FEBRUARY 6, 2012


On Sunday morning, the Miami Herald published a story detailing a proposal by Miami City Commissioner Francis Suarez to do away with the position of Miami City Manager and transfer those responsibilities to the Mayor, thereby creating a strong Mayor form of government.

For many who have watched current City Manager Johnny Martinez flounder time after time at Commission meetings displaying an inability to respond to detailed questions put to him, the notion that doing away with the position of City Manager is a way to solve the obvious problem that Martinez has come to represent understandably has appeal.

But the notion that things would be better with a strong Mayor form of government in Miami - given the history of Miami’s Mayors, and their antics - is almost an insane proposal.

The real problem for Commissioner Suarez is the fact that he and the other members of the current City Commission have never experienced what it means to work with an intelligent Mayor, or a competent City Manager.  His vision of the world is limited to what he sees in front of him, and not what occurs in cities where intelligence and competence are both valued and supported. 

While the Commissioners cannot be responsible for His Ignorance, Tomas Regalado being elected Mayor, they are completely responsibility for the 3 City Managers that they voted to approve under the guidance of His Ignorance.

If Commissioner Suarez is unhappy with the job performance of Johnny Martinez, he has no one to blame but himself.   He, and the other 3 Commissioners - Commissioner Carollo to his credit was the only one who refused to go along with Martinez’s appointment - are the ones who mouthed all those stupid justifications above of why Martinez was such a good choice.

Look and LISTEN to the video above that featured the 4 City Commissioners who voted to hire Johnny Martinez last July.  LISTEN to the justifications and mealy mouthed compliments that each of these Commissioners paid to Martinez, and then contrast that, especially Suarez’s comments - “I find him to be someone who is resourceful, capable, and someone who get’s the job done” -  with his claim today that the job of City Manager needs to be abolished. 

In all honesty, how can Commissioner Suarez square his comments 7 /12 months ago, with his comments now that he’s frustrated with how the city is being run.  He voted to give martinez the job.

Where has Commissioner Suarez been for the last 2 years?  The city has been in a spiraling downward spin since the day Tomas Regalado was sworn in as Mayor. The notion that Johnny Martinez went from being a rocket scientist to a moron and a doormat in the last 7 months is laughable.  He was a moron and a doormat from the moment he walked through the door to become an Assistant City Manager.

Martinez’s incompetence as Miami City Manager is a classic example of The Peter Principle, which is best described as a principle where in every hierarchy every employee tends to rise to the level of his incompetency.

I do not know just how competent Martinez might have been when he worked for Miami-Dade County, but it is evident that when he showed up at the MRC building he wasn’t up to the task of being an Assistant City Manager, much less the City Manager, and his willingness to  fall in with Luis Cabrera, Angel Zayon and Placido Diaz, then scheming to overthrow Tony Crapp Jr. - who even now makes Martinez look like Einstein - saddled him with an additional problem of now being bullied and treated like a doormat by these thugs.

What disturbs me most about Commissioner Suarez’s proposal is that in claiming that the solution to the current problem is to do away with the position of City Manager, he attempts to ignore and walk away from his own complicity and involvement in what goes on in the City of Miami daily under the corrupt administration of Tomas Regalado.

Martinez since he’s been City Manager has essentially been a puppet manipulated by Regalado and Luis Cabrera, with an occasional whining appearance by Zayon.  Much of what Martinez is forced to support and approve is what Luis Cabrera tells him to do, and when he attempts to fight back, Cabrera goes running to Regalado and manages to get Regalado to side with him at least 90% of the time.

This is an inside City Hall story that everyone is aware of, and that continues to cause problems because, while Martinez wants Cabrera out of his hair and back at the police department, Cabrera refuses to go because, as he’s told numerous people, at the police department he’d only have one department to “manage,” while as Assistant City Manager he not only has seven departments to “manage,” but he also pretty much gets to stick his nose where ever he wants because there’s no one with the courage to tell him to butt out.

If there is a real problem that Commissioner Suarez could deal with immediately that might bring some modicum of stability to the operation of the city, that problem is Luis Cabrera.

Deal with Cabrera, and 50% if not more of the administrative problems in the city would be solved.

Then the next step would be to put the Manager on notice that his days are numbered and get his fellow Commissioners to support a REAL national search for qualified candidates for City Manager, making sure that the selection committee is not rigged to continues choosing incompetents who are pliable and subject to being under the influence of Regalado.

It’ll be harder to do this, but the notion that Commissioner Suarez proposes that by doing away with the City Manager, a strong Mayor would solve the problems and be accountable is nonsense. 

Tomas Regalado by default is already a strong Mayor, and no one is holding him responsible for any of the myriad of stupid or corrupt things that he’s done or supported since he’s been Mayor.

Of course, this is Miami, Bitches!, and none of this insures that the right outcome will prevail, because we saw what happened a couple months ago with the charade to select a new Police Chief, but at least the Commissioners could claim that they tried to do the right thing without throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Only after doing this would there begin to be any justification for considering what Commissioner Suarez is proposing.

At the end of the day though, Commissioner Suarez seriously needs to consider that when it comes to being responsible for the competent management of the City of Miami, he would do well to consider these words from Shakespeare’s, Julius Caesar:

                 “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

                 But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”


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