Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The All Powerful 29th Floor of Miami Dade County. By Geniusofdespair

The Stephen P. Clarke Center's 29th Floor Has Become the Empire!

It is harder and harder to find out who does what in Miami Dade County because the 29th executive floor is running the show, micromanaging every department. Take for example planning,  one of a few departments called out in the Citizens Home Rule Charter as required and is now buried under economic development in RER or whatever it is called. Everyone at the County I talk to says, "I have to check that with the Mayor's office before I can release that report or give you that answer." It used to be, I just got reports and answers from the people in the departments when I asked.

Citizens trying to keep track really have to look hard and the buck always stops on the 29th floor. The idea that deputy mayors, or whatever they are called, have too many departments under them was presented to the public that money was being saved by the consolidation. In reality, it probably did not save much but did consolidate too much power in too few hands.  Don't think Department big-wigs like Penny Townsley, Kathy Jackson, Jack Kardys, Greg Fortner, Lee Hefty etc. make any decisions without a consult from their very own Vice Mayor. It appears that Jennifer Moon might be the only one making unilateral decisions because her Vice Mayor probably can't read a budget.

How do you placate the County Commissioners while you are running an imperial, powerful entity from the 29th Floor? Let them travel: Now it is Pepe Diaz via the commission travel agency sorry I Mean ITC, who is heading to China and Korea this fall. Raise money for them, and by all means tell them what they want to hear.  Give Moss his giant theme park and give Barreiro the Cuban Museum on Parcel B instead of the soccer fields promised us. Perks for the Commissioners, a giant club on county staff stepping out of line (the good ones resigning in droves) and we get...shit from the dynamics.

Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt a.k.a. Col. Klink

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do you spell clus$%@f@ck?

Anonymous said...

I didn't vote for a DEPUTY mayor.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure that photo is Sgt. Schultz not Col. Klink.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jack.

Geniusofdespair said...

Yes, Schultz but Klink is a misnomer that works much better.

Anonymous said...

Truer words have never been spoken. The County is ruled like never before. Worse than Steve Shiver.

Anonymous said...

Having a compliant chair helps who is run by Gimenez's hatchet lady Lynda Bell.

miaexile said...

ok i just gotta say, you continue to be brilliant at cutting to the quick - you sure do know how to write and make perfect sense. Giminez continues to prove how wrong I was to have any faith at all that he would be a trustworthy and fair Mayor.
p.s. don't want to appear to be sucking up , but forgot to say that this empire photo is right on target!

Anonymous said...

It's too bad our only other options were the now Fed Indicted Robaina the first round; with the second round "I'm not a crook" Martinez. Talk about this County so far up the corrupt meter. The Pic is perfect.

The story, too bad it's not fiction, is just the tip of the Iceberg.

The comments are spot on too.

Anonymous said...

Is there a one website wiki compilation of Mr. Mayor's mistakes, outright blunders, list of unethical actions? I see lots of examples, but they need to be grouped for easy access to see his laundry list of misdeeds. Then it will be easy for the voter to notice how our Miami Herald ignores it all. :-)

Anonymous said...

The tax assessors office is run and dictated by the strong mayor and the BCC. Too much power by a group of government officials.
Starting with Lynda Bell. Well maybe tonight we will begin to see the downfall of Bell. Hoping her husband will be kicked out of the primary in Homestead. Then District 8 and the entire county can focus on her election. Since she has her nose in everyone of the BCC business.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have a Timex watch?

According to a Miami Herald news flash, Miami Dade County just approved expanded sign usage (see yesterday's blog post) at the Port, Library's, etc.

I like the Wikipedia idea for Gimenez and his broken promises and abuse of power, to put it mildly! Including every mis step and incompetent person he's hired on the 29th floor along with unqualified department heads, their assistants too!

Anonymous said...

Boy are you right! I retired a few years ago-simply got fed up with budget games and having to deal with some really bad ideas. Everyone I talk to now - all of them dedicated professionals - are either counting days till they can retire or desperately seeking alternatives. I remember Gimenez saying that he would count on his professional staff to guide him. Who knew that he meant a select few on the 29th floor - who are not experts in all that they oversee and are too arrogant to listen and learn. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

This post shows a lack of understanding on how the county dysfunctions. Certain power departments like police and fire operate well outside of the mayor's control (and that of the manager's before the mayor's office was strengthened).

The other departments are and were always especially sensitive to the manager's (and now the mayor's) office and for good reason: without the blessing from 29, they have zero cover before the commission.

The idea that planning was ever independent of the 29th floor is a delusion.

The public chose to strengthen the mayor so that someone would be responsible for the administrative branch of county government and we are better off because of the change.

Those who want to go back to the finger pointing days of the past are like an old man recalling how much better life was when he was in his 20s. He never remembers the bad stuff, only the good old days.

As far as Osterholt goes, he is an old guard kind of guy. Lots of government experience; more in fact than many of the retired administrators commenting here.

Does that make him objectively effective or good? Who knows, but certainly he is doing what his boss is asking for, which is to keep a lid on the chaos of the county.

Troy said...

We never signed on to all these deputy mayors when we voted for Gimenez. It is his undoing. Sorry now I didn't vote for Robania.

Anonymous said...

Why is the county in chaos if we have a competent mayor?

Anonymous said...

Just as a follow up, did we ever get that report from Bell and Edmondson on what they accomplished in their trip to Asia? Im just saying, shame on us for not asking. I think before we send another one, we need to find out what the previous ones got accomplished. This is not a revolving door of free trips around the world, or is it?

Anonymous said...

The difference between Osterhold and Sgt. Shultz? Sgt. Shultz would readily admit, "I know nothing."

Anonymous said...

"a giant club on county staff stepping out of line (the good ones resigning in droves)"

From the library front...

What's another way to dismantle your county's library system?

Don't replace any of the staff.

The Mayor's office is the gate keeper of all vacancies to be filled.

Six staff have quit in the last few weeks. What professional with a Master's Degree would work for a "leader" who throws out misinformation to the public hoping that the public will then attack his staff.

In multiple media appearances, he incorrectly states that the average salary of a librarian is $70K (+ $20K in fringe.)

Reality Check. The starting pay for an entry level librarian is in the low $30Ks. The paraprofessionals (without the MLS) start around $21K. After 17 years and promotions, a librarian may reach $70K. These are the ones who survived the 2011 layoffs of 250 staff. The poorest of the 461 remaining staff, were the people he was cutting back in September. So the remainders have the seniority - and so he can make their salaries due to longevity look flush.

In the meantime, the 5% taken, the 3% for FRS retirement, and the 8 furlough days are not worth mentioning to the public.

We've had past corruption in county government, oh yes. So is this the false opposite? Someone so strongly at the helm, the fear factor creates a smoke screen about falling bond ratings and the mismanagement of budgets.

Commissioner Zapata pointed this out when he refused to vote for the budget in September. He said with regard to the budget "we are in a disadvantage against the administration. I think they hold all the cards. And I think we are sent here in one day to come up with solutions to very difficult challenges...In this process, bad ideas have a good explanation. There's always a good explanation for a bad idea...I think the Commission needs to assert its responsibility as a legislative body...there are a lot of things that don't make sense to me, I think we are violating state law using CDT funds and I want to get some clarity. I don't think exhibition halls are museums. Under that definition, we could call a library an exhibition hall and maybe we should give them some CDT funds. So with that colleagues, I will not be voting for this budget."

Have we ever had someone in our top leadership position want to self-destruct the county's government? We do now.

Anonymous said...

Carlos Gimenez has been a huge disappointment. And his attack dog Jack Osterholt? Gimme a break. We need another Recall.

Anonymous said...

no one ever reading this blog will ever be happy. it isn't possible. no one has never done anything good ever. i like reading the blog to get the full dirt but at the same time i think it would get a tad of credibility if there would be balanced nuanced portrayals of elected officials.

Anonymous said...

Happiness happens when you pursue other goals.

Please, last anon, be the change you want to see and profile good things happening and the good politicians working in Miami-Dade.

BTW, Wayne Slaton was just re-elected in Miami Lakes.
He's balanced. He's going to go old school. Yea!
http://www.politicalcortadito.com/2013/10/01/wayne-slaton-wins-post-scandal-miami-lakes-election/


Anonymous said...

I know folks who work for the county who tell me working there has sucked under the new regime. Not because of the pay cuts, furloughs, and other concessions which most staff were willing to accept for the greater good and the will of the people. It sucks because the Mayor, his Deputies, and his Advisors don't consult with staff on anything. They make unilateral decisions without the benefit of being informed. They may as well hire a bunch of flying monkeys to do their bidding.

Anonymous said...

The blogger and the commenter have never spent much time on the 29th floor. Certain of those big wigs tell the deputy mayors what to do, not the other way round. And Osterholt does as good a job as any mortal can of keeping the corporate and anti-democracy interests at bay -I'm amazed he's still there and glad he is.

Anonymous said...

With a who you know rather than a what you know organization of 25 thousand employees, it must be chaos.

Anonymous said...

Osterholt is a stooge to the billboard companies and he simply hates Miami-Dade residents. He should stay in Broward County.

Anonymous said...

Read and listen to the hypo-critical leader turning on his troops.


http://wlrn.org/post/miami-dade-mayor-some-county-workers-are-overpaid-underworked