The Grinch reference above is meant in a shameful, not humorous way. During the pre-Christmas holiday season, the city of Miami Springs asked some local non-profit organizations to donate money for Christmas decorations in the downtown area. It’s nice that we can all enjoy the holiday decorations that enhance our town. But why the heck would city officials think it appropriate to hit up non-profit charitable organizations for money for decorations? It’s disturbing when our city officials don’t feel that this misuse of charitable funds violated any sense of ethics or integrity. Even more distasteful is the fact that it’s not the first time.
I’m very familiar with one of the non-profit organizations that donated the requested $500 to the city. The organization is made up of dedicated hardworking and selfless volunteers who spend a lot of time and effort raising money for and engaging in various outreach activities that enhance the lives of others in need, often children. Programs include; Hunger and disaster relief; eyeglasses, surgery, and seeing eye dogs for the visually impaired; hearing aids; diabetes awareness and screening; support for veterans; school supplies; and comfort items for kids with cancer. During the holidays gifts are collected and distributed to sick and deprived children who face a bleak holiday season. The list of worthy causes goes on and on.
So, how many hungry families could have been fed a holiday meal? How many sick or deprived children could have been given some holiday joy with a gift or comfort item with the $500 that city officials took for decorations? Decorations that should have been paid for out of our hefty tax dollar rate or by corporate sponsors, not at the expense of ill or unfortunate children or other charitable causes. That’s just shameful. One would think city officials would be embarrassed by this unseemly hustle of charitable funds. But despite the continuing exposure of their various governing failures, including negligent oversight, lack of accountability, and expensive mistakes, nothing seems to faze, much less shame this bunch.
Like the Grinch who stole Christmas and then developed a conscience, I call on city officials to do the right thing and offer to return the money they took from the various non-profits. In general, it’s the nature of charitable organizations to give when asked. In this case, perhaps they felt compelled or even pressured because it was our governing authority who wanted the money. In any event, the city should let each organization reconsider if that money can be better spent on charitable causes and helping people in need instead of city decoration expenses.
Important disclaimer: The views expressed here do not officially speak for or represent any organization.
Jim Llewellyn
Miami Springs

This is an opinion piece submitted by a Miami Springs resident.  Miami Springs residents are encouraged to share their opinions online.  If you’d like to publish a Letter to the Editor, simply email


  1. Have any of these organizations said they were pressured? Lots of things “perhaps” could have happened, but what, in fact, did happen?

    Miami Springs is still a small town, and it is not unreasonable for the City Counsel to ask local civic organizations for help by volunteering or contributing in different ways, whether it be Xmas decorations or the River Cities Festival. These organizations can say no. Why do you assume these organizations lack backbone? It’s arrogant of you to make such assumptions.

    Rather than make up imaginary possibilities and implicitly make accusations about organizations being pressured by “City Official Grinches”, why don’t you suggest the Counsel formally thank these organizations, perhaps by proclamation? I’m sure they would appreciate the recognition.

    Of course, if you did that, Jim, you would not be able to use this as a petty pretext to slam the City Counsel, like you did, and like you always do. You need to find a better hobby.


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