JANUARY 6, 2011


In what can only be a harbinger of bad news to come this year, the City of Miami was just named the “Worst Run City In America,” by the 24/7 Wall Street blog.

Gee, do you think they’ve been reading the stuff I post?

It takes a lot to get to the number one spot in any compilation of best or worst, and Miami has managed to do it on a pretty regular basis.  The only problem is that we make it on lists that tend to underscore just how crazy living in Miami has become.

Here’s a partial list of some of the lists that Miami has managed to score in the Top 10 during the last several years.

  1. 1. Poorest City In America

  2. 2. Most Vain City In America

  3. 3. Rudest Drivers in America

  4. 4. Road Rage Capital Of America

  5. 5. Most Miserable City In America

  6. 6. Worst City To Live In America

  7. 7. Worst City To Find A Job In America

  8. 8. Worst Large Cities For Crime In America

  9. 9. Worst City For Credit Card Debit In America

  10. 10. Worst City To Rent In America

  11. 11. Worst Place To Raise Your Kids In America

Can you spot a trend?

Now, this calamity didn’t just befall on Miami.  It’s been a while coming, and there are certainly a lot of folks who share the blame.

The problem today is that a lot of things hit a critical mass under the administration of His Ignorance, Mayor Tomas Regalado, and instead of providing the kind of vision and leadership that would be required to start turning things around, Regalado and the 5 Dwarfs on the City Commission have managed in 2 short years to allow Miami to actually become a Banana Republic, where cronyism, incompetence and sheer stupidity have become the basis on which many of the major decisions impacting public policy are made.

To underscores just how a city manages to become so fucked up, consider the the fine, civic minded folks in Coconut Grove and how they decided to tackle an issue of conern to them.

A couple dasys ago I wrote a Rant about the Tree Huggers in Coconut Grove having fits about the way in which the city was going about cutting down trees in the downtown area because the tree roots had started creating problems with the cobblestone sidewalks.  Trees were also cut down to make it easier for boat owners to bring their boats down 27th Avenue to reach the boat ramp South of the Convention Center.

My rant prompted a post by Tom Falco in his Coconut Grove Grapevine, and several letters following the meeting that the Tree Huggers had on Thursday night to collect signatures for their petition. (You need to visit the Grapevine to read not only this post, but all that has been written in the last couple days about this issue.  Click on link above)

Somehow, I guess I didn’t make the central point of my rant clear enough.  In a choice between worrying about some trees - and they ARE worth worrying about - and worrying about the larger issues of public policy that impact on people, the folks in Coconut Grove opted to worry about the trees.

Miami has become the city that is has, because the citizens have turned their back on demanding that their elected officials do the right thing - even if only once in a while.

The city’s September budget hearings serve a classic case in point.  Not only did the average citizen not turn out in any numbers, but even the candidates running for City Commisison didn’t bother to show - except for Donna Milo.

Neither Kate Callahan, Michelle Niemeyer or Williams Armbrister, all claiming in one way or another to be representing the interests of Coconut Grove showed up, either to take advantage of the free TV exposure that was available - the meetings were broadcast on Channel 77 that reaches everyone with cable in the City of Miami - as a platform for them to raise questions or make comments about the current state of the city’s finances as a way to highlight their differences with Sarnoff, or to stake out policy positions that they could then use as part of their campaign.

Worse, their absence indicated that none of them seemed to have any personal problems with the city’s finances, the $60 million deficit, or the quality of services being delivered.

This was all compounded by the fact that 92% of the eligible voters didn’t bother to vote.

And so, instead of being concerned about all of the real abuses and examples of waste of their tax dollars, or the inside deals like the current efforts to give away the last remaining piece of the city’s waterfront property for zilch, what the people in Coconut Grove decided to do was get upset about the trees.

And how do they deal with it.  Here’s a portion of a letter written to Tom Falco after their meeting last night to get signatures for their petition:

    “Lots of earnest, caring people. Many were young. Many

    were new to the Grove. Many were residents from the street

    itself that had not gotten any kind of warning until they saw

    the signs. Most of the people who came to sign the petition

    did just that, had a drink and left (it was a good night for

    Peacock Garden too!) “

That’s the way that the folks in Coconut Grove deal with serious community problems.  They show up, sign their little petitions, have a drink and leave.

Let me be real clear this time. The fucking that Commissioner Sarnoff is giving all of you Grovites is one that you richly deserve!

Go sign a petition and have a drink about that!


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