MARCH 29, 2012


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This story is the result of an eagle-eyed Crespogram reader who has an appreciation for nice cars.

Last week I got the following email:

    “I was in Coral Gables the other day and saw this big

    beautiful Rolls Royce.  I got closer to appreciate it, and

    what kind of surprise do I get, it has a Miami Parking

    Authority - City Wide Permit.  I said, what?!  When I

    read you blog a couple months ago, it said that only

    40 some had been issued.  This is number 254.  See

    attached photos.”

Sure enough, as you can see in the photo below and above, it really is a nice Rolls Royce, and yes, it does have a Miami Parking Authority decal, and it does say “CITY-WIDE-COUNSELS.”

The problem is that it isn’t an official City-Wide decal, and the actual decal expired on December 31, 2011.

It appears that the owner of the car which incidentally has a Diplomatic license tag for the Hondorian Counsel - License 00A - printed out the CITY - WIDE COUNSEL - on a strip of paper and stuck it on the decal.

Of course, given the lousey gas milage that Rolls Royce’s get, you got to sympathise with the owner for trying to cut corners whereever possible.

So this was pretty much going to be my story on this decal.  Nothing earth shaking, just an example of some rich person screwing the pooch.

But I did want to find out who owned the car because I figured that they earned a mention in the story.

So I wrote Art Noriega, the Executive Director of the Miami Parking Authority for the name of the person who purchased the decal.

         March 27, 2012

        Dear Mr. Noriega,

        This is a public records request for the identify and

        information on who purchased Parking Decal 254.

        Given your computerized record keeping, this should

        require, oh, I guess 3 minutes.

        Please email me the response.

        Thank you,

        al crespo

A couple hours later, Noriega responded:

        On 3/27/12 2:47 PM, Arthur Noriega wrote:

        Al, we don't have a decal with that number nor do we

        have a corresponding zone that matches that number.

        Do you have any additional information?

I responded:

        Sorry...it expired in January.  The number on the decal

        is 0254, and it was a monthly permit.

Noriega followed up:

        Where was it for? On-street or in a parking lot?

To ease his concerns that I was looking for this information to embarrass him and/or the parking Authority, the following morning I wrote him:

        Just for the record, this issue has nothing adverse to

        do with your agency.



At this point, given that in his first response he had been able to determine in almost no time that there was no decal numbered 254 on record for the 2012, he should have been able to email me back the identity of the person who purchased the decal for 2011 in minutes.

But that didn’t happen.  I waited all day, and never received a response.

So, I sent Noriega another email:

        Jeez Art,

        I give you a head's up that my request isn't an attack

        on you or your agency, and instead of just giving me

        the information on who brought the decal, and be

        entertained when i write my story, you decide to stiff me.

        what have you done? recognized the name of the person

        who brought the decal and reached out to them to give

        them a warning?

        if you don't give me the name tomorrow, i will stick you

        in the story, and and i'll call you a fucking weasel again.

        al crespo

It’s been 48 hours since I asked Art Noriega to provide me the identidy of the person who purchased the decal in question.  His action in informing me that no one had purchased the number 254 decal in 2012 established the acceptable time line for him to comply with my request.

The fact that he hasn’t, and that the car in question is a new Rolls Royce with a diplomatic tag does not exempt him from providing that information.

Last week, Noriega was telling the poor people around the stadium that they were the ones that had to make the sacrifice for the betterment of the baseball fans.

This week, he’s obviously providing cover for some rich person who thinks it’s okay to make their own City-Wide Parking decal.

You gotta love Noriega, he makes no bones about who’s side he’s on.  If you’re rich and connected, he’ll cover your ass.  If you’re poor and unconnected, he’ll try to fuck you over in a heart beat.

It’s Miami, Bitches!