SEPTEMBER 10, 2012



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It was only 3 weeks ago that I filed an ethics complaint against Commissioners Sarnoff and Suarez for having 2 Miami Police Sgt-At-Arms, using city SUV’s, drive them to a private “luncheon among friends,” at the Versailles restaurant on Primary Election Day.

The luncheon included Sarnoff and Suarez’s campaign manager, Steve Marin, another lobbyist named Richard Perez, and local tax-credit developer Mathew Greer, who was the subject of one of the stories that I wrote last year that I’m particularly proud of.

Sarnoff more than any other Commissioner has abused the use of a City vehicle and a Sgt-At-Arms driver since he became a Commissioner in 2007. 

For years he had a Sgt-At-Arms driver pick him up at his house - on his calendar it was described as “The Office,” when he was using the 2nd house on his property as an illegal site for his law firm - and driven the 10 or so blocks to and from City Hall, and to various and sundry events, like some petty Satrap, even though he, along with all the other Commissioners gets a $9600 a year car allowance.

Sarnoff, also came into office intent on using his office to get the City to fund projects that benefited his personal property values, including the Traffic Circle, that was built virtually outside his front door - that both the City and County stated did not need to be built - and the Dog Park across the street, where last year the City spent over $200,000 to redesign the park to Sarnoff’s specifications.

In addition, Sarnoff has been an unprincipled sleaze and hypocrite  promoting various back-room deals that has resulted in the City Commission giving away valuable property and cutting corners for the small clique of developers who treat the City and its resources as a private trough to feed from at will.

Last month, Sarnoff came under attack from some of the folks who live in the South Grove portion of his District over claims of increased crime in their area.

Sarnoff has now come forward with his solution to this problem, which is for these Grove homeowners and others in his District upset about a crime problem to donate money to buy equipment for the police.

Imagine that!  Folks who already pay among the highest property taxes in the City are now being asked to write checks to buy the equipment that their tax dollars should already be being used to buy this stuff.

The cost of the items that Sarnoff wants the people in his District to pony up the money for totals $21,000.

Instead of asking taxpayers to pay double for these items because of the misuse and outright thievery of taxpayers money that I report on almost weekly that could be used to buy these items, here are some alternative ways that I suggest that Commissioner Pointy Nose go about coming up with this money.

  1. 1. Get his pal Scott Wessel - who just happens to have Steve Marin as his lobbyist - pay the $2.9 million in outstanding property taxes he’s refused to pay for 17 years on the city owned Grove Key Marina property, along with the $333.492.00 in fuel profits that he also owes the City.

  1. 2. Quit using a Sgt-At-Arms and City SUV.  Tell the City Manager to sell the SUV, and transfer the Sgt-At-Arms back to the Police Department which needs almost 100 officers to bring the force back to where it needs to be.

  1. 3. Get his pal Jorge Perez to buy the items as a way to reimburse the City for a portion of the market value of  the strip of  NE 28th Street that the City gave him in one of those patented screw the taxpayer deals in July for his latest condo project.

  1. 4.Get his pal Tibor Hollo to pony up the money as a a little payback for the sweetheart deal that Sarnoff arranged for the City’s buying 1814 Brickell Avenue for a park that it appears no one goes to.

  1. 5. Tell the Chief of Police to quit allowing his on-duty officers to provide off-duty security for businesses in the downtown business area.  This is a clear-cut abuse of the resources of a police force that is undermanned, and underfunded. This use of on-duty police creates two problems, first it undermines overall policing because the cops are parked in front of these buildings, and secondly, it deprives police of off-duty jobs, which are a much needed source of revenue for some officers who have taken real financial hits as a result of the previous budget cuts.

The one thing Sarnoff SHOULD NOT DO, is put the burden of buying  equipment for the Police Department on the backs of over burdened taxpayers in Coconut Grove because he and the other 5 Dwarfs on the City Commission are too cowardly to make the kinds of decisions needed to right the City’s persistent budget deficit.

The notion that the best way to solve a persistent budget deficit is to encourage the more affluent parts of the City to start funding the purchase of items normally paid for out of General Revenue Funds, is but a first step towards dividing the City in ways that would create a perception that services, such as police protection, would be predicated on who puts up the most money, and not on who needs the protection most.

But then, Sarnoff has always operated as a divider, and not a uniter.

Here is the email that Commissioner Pointy Nose sent out last week.

It’s Miami, Bitches!