Thursday, July 10, 2014

A new low for Mayor Gimenez. RUDE beyond belief to reporter Jim DeFede.

Just days after the county faced criticism for not having its fireboats available during the July Fourth boating tragedy that left four people dead and a dozen injured, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez proposed a budget that takes $3.3 from the fire department and transfers it to the libraries.

After the mayor announced his plans, CBS4 Investigator Jim DeFede met with the mayor to ask why he would propose such a move when that money would be more than enough to restart the fireboat program.

The conversation quickly grew heated.

GIMENEZ: I can pay for the fireboat right now with the millage that we are proposing by cross utilizing personnel.
DEFEDE: But the union…
GIMENEZ: Excuse me that is your opinion and I don’t think that you are a firefighter and I don’t think you’re a fire chief and you never were

Gimenez, a former firefighter and fire chief in the City of Miami, blames the union for the fireboat being out of service. After the county cut the $2.5 million program three years ago, Gimenez proposed last year that the fire crew at PortMiami staff the fireboat.

GIMENEZ: We could have had our fireboat in service had the union allowed us to cross-utilize the members that are at that port station.
DEFEDE: So rather than blaming it all on the union, why aren’t you coming up with another proposal?
GIMENEZ: Why should I have to? That is a very good proposal. What is wrong with that proposal? Because you don’t like it, is that it, is that the reason, you don’t like it?

Union leaders say the port is required to have a full-time crew on site. They say while the Port fire truck averages only 1.6 calls a day that number is deceiving. On the days around the weekends, when the cruise ships are in the port, they are running on calls all day long. The weekend would also be the most likely time when the fire boat would be needed for rescues and calls on the water.

DEFEDE: It just seems you come up with a lot of ways to fix problems when it comes to things like the American Airlines Arena, when it comes to trying to find a place for Beckham’s stadium, when it comes to the Dolphin stadium, but why aren’t you coming up with some leadership…
GIMENEZ: I did. I have
DEFEDE: You told the union it was this or nothing.
GIMENEZ: No because it’s very viable. You can’t just buckle to whatever the union wants.
DEFEDE: And in the meantime people are dying on the water.
GIMENEZ: Excuse me, you can’t blame this on the fireboat, you can’t. There are people dying all over this town.
DEFEDE: Do you know for sure that nobody else would have been saved if the Miami-Dade fireboat was out there?
GIMENEZ: Oh I can say with 99 percent certainty.

When asked if as Mayor it was his responsibility to lead on this issue and find workable solutions, Gimenez dug in.

DEFEDE: And is that the problem? You think you know what’s right in this case, so you are going to be stubborn on it, rather than trying to find a solution to a problem.
GIMENEZ: I’m being just as stubborn…
DEFEDE: This is a problem that needs to be solved.
GIMENEZ: I’m being just as stubborn as you are.

Gimenez noted that several years ago the library transferred several million dollars to the fire department when the fire department had a budget shortfall. Now that the library is in trouble, they are returning the favor.

The final decision on the budget will be made by Miami-Dade County commissioners. The Commission will set the millage rate next week and then begin holding hearings on the overall budget later this summer.

Click here to watch Jim DeFede’s report.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reporters are required to ask questions. Gimenez doesn't know how to be interviewed and answer civilly.

Anonymous said...

I love the "I know you are but what am I" response. The interview with the Fire Chief the previous day was similar in tone and message. Birds of a feather?

Anonymous said...

Now you see why "my way or the hi" way Gimenez usually trots out his $150k/yr spokesmodel for media hits.

I love the way cameraman framed the shot.

Should he be Carlos the-ax-man-cometh Gimenez?

BTW he's right, the fireboats are like a trophy wife, pretty, expensive and only really good for one thing.

Anonymous said...

How do you dissolve a union corporation that does not have the best interest of the taxpayers in mind?

Anonymous said...

Would like to get real answers to DeFede's questions.

Anonymous said...

There are fundamental rules of conduct and behavior to which public officials must conform. Civility and courtesy are among them. Arrogance and belligerence are not.

If Gimenez believed that Defede was misleading in his questioning; he should have politely terminated the interview instead of representing himself in such a dubious manner.

Anonymous said...

This video shows that governance has become a personal emotional issue and the Mayor is making decisions based on his personal preferences, vendettas, partisan political philosophies, etc ...and not necessarily what is best for constituents. He has forgotten he is the mayor for all of Miami Dade County and needs to rise above the fray to govern in a disciplined and fair way looking for solutions in the public interest. His budget does not reflect that. And his losing it with a reporter is demeaning to the office he holds in trust.

Anonymous said...

The public just got a behind-the-scenes view of typical conversations staff have to deal with when working for this Mayor. It's business as usual and it's now been like this for years. Displeasure brings up defensive and personal feelings. Actually, he was holding back. It's why I'm retiring within a couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

Who is the new $150K spokesmodel now? I know the previous one, a man of integrity, Fernando Figueredo, quit recently? Wondering who the new one is.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the pugnacious style of Jim De Fede's reporting but have a bit more sympathy for Gimenez than the rest of you guys.

Gimenez dismantles the fire boat because the union thwarts his desire to cross-train. Then he transfers funds from the fire dept. to the library system because of intense public pressure in that area. Then he gets beat up on the fire boat issue and for moving funds out of the fire dept. to support libraries No wonder the poor man is frustrated.

I wish he'd address the bloated fire department management structure. Then maybe the bucks would be available both for the fire boat and libraries.

Anonymous said...

Spokemodel's offical title: Director of Mayor's communication and external affairs Michael Hernandez.

Anonymous said...

Dont you just love hearing the mayor say "There are people dying all over this town". Really good PR there for our tourism industry.

Anonymous said...

Recall, recall, recall

Anonymous said...

The Peasants are REVOLTING!!!!!

Youbetcha' said...

Dont you just love hearing the mayor say "There are people dying all over this town". Really good PR there for our tourism industry.

How true. Let's think about this. He is laying off police officers all over the place. Guess what happens next? The violence that is already up in north dade and the unresolved weekly shootings in Goulds is going to be transferred to tourist centers and along US1.

They stopped police from driving on the busway for routine business. The bad guys noticed and started robbing people on the busway. Now, we are seeing police cars again. What happens when the police are taken from the Metro Station Neighborhoods where tourists congregate and even travel/walk around with luggage?

The mayor will need the police to take home their cars. (which the officers pay for the privilege)... Take home cars will be soon be the only way we will have police presence on our streets.

The mayors budget cuts into emergency police response and community training for disasters. Anyone who lived in the south end after Andrew certainly remembers how civilians who knew how to direct traffic at intersections were much appreciated. I guess the county is not going to have any man made or natural disasters ever again? (think about the piss-poor welds in the Marlins Stadium)

What about police boats and drinking/DUI on the water... Are we not going to have police assistance in stopping the drunks? After July 4, I would think the Marine patrol should be doubled, not decimated at each budget period.

I think our tourism board has their hands full.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Carlos is a "my way" kind of guy BUT I agree that the County's fireboat would not have responded in time to make much difference.
The person who called the fireboat a trophy wife is absolutely correct, the costs to run a fireboat and staffing it are quite high , dollars better spent staffing firetrucks and rescues. Leave the waters to Marine Patrol and Coast Guard.

Anonymous said...

People are missing Gimenez's message. Gimenez knows how the Fire Union and other unions manipulate the system. Unions hate to cross-train and they hate to work efficiently.
The City of Miami Fire Union demands 3 men on every truck when the rest of the world uses 2 men. 33% to 50% more pay for union members. More work. More overtime. This stuff is subtle and Gimenez had no patience for De Fede.

Anonymous said...

Funny how Gimenez points out that DeFede - not having been a fire chief - is not allowed to question Gimenez' decisions on the fire boats, etc.... Yet today, Gimenez arrogantly states that fully funding the Miami-Dade Library System is inappropriate because "we wouldn't know what to do" with the money. Well, as far as I know, Gimenez has never been a librarian (maybe hasn't ever stepped into a library or have a library card), therefore, HE'S in no position to question the wisdom of the requested $65 million budget for the library system. The professional librarians know what to do with the funding -operate an award-winning system that adequately serves the public with appropriate and timely materials staffed by professionals.
Step aside Gimenez and let the experts do their job. Including the journalists like DeFede.

Anonymous said...

You have to pick and choose your fights, DeFede is the wrong person to go off on.

Anonymous said...

He is not rude he is Cuban. Have you seen the Facebook page dedicated to this statement by Cubans? Some will find it xenophobic and some as hypocrisy....and some as a fact

Anonymous said...

He isn't Cuban. We don't want him.

Anonymous said...

Defede likes to throw his weight around.

Anonymous said...

Is there a doctor in the house? Geminez' interview responses appear to be the products of some form of early-onset dementia.

A medical opinion on the mental soundness of our mayor appears to be most necessary.

Anonymous said...

it looks like those union guys were right about that mayor. he is a big a hole.

Anonymous said...

I think Mayor Gimenez is in Stage One of Dementia. This is not normal behavior for Carlos. He is really showing some early signs of behavior change. Lourdes you need to have Carlos checked out. Its really sad. Right now our county mayor is under a lot of stress and this will cause dementia to speed up to the next stage.

Anonymous said...

I think Mayor Gimenez is in Stage One of Dementia. This is not normal behavior for Carlos. He is really showing some early signs of behavior change. Lourdes you need to have Carlos checked out. Its really sad. Right now our county mayor is under a lot of stress and this will cause dementia to speed up to the next stage.

Anonymous said...

Gee-Man sounds like a third world communist dictator.

Anonymous said...


Comments related to the union being opposed to cross-raining is an outright lie. The union agreed to cross-train the unit that had to be staffed in Key Biscayne. The mayor cut one of the positions from four to three eliminating that configuration The union agreed to cross-staff a fire boat with a unit in the north-end of the county. The mayor again cut the budget eliminating that configuration. The union does not oppose cross-staffing at the Seaport. It opposes doing so with the ONLY unit at the Seaport.

The staffing of fire rescue units is based on efficiency and quality of care. The standard is three for a rescue truck and four for a fire truck. Systems that have two on a rescue truck send a fire trucks with them on every call which results in two units and at least five people on every scene. Not only does three people allow you to properly treat a patient but it does so with one unit. Contrary to what you think, it's more than just a ride to the hospital.

Anonymous said...

http://www.crespogram.com/index_public_html/VERONICA_DIAZ_WANT_TO_BE_A_JUDGE.html