JANUARY 8, 2013



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Last year, it was only after I and others had started writing and complaining about Scott Wessel owning a couple million in unpaid property taxes on Grove Key Marina/Scotty’s Landing that City Manager Johnny “The Doormat” martinez decided to void the RFP selection process for new management for these properties.

The truth of the matter is, that had everyone not made such a stink about this the odds are that the deal would have continued forward, even though the language in the RFP Request had been absolutely clear about anyone owning taxes being disqualified from the bidding process.

Here are the two paragraphs from Section K of the March 16, 2012 RFP Proposal:

In the months that have passed since that process was cancelled, a lot has happened, none of it necessarily reflecting well on the City.

Wessel and his attorney continued to deny that they owed taxes and filed a lawsuit to try and stop the County tax Collector from going after him in every way possible to get the money.

I produced a copy of a contract signed by Wessel revealing that he had agreed to pay property taxes at least on the portion of the property where Scotty’s Landing sits back in 1991.

The County tax Collector got aggravated with both Wessel and City Attorney Julie Bru both conceded that the taxes ought to be paid, but each denied any responsibility for that happening, so he filed his own 3rd party lawsuit for a judge to rule on this bullshit.

Even His Ignorance, the Mayor got into the act by sending Julie Bru a memo in October revealing that he had sent her a copy of the above Memo that I had published in September, that Bru  and her staff denied knowing anything about.


Just before Christmas, I received an email that contained a copy of the latest draft version of the new RFP that is supposed to be put out sometime soon.

This RFP is different than the previous proposal in that this time around the City has decided to make the winning bidder assume both a significant cost of the construction of a new parking garage AND be responsible for the design, leasing and management of the retail spaces that would be part of this parking garage.

In a way this makes sense since Art Noriega, the Executive Director of the Miami Parking Authority (MPA) has yet managed to actually have anyone move into any of the retail spaces at the baseball stadium, and worse, the MPS has gone for years without managing to get anyone to move into the retail spaces that are part of the MPA garage in Coconut Grove.

The parking garage also serves as a way for the City to lay off the supervision of the entire project from the Facilities Management Department, which has become a stepchild of sorts since the Mayor, City Manager Johnny “The Doormat” Martinez, Assistant City Manager Alice “Regaladoland” Bravo and Commissioner “Ethics” Sarnoff all seem to think that Henry Torre isn’t very bright and can’t be trusted because they believe that at least half of the employees in his department are my sources.

In any event. there are folks who were concerned after the first go around, and the way that the whole property tax thing blew up in everyone’s face that this time around the RFP would not include any language disqualifying any applicant who owed the City money.

I’m pleased to announce that that is not the case.  Here is the language from the Draft RFP:

A.Background Check/Disqualification

The City will perform, or cause to be performed, a complete background check and investigation (including credit reports) of the proposing entity, its principals and its management and development team, including all consultants and sub-consultants prior to the conclusion of the Administrative Review.  Proposers shall pay a background check fee in the amount of $5,000.00 to cover this cost.  Should any principals, consultants, sub-consultants or members of the management or development team (i) have initiated current litigation against the City; (ii) have current or previous uncured defaults, on city contracts, leases, licenses or other legal agreements with the City or (iii) if any of the foregoing have not prevailed in litigation with the City, the Proposer will be automatically disqualified from the RFP process. 

Similarly, if any Proposer, principal, management or development team member, through its use of City-owned property, owes any outstanding monies, causes or has caused any City-owned lands, or its improvements to incur environmental/contamination liabilities or any other obligations, the Proposer will be disqualified from further consideration.

Any Proposer, including its principals, management or development team members, consultants and sub-consultants which owe outstanding property taxes or assessments on city-owned property shall be required to pay these outstanding monies prior to submittal of the RFP response to the City or will be automatically disqualified. 

Of course, this is the Draft version, and anything can happen between now and the release of the final version, but for now it appears that the language remains disqualifying anyone owing the city money.

A far bigger problem is the rumors that I’m hearing that there are efforts underway to try and put together a select group of folks as a team to form a group that would be the favorites to win the RFP.

This is just another form of Crony Capitalism, and a long-time method of the way that the City - regardless of whose in power -  deals with giving away valuable city resources.

So, we’ll just have to keep an eagle eye on how this goes forward, because the first RFP demonstrated that you can’t trust these crooks in the City further than you can throw them.

It’s Miami, Bitches!