Saturday, May 09, 2015

The Eye on Miami Saturday Editorial Page. By Geniusofdespair

We report when the Miami Herald doesn't bother: Saturday

Jose Luis Castillo is said to be suing Edward MacDougall, Art Nanni and the Town of Cutler Bay. He was campaign manager to Peggy Bell,  Current Mayor of Cutler Bay. He is suing for Libel and Slander according to the docket.  Also according to court records the Town of Cutler Bay was dropped from the suit. Will have to go read it. I wonder if Jose Luis Castillo counts as a 'public figure', I guess you could consider him a 'business leader.' Ick.

Jorge Luis Lopez bff of the Mayor, is sending out emails telling friends that he has begun collaborating with the Miami Innovation District and Tower. We have previously reported on this tower asking if 600 feet is too tall.  I did not see him registered as a county lobbyist for this project. Maybe the name is different even though he used it about 10 times in his email??

PICTORIAL: The Historic Hampton House Reopens Restored, Over 1,000 Attend...except Keon Hardemon the City of Miami Commissioner.

Malcolm X takes a photo of Muhammad Ali at the Hampton House in 1964. You can't get to Douglas Hanks article without signing in to the Herald. But there is a back door, through the Historical Photos. He does a very good job on reporting the history of the Hampton House. I get the newspaper but I can't even sign in. They keep asking for my email and then don't allow it, even though they SEND me a digital Herald everyday to that same email.

Enid Pinkey Lead the Charge, Working on The Hampton House Project for 15 years. Enid was also the president of Dade Heritage Trust and on the Board of the Virginia Key Trust.
Frequent visitors to the Hampton House were Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, Althea Gibson, Roy Campanella, Ray Charles, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Lena Horne, Milton Berle, Sam Cook, Berry Gordy, Frank Sinatra, Flip Wilson, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Nat King Cole, Nina Simone, LaVern Baker, and many others.
It was the place where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. first said his “I have a Dream Speech” before saying it in Washington, D. C. It was where Mohamed Ali had his victory party February 25, 1964, when he beat Sonny Liston. It was where Malcolm x proselytized Cassius Clay to the Islam Faith.
County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson Speaks to the Crowd.
Retired Principal Maud Neubold, Member of Virginia Key Trust.
Raquel Regalado, School Board Member and Candidate for Miami Dade County Mayor.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez (In step with Rubio on water) and County Clerk Harvey Ruvin
Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia

Chairman emeritus of Miami's Waterfront Advisory Board

I ran into John's son yesterday and it brought back memories of lovable John Brennan. What a great man he was. Everyone respected him. He died in 2004. I was at his memorial service and so was most of Coconut Grove.


Note the signature on the letter...

 (I previously reported on this subject on March 26th)

While we can differ in our opinion of whether the term limits imposed on the Mayor and Council are good policy and in the best interest of the City, the decision whether to support or oppose a proposed amendment to the Homestead Charter must be based upon a mature knowledge and understanding of the truth . It is important to know how the Charter has been crafted by the people resulting in the first elected official being faced with the prospect of leaving office due to term limits.

Almost immediately after my election to Council in 2001, Mayor Warren appointed me to chair the Charter Review Committee. Two of the most significant items recommended by the committee and approved by Council to go before the voters as Charter amendments were the issues of term limits and the designation of Council seats based upon residential area rather than the at large "horse race" system of election then in place. These and many other items were placed on the ballot only after months of deliberation by the committee, followed by preliminary approval by Council for the charter amendments to be publicly presented through numerous presentations throughout the city. Only then were the amendments approved by the vote of Council, including that of Councilwoman Waldman, to go before the voters for approval in 2002. The people of this community turned out in large numbers and by wide margins, approved all of the initiatives submitted to them for consideration.

The difficulty in crafting any Charter amendment is that adjustment for one issue usually creates another or requires a compensating amendment elsewhere so that conflict, uncertainty or ambiguity does not exist in the Charter. This was most evident in crafting the residential area system of election as it related to term limits and the phasing in of residential seat designations. The system of seat election placed on the ballot by Council and approved by the voters initially provided for four residential seats; Keys Gate, the Villages, Southwest and Northwest and two at large seats commencing with the election of 2003. At that time, Mr. Sincore and I both resided in the Northwest area and Sincore was given the designation of the "at large" seat holder with the expectation that the phasing out of that seat in 2007 to provide for a residential seat for the Waterstone area would not impact him due to his expected retirement from public office after service of more than 30 years. Mr. Porter, who at that time had served on Council since 1995, lived in the Villages as did the newly elected Judy Waldman. Mr. Porter was designated as the holder of the Villages seat and the seat then held by Ms. Waldman was designated as the second at large position. In order to delay any potential conflict between Porter and Waldman, the phasing out of that at large designation to provide for a seat for the Oasis area was delayed until 2011. Further, to provide for the then existing method of electing four Council seats and the Mayor every two years, the initial Waterstone seat in 2007 and later, the Waldman at large seat in 2009, were expressly limited to a two year term for that particular election cycle.

This transitional limitation was instituted in 2002 upon approval of Council with overwhelming confirmation by the voters. Contrary to the protests of Ms. Waldman, nothing was suspiciously or secretly done to create the term limit issue now facing her. She in fact seconded the motion and voted to place the 2002 Charter amendments on the ballot. She was free to run for the Villages seat in 2011 and was successful in that effort. At no time was she faced with the prospect of not having a Council seat to pursue, contrary to the situation faced by Ms. Bell in 2007. Under the system then in place which provided for two and four year terms, the two year term won by Ms. Waldman in 2009 when she also happened to be awarded the title of Vice Mayor has no bearing on the term limit issue at hand. That is to say, holding the title of Vice Mayor has no current relation to calculation of term limits. Unfortunately, the Charter petition now being circulated falsely creates the perception that those who held the title of Vice Mayor should not be penalized with the imposition of term limits.

The adoption of four year terms for all Council members in 2008, during the Bell reign is the event creating the term limit issue exclusive to Judy Waldman. Interestingly, the minutes of the Council meeting of July 21, 2008 reflect that Ms. Waldman voted to place the four year term issue on the ballot without questioning the effect such would have on her calculation of future years allowed in office. Clearly, under the standards adopted in 2002, the Waldman term limit clock did not start to run until 2005 which means she would have been eligible to serve until 2017. As all Council terms are now for four year increments, her prospective election in 2015 would violate the term limits overwhelmingly adopted by the people.

Presumably, Ms. Waldman could have done the simple math on her fingers and determined as long ago as 2008 that her time in office subject to term limits in addition to the four years served before imposition of term limits, might be cut short. To my knowledge, despite her being a member of a reliable voting block majority since 2009, there has been no effort on her part to ask Council to place a true housekeeping item on the ballot for a one- time remedy that would not be to the benefit or detriment of any other present or future Council member and would not impact other Charter provisions.

The petition drive now underway seeks to gather enough signatures to require our Council to hold an expensive special election to adopt a Charter amendment represented as a housekeeping item, "to equalize all council members" but which will immediately allow Ms. Waldman to seek another four years in office. This will occur without public input, Council consideration or consideration being given to other Charter provisions being impacted. Contrary to the assertion of this group funded not by grass roots individuals but by entities tied to individuals who have typically gotten the much better end of the deal when doing business with Council, the proposal is not a house-keeping item nor does it address so-called inequalities about the amount of time permitted to be served. In reality, if adopted, the proposal would create inequality in that those who are fortunate enough to win the title of Vice Mayor would not have that two year period included in time served to be counted against term limits. This is an entirely new concept and would result in circumvention of term limits by only a select few Council members. This is not the result intended by the voters and I view the Petition drive as misleading and an attempt to misinform the voters and corrupt our local system of governance and election.

I urge all residents not only to reject any solicitation to sign the petition but also to contact the Mayor and all members of Council to let them know in no uncertain terms that you expect them to fight against this false and misleading effort.
Steve Losner
(Steve Losner was an elected official at the time of the charter changeover. He also served as the Chair of the charter review committee.)

Giving to finance the petition drive  in Homestead (besides -- Pinky Munz and Wayne Rosen -- some are subcontractors of Lennar): 

2015   M2       02/18/2015     5,000.00 REDLAND COMPANY                48 N.E. 15TH STREET                      HOMESTEAD, FL 33030                      CONSTRUCTION         CHE                       
2015   M2       02/24/2015    10,000.00 LAND BARON II LLC              29462 SW 167TH AVE                       HOMESTEAD, FL 33030                      REAL ESTATE          CHE                       
2015   M2       02/24/2015    10,000.00 KEYS GATE III LAND TRUST       888 KINGMAN ROAD                         HOMESTEAD, FL 33035                      REAL ESTATE          CHE                       
2015   M3       03/04/2015     3,500.00 CORWIL ARCHITECTS, INC.        4210 LAGUNA STREET                       CORAL GABLES, FL 33146                   ARCHITECTURE FIRM    CHE                       
2015   M3       03/04/2015     5,000.00 J & M UNDERGROUND ENGINEERING  PO BOX 163109                            MIAMI, FL 33116                          ENGINEERING FIRM     CHE                       
2015   M3       03/06/2015     2,000.00 PEREZ EDGARDO                  4300 N OCEAN BLVD APT 3G                 FT LAUDERALE, FL 33308                   ARCHITECT            CHE                       
2015   M3       03/11/2015     1,000.00 ALGERS FARMS, INC              950 NW 8TH ST                            HOMESTEAD, FL 33030                      AGRICULTURE          CHE                       
2015   M3       03/13/2015       500.00 BECKER & POLIAKOFF, P.A.       ONE EAST BROWARD BLVD. SUITE 1800        FT. LAUDERDALE, FL 33301                 LAW FIRM             CHE                       


Anonymous said...

Shame on Waldman and Wayne Rosen (who really has no shame to begin with) but is funding this nonsense, which is enough for me to say NO. I've lived down here long enough to remember the charter changes and agree with Losner's letter to the editor. Do not sign the petition! If enough signatures do come about, VOTE NO!

Anonymous said...

You have to ask, why do the donors owe her or what has she promised them? I hear there are many "ideas" in the pipeline that may not be so good for residents.
A week ago in the same newspaper, when the story first broke she stated loudly and clearly that she intended to run again but also admitted she was term limited with out this charter amendment taking place. So, is she going to run for mayor or is she that arrogant that she will go file her paperwork to run for a seat and force a lawsuit to have her taken off of the ballot? Yes, she doesn't get the full benefit of 12 consecutive years under term limits but isn't enough enough ? She has been in office for 14 years. If the amendment somehow passes, she will have served for 18 years if re elected. No public official is indispensable or irreplaceable. Thank you for your service, Judy but please put aside your self serving interest so that others may serve in an elected capacity. Leave office gracefully.

Anonymous said...

There is no shame for Waldman. She was for term limits and then those term limits affected her. Naturally when your ego is bigger than your brain your ego wins and thus what follows are petitions and made up "housekeeping" charter amendments. She is clearly calling all in all the markers ever made to stay relevant.
It is time for Wayne Rosen to be scrutinized for his role in Miami Dade political circles.

Anonymous said...

Shame on Mayor Peggy Bell who should be telling her campaign manager to back off suing Mayor MacDougal. It looks bad for the city. It is obvious that Jose Luis Castillo runs the city not the so-called elected officials who he obviously put in place to do his bidding and stand aside mute while he sues to intimidate anyone who stands in his way. .

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting that Jose Luis Castillo is suing Edward MacDougall, who did not support Peggy Bell and her opponent Art Nanni. This is fairly transparent. Call it either being vindictive or a bad winner, either way it is clear that Jose Luis Castillo would not be suing town residents without the approval of Peggy Bell. It is not lost on any of us that both MacDougall and Nanni are critics of the Old Cutler project.

Mayor Bell should have to answer why she does not show some leadership by directing her campaign manager to stop the lawsuits.

Mayor Bell is acting too much like her namesake former Commissioner Bell.

Anonymous said...

Judy Thank You and don't worry Homestead can survive without you on the Dias.
Bon Voyage, Hasta Luego, Good Bye, Arrivaderchi!

Anonymous said...

As to the letter to Hitler - fascinating!

As to Peggy Bell, it's not like this blog readers weren't warned about her and her campaign manager. I think it's shameful that MacDougal couldn't run for Mayor due to the shenanigans of the current "Bell" crew. Peggy Bell, stop this nonsense. You can and do have the power to pull the plug.

Geniusofdespair said...

Ghandi wrote to Hitler twice, the second letter was not so cordial.

Anonymous said...

Homestead is the model for dysfunction. Who thought Steve Losner would ever make sense.

Anonymous said...

Peggy Bell seemed so nice. Who could have imagined the mean-spirited vindictive politics that lurked within her heart.

Anonymous said...

Genius, New York has a law that does not allow a lobbyist to be political consultant and vice-versa. Wouldn't it be great if our County Commission did the same?

Commissioner Cava, how about sponsoring an ordinance to stop this practice? New York did it, why not Miami?

Anonymous said...

The Homestead Petition was designed to take advantage of the low info voter. While potentially illegal this misleading attempt is the work of miscreants associated with Waldman.
She actually told the newsleader she had no involvement. That's almost funny until we were shown who the donors are. All beneficiaries of the Waldman influence. You always have to look two or three degrees of separation from the actual intent of the effort. They are smart but not that smart as the truth is now known.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Hitler, did you see the community newspaper article where Cutler Bay councilman Ernie Sochin is pictured in a Nazi hat? I'd love to hear his explanation as to why he thinks this is funny.

Anonymous said...

The most surprising deal in HUDstead is that the News Leader actually printed the former Councilman's letter. This rag for years kept all things critical of government and council under their hats for fear of retaliation. The new editor is unlike former shill Mike Dill who resigned in 2014, the new editor does not use "compassionate discretion" which are Judy Waldman's words to describe Mike Dill's censoring of those critical articles and opinions. Don't believe me? Here is a link to the statement.

Rumor is the publisher and editor have already been threatened. Just another day in Homestead with the thin skinned who can't take the heat.

Anonymous said...

It is no secret that you have to go through Jose Luis Castillo if you want something done in Cutler Bay. He owns 4 votes which include Mayor Peggy Bell, Vice Mayor Sochin and Commissioners Mixon and Loyzelle. Jose Luis Castillo is close to owning Palmetto Bay have put Vice Mayor DuBois and Commissioner Cunningham into power.

They are all puppets who bow to Jose Luis Castillo's developer clients.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above, you're absolutely correct regarding Jose Luis Castillo working hard to own Palmetto Bay, it appears that way doesn't it? I wouldn't go so far to claim he owns the votes of Mayor Peggy Bell or Commissioner Karyn Cunningham yet. We will see how that turns out. I seriously doubt Mayor Peggy Bell instructed Castillo to sue MacDougall or Nanni. However, it does appear Castillo is behaving very much like Palmetto Bay Vice Mayor DuBois, DuBois is currently suing a number of residents he is suppose to represent over frivolous claims.
It's pitiful the well intended incorporation of Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay resulted in residents participating in negative behavior turning neighbor against neighbor.

Anonymous said...

We will not hear from the Waldman supporters because they do not care what we little people say or think. With the money the two main benefactors can throw at this like its a waitress tip at Capri, all they need to do to get this passed can be found in the absentee ballot count from SW Homestead. If only 2800 vote in a regular election, 1400 won't show up for a summer time special election and those who do will be for it, or at least will have been told to be for it. 300-400 absentees in favor of Judy will carry the day. Interesting that the demographic who will save the day for her will neither see her in the 'hood nor be able to point to one thing she has ever done for them.