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STUPID IN MIAMI
WHEN THE ALIENS COME, TELL THEM SOME PEOPLE IN THIS BUILDING ARE REALLY STUPID, BUT TASTE GOOD
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How about those Marlins.  They might play like shit on the baseball field, but when it comes to screwing the taxpayers of Miami, they manage to do it without breaking a sweat.


When I first read about the way that they had snookered the  City of Miami over the expenses and taxes associated with the parking garages part of the new baseball stadium, I suspected that maybe they had hidden the clause in a paragraph deep in the contract.


Obviously, after getting the measure of ignorance of the folks representing the taxpayers, the Marlins figured, why bother.  


They put the clause right out in the open, where they obviously figured it wouldn’t be noticed by the morons.  In addition to being responsible for the taxes, take a look at all the other things that the City is responsible for in this deal, which weren’t spelled out in the Miami Herald story, including providing cleaning services.


To view a larger version, click on the document.

It was easy for the Mayor to be surprised and evade all responsibility for this debacle by claiming that he didn’t vote for the stadium last week - he’s also still surprised that his campaign finances aren’t in order - but what about the Chief Financial Officer, the City Manager and everyone else involved with the final decision.


Here are pages 60 - 69 of the February 13, 2009, Special Meeting of the Miami City Commission meeting dealing with the stadium and parking lot contracts.


I’ve highlighted several portions that I think are key to understanding who was probably the most responsible for allowing the parking lot tax issue sailing over everyone’s head.


To view a PDF of the minutes of the whole meeting, including pages 60-69, click on the pages below.

It’s always easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, and in this case the minutes of the City Commission meeting provide plenty of ammunition to question the competency of former Chief Financial Officer Larry Spring, former City Manager Pete Hernandez and the nameless assistant City Attorneys who had a hand in vetting these contracts.


Clearly Larry Spring bears a great deal of the responsibility, given his prominence in being the “explainer” of the fine points of the contract.


Commissioner Sarnoff also bears some responsibility because he was doing his usual, ‘I’m the smartest Commissioner up here, so I get to ask all the questions.”


It’s very clear from the first portion that I highlighted in RED that Sarnoff had read the clause, and yet although most of the other cost items were mentioned in one way or another no one asked what should have been - again, we’re Monday morning quarterbacking here - the most obvious question, “What about this tax thing here?”


Of course, Pete Hernandez is gone, Larry Spring is gone, along with a $125,734.56 Golden Parachute that City Attorney Julie Bru says is to difficult to claw back, and I’ve been told that the Assistant City Attorney who was probably responsible for vetting the contracts is gone too.


And so what the city is left with is that everybody responsible has left the building with pensions and parachutes, and His Ignorance is once again stunned by something disastrous happening to the city on his watch.


The members of the Miami-Dade County Commission meanwhile, are sizing up the situation and how best to screw the city in ways to wondrous to describe, as the inducement to let them off the hook on this fuckup.


It’s Miami, Bitches!

NOVEMBER 28, 2011

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