The stench of incompetence and possible corruption regarding the downtown development debacle continues to worsen. It now looks like it was approved even though it violated the City’s building height code. It also appears that the document the council received for approval suspiciously failed to point out the illegal height violation.

The failures and scandals of this disastrous development keep piling up. City management betrayed the residents when they neglected/refused to apply a million-dollar parking fee per our code. First, they admitted it and now they continue to cover it up. Management failed to follow city code by not requiring a permit to close down Canal Street and its dozens of parking spots. Legally it could only be closed for 60 days max but it has now been closed for an absurd 3 years and counting. In an apparent case of negligence, the City did NOTHING to prevent or even address the developer’s blatant abuse of the 3-year illegal shutdown of OUR Canal Street and needed parking spots. Now we have the building height code violation and possible subterfuge regarding its approval. The City’s egregious failures of fiduciary responsibility to the residents continue to be exposed.

City Manager Alonso and City Planner Heid failed in their duties and finally exited after Alonso resigned and fired Heid on his way out. But where was legal oversight by previous Weiss Serota city attorney Dan Espino when his fellow residents were being betrayed in favor of the developers? Hey, I know! Let’s ask the present Weiss Serota city attorney Haydee Sera to investigate the possible failures of the last Weiss Serota city attorney. The unseemly conflict of interest in that arrangement should be evident to all. Let’s also ask Ms. Sera how the failure to apply a parking fee investigation is going after her statement last year; “I don’t want to shut the door on the possibility of the fee being applied to the One Curtiss Parkway project. That is something that I’m continuing to look at. I don’t want that to be shut down. It’s not a sure thing, but I do want to make sure that’s clear.” Great! Let’s be clear. Please provide the residents with a comprehensive report of the results of your investigation and the reasons for not following up with a parking fee as our policy dictates.

With the brave exception of Councilwoman Bravo, the previous council inconceivably fell all over themselves to praise the city attorney and her firm Weiss Serota during their most recent vote of confidence. Hopefully, new Councilman Santin will support Councilwoman Bravo’s attempts for accountability. Mayor Mitchell and Councilmen Fajet and Vazquez need to summon the political courage to make tough accountability decisions and pledge their loyalty to the residents, not failed employees.

To the law firm of Weiss Serota: Do the right thing and voluntarily end your legal duties for Miami Springs. The last council majority didn’t have the fortitude to do it so you must. So many residents including at least one council member have lost confidence in the firm and do not trust you to protect the residents’ interests adequately. Every opinion and decision made will be met with suspicion and mistrust. That’s no way for our city government to run efficiently. It’s time for Weiss Serota to follow Alonso and Heid out the door so Miami Springs can move on with a clean slate of city management.

Jim Llewellyn
Miami Springs Resident


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