Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Who speaks for the public interest in Miami-Dade? Not Lynda Bell … by gimleteye

In the Miami Herald today, Michael Putney writes, "Who speaks for the public interest in Florida?" The same question implying an empty answer, pairs Gov. Rick Scott with embattled Miami-Dade county commissioner Lynda Bell.

Putney concludes, as any reasonable voter would do, that Gov. Scott is a charlatan for taking Big Sugar's money, when he said he wouldn't be "bought and paid for" during his first campaign like his opponent Bill McCullum. Then, he not only did but subsequently delivered exactly what Big Sugar wanted; a bargain basement deal to continue polluting the the Everglades at the cost to taxpayers.

"This is the same person who vowed to go to Tallahassee and change the culture", Putney concludes. "Looks like the culture changed him."

Actually, the culture did not change Rick Scott anymore than Lynda Bell: they are both exactly who they were. Politics is a game judged by insider deal-making.

Lynda Bell now tries to dismiss creating a chain-link fence ordinance she pushed through the county commission without telling her colleagues that her daughter was running a chain-link fence business. For sure, it is a lower order of insider dealing than Gov. Rick Scott.

Then, similar to Scott's pandering to special interests on the Everglades, one of Bell's first acts as county commissioner was to convene a "public meeting" designed to put even more pressure on the county environmental agency, DERM, charged with regulating the county's valuable wetlands.

Wetlands are to Miami-Dade's special interests like candy to children. The big developers who support Bell can't get enough of them. Bell's demagoguery against DERM caused the resignation of a career veteran, Carlos Espinosa, a top county regulator who had carefully toed the line for decades. Carlos Espinosa was a survivor but he couldn't survive Lynda Bell.

What Bell did to DERM is a junior version of Gov. Rick Scott's evisceration of environmental missions at the South Florida Water Management District.

This is exactly how it works in Florida today. Special interests ARE having a field day in Tallahassee, thanks to the politics of insider deal making that Rick Scott embraces. That's the Big Leagues. Down in Miami-Dade County; we're just the feeder. By masking her true nature with the appearance of being a true, caring public servant -- while doing the insider deal making behind voters' backs -- Lynda Bell is trying to prove what she is made of, to special interests.

Voters can and should show those special interests the door.


Anonymous said...

This post is spot on. It would be difficult to overstate the corrosive effect that the commissioner's actions have had on DERM. While her efforts to disembowel the County's wetland regulations ultimately failed, for now anyway, they left a lasting impression on DERM staff and management; destroying the morale of the former and making the latter extremely , and perhaps permanently, nervous and unsure. Second and third and fourth-guessing every action is no way to go about protecting our fragile and ever-diminishing natural resources - particularly the wetlands and groundwater on which we all depend.

Anonymous said...

At least you are no longer pushing that global warming nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Go to Miami Beach's -- people there with salt water coming up from sewers don't think it is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I can just hear Bell's, but Daniella is brought and paid for by the unions.

Then Carlos tells the parks department to quit cutting the grass then claims his hands are tied... it all the unions fault.

Really? we have got $200 million in cash incentives, $1 million/ acre land and millions more for in-kind services for sports teams but we can't get the grass mowed because some $20 hr park attendant has a gun to your head Mr. Mayor?

And the public buys this crap.

Look at other Cities cities in the county, hiring cops, mowing grass, adding parks but Carlos wants to break the union based on bullshit budget numbers and Lynda is riding his wave of propaganda.

Anonymous said...

It's the oldest trick in the book, cut your best and most visible services first, makes the public side with you. and no $250,000 year county bureaucrats get hurt in the process.

Geniusofdespair said...

I implore you to stop buying into this Union crap it is a diversion-- you are being manipulated because the polls are saying you're stupid and you'll believe it. Daniella is the best candidate by far. yes I am in Colorado, no I am not stoned.

Geniusofdespair said...

Natacha Seijas almost punched me in a courthouse. She got in my face. John Rivera was standing next to her. I don't like him but that would not make me not vote for the right candidate--- Daniella. He has a job to do, he is a good advocate for his men and women. Don't let them push poll you to a stupid decision to vote for Bell.

I hate it when my readers are being manipulated it makes me believe they are nitwits and they are not ....well maybe some of you are. My father was the master manipulator. I can smell it and I can feel it. It is happening here because they have no other way to attack Daniella.

Anonymous said...

Lynda bell is a con artist. Rick Scott is a thief, both stole from the taxpayers and will continue to do so.
Remember that saying : voters elect the public officials they deserve."

Anonymous said...

Daniella is too nice! She is dealing with a shark.

Dee said...

What happened to my comment?

Geniusofdespair said...

We don't take trolls dumping on unions

Anonymous said...

Commissioner Bell asked soon-to-be retired Director Raymond Santiago at the budget hearing on 7/15, how the $64 million budget supported by the Friends of MDPLS, the Library Advisory Board, the Coalition to Save MDPLS' and multiple municipalities and associations was chosen?

He said it was a wish.

This non-answer gave her the justification not to vote for it.

On the positive side, she did follow the majority vote for the $54 million. Commissioner Heyman derived this number from the pre-Gimenez 2009-10 budget year. This brings the budget to status quo after four years with a 50% budget cut supplemented by renovation and construction money that's tapped dry.

If Commissioner Bell had just had vision, MDPLS would not have another year in survival mode. With 60 vacancies, promised layoffs and part-timers currently being hired as replacements the staff morale is just sad.

And thus, the Mayor may have the last vicious laugh.

The Commission has the prerogative to lower the library millage further on 9/4/14 and 9/18/14.

Since Mayor Gimenez maneuvered the library to be the $3 million target in the Fire Boat controversy, chipping away at the library's millage makes warped sense.

He also has the option of vetoing the Commission's Sept 4 and/or the Sept 18th votes, keeping the threat alive until Sept 28th.

Last week three more librarians quit.

Who would hire librarians deemed inefficient & obsolete by this Mayor?

They are having no problems getting new jobs!

There are many libraries around the country that are thriving, including our northern border neighbor, Broward County, but based on Gimenez and Bell - Miami-Dade is "just not there yet."

Here's an article from Michigan (famous for being the rust belt)

Kent County only has a population of 500,000, and will fund their 18branch library system at 1.28 mills.

Miami Dade has a population of 2.6+million, and will fund their 49 branch library at only .248 mills.

"KENT COUNTY, MI – Kent District Library has funding for 10 more years and at a higher tax rate than ever before.

Voters gave solid support Tuesday, Aug. 5, to funding the 18-branch library with a 1.28-mill property tax, up from the current 0.88-mill levy.

The annual library tax for the owner of a $150,000 house will increase $30 – generating about $20 million per year for the next decade.

The extra money will give some relief to a constrained KDL budget and afford new and expanded services. KDL serves every Kent County community except Grand Rapids, Cedar Springs and Solon and Sparta townships.The millage had 57 percent support with only Ada Township yet to report results.

The extra money will enable the library to have "more hours, more materials, more programs," said Lance Werner, KDL director."We're going to blow your doors off (with our services)," he said. "We're going to make your life better.""