Friday, December 05, 2014

Daniella Levine Cava Speaks out on two of her votes at her first County Commission Meeting. By Geniusofdespair

I asked Daniella Levine Cava some of your questions that you left in comments on my last post, December 2nd. She was kind enough to get back to me. Let me assure you SHE WILL NOT BE DOING SPLAININ' on a regular basis. You have to trust her decisions are thoughtful ones. We can't all be Monday morning quarterbacks. This is an exception and you are lucky to be getting anything because I am sure you didn't watch the grueling 12 hour meeting on the 2nd (at least 12 hours). I only watched 5 or 6 hours and most of that was about actual living people professing that they were afraid to use public bathrooms because they might be trounced on by a transgender person, if the vote didn't go their way. "God deliver us from the dopey people in this county." The Gender Identity Rights ordinance passed 9 to 3 with Souto absent. I could be wrong on that but I am sure I would have remembered Souto jabbering on, if he were there. I didn't hear why Juan Zapata voted against it. That was the only surprise for me, his vote. He seems the type that can handle himself under any circumstances in a public restroom. Pepe Diaz still hasn't had his epiphany and I am getting less sure we will ever see one from him. If a Brain Tumor didn't scare him into sanity what would?

Daniella Levine Cava's feedback (if you haven't read my previous blog and the comments you might not understand this):

Airport: There are sometimes valid reasons for exceptions on a process, I believe, for extenuating circumstances. I spent a lot of time before and during the meeting getting the background on the no bid contract. I never expected I would be willing to do it but based on unusual circumstances felt it was vital or we would lose major American Airlines business, jobs and revenue.

I made them clarify in the resolution that Odebrecht was getting a smaller amount as the management fee (about $6 m I was told) and to spell out the reasons it was vital, and that almost all of the amount would be competitively bid through the subcontract process.
It was about 7-8 pm on the tape if you wish to watch it.

It is clear that I have no donations from anyone associated with these deals so clearly I made my decision strictly on the merits. And I will always do so, regardless of campaign donations. Just making that point as your readership may assume that is the motivation for BCC votes. As you know, I will be working to try to prevent those doing business with the county to donate to campaigns.

Further clarification: While the bid waiver is not well-timed or perfect language, I raised many questions and received on the record assurances from the Administration that the vast majority of the funding will go through a localized bid process. In the end, I had to balance the needs of our community, the residents and businesses who use our airport services and the desire to achieve greater accountability on this project and more importantly, future ones. I believe my position on Tuesday balanced these three objectives and the outcome will be measured by a decrease in rushed proposals and fewer bid waivers in the future.

Aviation says this is the first part of a larger $200 million overhaul and they assured me there would not be a repeat.

Badia Spices: It is a federal bond program that goes through the county but the eligibility and selection are managed federally (so I understand), with focus on local economic development and job creation.  I am going to be briefed further on the program so I can support promoting it to others. But it is apparently a well established national program. Jesse Trice Health Center was also got approved for one yesterday, so nonprofits and for profits are both eligible. They are not competing against each other. There is no cost to the county and thus the taxpayers. I told staff that in future I would expect greater clarity in writing on this and other items in the agenda itself, so that the public understands the rationale. Other commissioners agreed with me and the mayor said he would do it (during discussion on the airport). I was able to improve transparency on a few items yesterday including county transfer of property. I will work on legislation to prevent "no solicitation bids", others agreed with me, and the mayor agreed to have an open competitive process for the courthouse building if sold.

I thought I was able to make some good inroads and garner support for changes.

So there you have it. Satisfied or not, that is all you get. Next time watch the meeting. I have to say I felt sorry for Daniella having to sit through this particular meeting for her first one. It was absolutely painful listening to people say the same thing for 3 or 4 hours..."danger bathroom."


Anonymous said...

Verdugo's followers are uneducated. What can you do. He should just give up his senseless fight against gays.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your posting this - it clears up my confusion about the wording of the County resolution that was approved this week regarding the bond issue for Badia Spices. I do wonder, though, about the qualifications for this program. If Badia goes belly-up on this particular expansion, who is out the money? The Federal government? Still the taxpayers and still taxpayer support of private business, which I cannot get behind. Yes, the burden is spread wider, but if Badia has such a big market and is making so much money, then they should be able to float the bond issue themselves. I fail to see why we, as taxpayers, are providing support to profit-making private businesses. It really is no different than the bailout for sports teams, is it?

Thumbs down!

Anonymous said...

Daniela needs to fight harder to reduce government spending. Some of these scams might be using Federal Tax money rather than County tax money but still it is our tax money. Government is too large. Taxes are too high. Far too many public sector employees are way overpaid. Daniela needs to get the County Budget down below $6 Billion.

Anonymous said...

Private bond buyers finance the debt. There's a reduced risk because they've been vetted (at least that's the idea behind getting Moodys to look at the books - whether they can be trusted any more is another story).

There's no Federal backing of the loans. They just create a conduit for issuance of bonds where a company would be more challenged to do so and would have to pay higher rates for less secure commercial bonds (used to be called junk bonds in the good ole Michael Milkin days).

Anonymous said...

Thanks EOM and thank the commissioner for us. Even if people do not entirely agree with all of her votes, this lets us know that she will share her thinking on issues and be open to input. What a refreshing idea!! a responsive politician!!

Anonymous said...

Re Badia. There is no risk to county. It is reduced interest loan because of "public benefit".

Anonymous said...

The government backs up these loans. Parrot Jungle / Parrot Island owes over $50 Mil including $25 Mil on government bonds. Deadbeats. Ronnie Krongold and Bert Levine have never paid a penny on their $25 Mil loan to the Feds.