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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

AUGUST 25, 2012

LEAVING THE SHIP

Mirtha Dziedzic, the City’s former Budget Director who became the City’s Treasurer in 2011, along Barbara Gray Chief Accountant of Payroll, resigned on Thursday, and Albert Sosa, the Director of the City’s Capitol Improvement’s Department resigned on Friday, one step ahead of the CATEGORY 10 HURRICANE rapidly heading for Miami City Hall.


Dziedzic is supposedly going to work for the City of Hollywood, and chose an opportune moment to leave the City of Miami.  There is no news on why Gray or Albert Sosa left, although I offer some speculation on his departure below.


Also rumored to be on the list to resign, is Stephen Petty, the City’s Director of Finance and Janice Larned, Assistant City Manager & Chief Financial Officer, who was on her way out the door on Thursday before she was talked into staying.  Speculation is that contrary the claim in the Miami Herald on Friday that she had been talked out of resigning, she will probably make her resignation final this coming week.


Sources indicate that Petty will go, or be forced out, as result of the discovery that his financial projections used to develop this year’s budget are now in serious question, and Larned, who showed up last week in jeans, a tee shirt, and with boxes to pack up her stuff, has come to realize that continuing to work for the City of Miami could be a career crippling move, as the evidence continues to build that the City’s finances are in a complete shambles, and the morons around Regalado are incapable of balancing a checkbook.


All of this is the result of the blow rendered by Judge Amy Cynamon’s injunction against the City going forward with a 3rd annual declaration of Fiscal Urgency without it being approved by the members of the Miami City Commission.


The City was caught completely flat footed, and the unions, realizing that they are now within distance of using this court decision as a way to overturn the previous 2 declarations of Fiscal Urgency, dug in their heels and are refusing to negotiate further until after the 3rd District Court of Appeals issues a ruling, expected on September 12th.


Last week’s negotiations with the City’s fire union ended badly when Robert Suarez informed the City that his union would be joining the FOP’s lawsuit with the City that resulted in the temporary injunction. 


The 5 Dwarfs on the City Commission, currently chaired by Francis Suarez, refused as of Friday afternoon to call for an emergency meeting to consider voting for the Fiscal Urgency measure, even though Commissioner Willie Gort sent out the following memo to his fellow Commissioners on Thursday afternoon.

Only Gort, long been considered as little more than Regalado’s water boy on the Commission, seems willing to meet.


It appears that a majority of the Commission, all of whom have their own grievances against Regalado and his high handed treatment of the them since he’s been Mayor, are more than happy to see the chickens come home to roost by stepping back and allowing Regalado to suffer the consequences of what happens if the Court upholds the Temporary Injunction and makes it permanent.


On Friday, efforts by Gort and the Mayor failed to convince the other Commissioners to agree to an Emergency City Commission meeting to consider voting for the Fiscal Urgency measure.


Regalado’s simplistic mantra of no new taxes and his refusal to go along with an increase in the millage are seen as nothing more than an effort to bolster his reelection campaign strategy by being able to claim that he reduced taxes during his term. This has become a major road block towards dealing with the persistent financial imbalance that the City continues to face.


As an example of the fantasy land that Regalado continues to live in, here is a copy of a letter he sent out to the residents of the city a little over a month ago touting his claims of lowering the millage, AND claiming that the city was on track to have a surplus for the second year in a row.

What has made the whole process even more complicated is the meltdown occurring within the administration, with almost daily battles between City Manager Johnny “The Doormat” Martinez and Acting Assistant City Manager/Deputy Police Chief Luis Cabrera, with Assistant City Manager Alice “In Regaladoland” Bravo occasionally playing referee and other times trying to figure out how to further her own agenda while these two fued over nonsense.


None of these three individuals comes close to having the educational and professional skills required to competently perform the jobs they have, and with Cabrera’s mental instability, which some now claim is a bi-polar disorder, and his explosive, profanity laden fits, its a wonder that Martinez continues to show up for work at all.


It’s expected that Martinez will probably not last as City Manager until the end of the year because the stresses of the job have led to medical problems - some say serious - that can not be dealt with in the atmosphere of frustration and occasionally near insanity that Cabrera has created within the City Manager’s office.


Sources state that almost every day Cabrera either challenges Martinez over some issue, or comes up with harebrained ideas of how to “save” the City, which only result in long drawn out arguments, as it long ago became apparent that Cabrera isn’t smart enough to manage a Lemonade Stand.


Rumor has it that on Friday, Cabrera in an effort to get out from under, went to the Mayor and asked to be reassigned to the Police Department.


My sources in the Police Department do not believe that Chief Manny Orosa has the strength of character necessary to tell the Mayor that that can’t happen. Cabrera’s return would roil the department at a time when they have so many other problems to deal with - starting with the 10.7% increase in crime that can’t be addressed without a lot more time, effort and money than placing a dozen rookie cops on the streets after they graduate from the Academy.


So, while the possibility of Cabrera’s transfer from the City Manager’s Office might relieve the stress on the 10th Floor of the MRC, it will just mean that morale the Police Department will become more of a problem if Cabrera is allowed to return, and overall, there really is no strategy to solving this mess that doesn’t have enormous repercussions for the Mayor, the Commissioners, or the citizens of Miami.


The Mayor has only one concern, as evidenced by his July letter posted above, and that is to be able to claim that he reduced taxes every year during his first term. That’s the sum total of his reelection strategy, and he’s all too happy to try and force the City Commission into being the bad guys as a way to blame whatever happens on them.


Unfortunately, the one thing you can never expect to hear from Tomas Regalado is his asking the question: “What is the best thing that I can do for the City of Miami?”


A majority of the City Commission would love nothing better than to embarrass the Mayor as a way to derail his efforts to get reelected, because each of them for their own reasons believe that he has become a real problem and embarrassment for the City.


They too will put political concerns - including what some believe is Francis Suarez’s consideration to running for Mayor next year - ahead of what is best for the city as a whole and conflate what think might be best for the City with their own political agendas.


The City Manager, Johnny “The Doormat” Martinez, is so far out of his league, that I actually feel some sympathy for him. The verbal abuse that he has put up with from Luis Cabrera over the last year should qualify him for Post Combat Stress benefits.


Having said that, he’s not up to the task when it comes to trying to “manage” the City out of this crisis.


So how this will all turn out, nobody knows.


The odds are that the only sure thing is that the 2 groups in line to get a screwing no matter what happens are the AFSME union members and the taxpayers of the City. 


The AFSME members have always been treated as the stepchildren when it came to labor negotiations, and if there are any deals left to make between the City and the unions, you can bet that the Police and Firefighters will get the best of whatever deal is available, and the AFSME folks will end up under the bus.


As for the taxpayers of Miami, they’ve always been gullible and easily manipulated, and this time will be no different.


And as a closing thought, you should know that Tomas Regalado has been meeting quietly with Steve Kneapler at Monty’s almost every morning around 10 AM for most of the last week, for a quiet little conversations.


Perhaps the conversations had something to do with this mess, or perhaps they had something to do with Grove Key Marina, or another mess yet to surface. 


No matter what though, even when the City is on the verge of financial collapse you can depend on Regalado to be working on the next scheme to screw the taxpayers, and looking for capable advisors to guide him along the Yellow Brick Road.


It’s what he does best.


It’s Miami, Bitches!

City Manager

Johnny “The Doormat”

Martinez

Assistant City Manager

Alice “In Regaladoland”

Bravo

Acting Assistant City Manager/Deputy Police Chief

Luis Cabrera

RESIGNATIONS ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY UNDERSCORE PRECARIOUS POSITION OF CITY IN CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS

PAGE LINK - COPY AND PASTE

Copy the link below, and it will be a permanent link to this page that you can post on Facebook, or anywhere else.

The claims of a surplus are a figment of Regalado’s fevered imagination  because the city is awash in so much red ink that Regalado’s nickname should be, Tommy The Commie.


Although the City’s finances were in trouble before he was elected, they became a complete disaster after Regalado became Mayor, in large part because of his refusal to fire former Chief Financial Officer Larry Spring and Finance Director Diana Gomez as his first order of business over their involvement in the illegal transfer of funds that led to the SEC investigation, and bringing in competent financial people to handle the City’s finances.


The sins of the Manny Diaz administration - as these kinds of sins often do - only became apparent when the next Mayor took over, and Regalado, a City Commissioner best known for saying “No,” was ill-equipped from the beginning to be a Big-City Mayor, especially on the financial side of things, as evidenced by the incompetence exhibited with his own campaign finances.


The City’s financial books have been questionable for years, and the revelation of the illegal transfer of money in an attempt to balance the books in 2009, resulting in the probe by the SEC, which has cost the city over $4.5 million in legal fees so far, along with the long, and expensive laundry list of other financial mistakes and mismanagement undertaken by both Diaz in his last years and Regalado in his first 2 years, compounded by the continual hiring of cronies and family friends - often at astronomical salaries - coupled with the impact of the current economic problems all contributed to the perfect storm that now threatens to push the City either into bankruptcy, or into the hands of receivership.


WHAT’S ALBERT SOSA GOT

WHAT’S ALBERT SOSA GOT TO DO WITH THIS MESS?


As the Director of Capitol Improvements, Albert Sosa’s resignation doesn’t appear to be directly related to the City’s financial meltdown, and while he could have just woken up on Friday morning and decided that resigning his job was he best thing he could do that day, there is every reason to believe that his departure was not a hastily made decision, and that perhaps - and I say perhaps - the reason for his leaving are that the bad old days of Capitol Improvement money not being spent on projects that they were supposed to be spent on has been continuing, and that Sosa decided that he didn’t want to be a party to this, and figured that this might be the best time to quietly slip away.


Miami is one of the few City’s whose corruption and gross mismanagement are so great that it could be the source of more than one financial calamity at a time.


Whatever reason Sosa resigned, we’ll get to the bottom of it PDQ.


WOULD YOU TRUST ANY OF THESE PEOPLE

TO RUN YOUR CITY?