farm fields. We're still so depressed property wise it will take at least 10 years to recover back to even the 2004 property price levels compared to the rest of the County. Then the FPL Turkey and Homestead electric increasing the utility rates to subsidize their general fund with a whole bunch of shuffling (the City Manager does this stuff). So, those who don't live in the City but are forced to use Homestead Electric have to subsidize the rest of Homestead and get no brake or no vote! Homestead would be better served unincorporating or even being taken over by Florida City at this point because they are just all a bunch of crooks from the City Manager to the Council members gloating because they don't want the fingers pointing at them - do they?

Geniusofdespair said...

I call it modern day Peyton Place.

Peyton Place was a 1956 book:

"A composite of all small towns where ugliness rears its head, and where the people try to hide all the skeletons in their closets."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peyton_Place_%28novel%29

Anonymous said...

Can we call it Peyton Place vs Dark Shadows? I've never seen anything like this stuff. It's even beyond a Hiaasen book because it's real.

I don't think the Herald Neighbors sections in South Dade received the memo about the arrest of the Mayor Homestead. In fact, I think there should be a jail cell for Shiver & Warren then another will Bell & Waldman! They had a huge story about their "Centennial" titled "Tenacity". It included a pic of Steve Losner. Now I'm having nightmares until the weekend when we know who going to run Homestead in to the ground (zero)again!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Terry Murphy could co-write.

Anonymous said...

George Gretsas has violated the International City Management Association's Code of Ethics by his comments at yesterday's press conference.

He is damaged goods now. No city will hire him after that remarkable presentation.

If you were an elected official, would you want your city manager talking to the State Attorney every day?

Anonymous said...

How the city attorney allowed that blame game press conference to take place is questionable.

What was the purpose besides the council saying we all knew for years he was a crook?
They did nothing at least Gretsas took it somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Peyton Place is correct.
Homestead is a haven for rejects who try to get their pie slice through whatever means necessary.
By hook or by crook was Bateman's philosophy who followed the standard set by Warren, Shiver and Ivy, yes Curt Ivy who always seems to be left out of these discussions.
The great enablers of a crooked government are the landholders, the developers and the bankers. Add in the contractors and the schemers and it's the perfect storm of greed.
Then the greed tempest supports the city hall crooks that pass ordinances, waivers, and resolutions granting all sorts of nonsense and they become the in crowd. Once you start playing that game as a politician you can't get out because now you belong to the greedy ones.
Only an audience who watched the Peyton Place / Homestead show can get rid of the corruption by electing new government in Homestead.
Steve Bateman did his dirty work with lots of help and now his helpers are distancing themselves from him. If they stay there will be reruns of Peyton Place vote them all out.

Anonymous said...

I think Hialeah still wins for the most corrupt. Anyone else have a feeling between this and Pizzi there are a whole bunch of others laughing they didn't get caught or "investigated"?

Anonymous said...

Like Bill Losner cruising the Bahamas in his yacht.

Anonymous said...

Judy is happy? She hated George Gretsas in the beginning... Hypocrite!

Anonymous said...

A day of joy? Justice served? You have to be kidding me! I am baffled by Judy's respect for Gretsas, the State Atty Office, and especially the county commission!!! Doesn't anyone remember poor little Judy crying about Lynda Bell, the big bad wolf???!!!

Anonymous said...

This just in - Sweetwater is gaining on both Homestead & Hialeah. The Fed's just made another arrest. This time, in their PD. I was hoping it was Bell's daughter, no luck there.

For those who don't remember Pepe le Pew was their former Mayor before holding the BCC patron's hostage with his nonstop I pretend to care about the "little people" speeches!

Barf Meter please!

Anonymous said...

There are two reasons he got busted. John Burgess and Gretsas are honest and got wind of what was happening. Bateman was keeping it all for himself and not sharing with certain members of the Council and others so they had to stop his one man show. Once they elect their old friend, it will be back to the old days when they divied up the booty among several to keep everyone happy.

Anonymous said...

City of south miami has been on the FEDS radar for some time now.....

Anonymous said...

CORRUPT???? When you google it you might see a picture of the city of Hialeah.
Let there be no mistake. This week we saw how disgusting and low the Mayor and council were when they were caught allowing illegal gambling to continue in the city. Amazing how at that point they said well we don't agree with the law so we are not going to enforce it. Truth be told: The Hialeah mayor and council have been bought off by organized crime and will continue to roll the dice until punished. Unfortunately the Republican led Government in the State of Florida needs all the votes from that cest pool of a city where are elections are bought and sold, so expect zero enforcement. Rundle herself makes sure of that and now with the help of "DICK SCOTT" he will have 38,000 more bought and paid for votes to continue to screw those who he consistently betrays.

Anonymous said...

This is about Steve Bateman right? what kills me is even to this day Lynda bell, her family and supporters still seek out to bash Judy Waldman. Bell and her supporters think if they say enough negative things (publicly on blogs, but anonymous of course) about Judy Waldman that some of these lies might stick. For some reason that I cannot understand, Lynda despises Judy, always has, and so much so she will bad mouth Judy at every opportunity afforded to Commissioner. Lynda Bell is a poor leader who runs on emotion not logic, and is less than honorable in my opinion. She has a hard time keeping her personal feelings to herself, as you can see by the "Judy" post on this blog. I am a voter and a tax payer and if Lynda Bell is going to act this way to someone whom I elected to represent ME, Than it is time to UN-ELECT Lynda Bell and her husband (who wants to be mayor). When Mr. and Mrs Bell disrespect MY elected official they are disrespecting ME!

Anonymous said...

OK. OK> We get it, about Lynda Bell. So when is someone on this blog going to get up and run against her?

Anonymous said...

Someone said Burgess was thinking of taking that step when his term ends in two years. Maybe Waldman will run. If that is the case than Lynda better worry, voters are sick of her crap.

Anonymous said...

Beyond the legal issues, I am trying to understand how things work here. You have a not-for profit group trying to build a facility to treat sick children. No one in their right mind would be against that. Given that fact, the former Mayor tried to pimp the group for money to do his job as Mayor as it relates to the needs of these children, and hid the deal from all the other elected and appointed officials. Questions emerge about how things operate here. Are all major projects subject to "pay to play" in terms of jobs, contracts, directly or indirectly through family members? Do elected officials see these projects designed to help people or improve the infrastructure as "pay to play" opportunities? If that is the case, then that might explain the massive unmet needs in these communities.