Within minutes of my posting my story raising the possibility that the Mayor might veto this resolution, I began having off the record conversations with folks who understandably don't want to be identified, and also started trying to make sense of the various contracts and lease agreements between the City and the Flagstone Group - over the years there have been multiple agreements dealing with the marina, the resort and retail part of the deal and then amendments to these agreements.
While it's obvious that the Flagstone Group did not appreciate having the Commission vote to find them in default, my sense now is that they figured that there was more than a fifty/fifty chance that that woud happen.
Their fallback position was, and continues to be that they have the law on their side, and that the claims made against them by the Causeway Chaos group that they failed to obtain ALL of the required permits is faulty, and that a arbitrator will agree with them.
Their position is straightened by the fact that the City administration has stated that this is their position also, which makes it kind of interesting because while the City Commission voted to find Flagstone in default - which was not a legal opinion but a legislative opinion - the position of the city administration is on the side of Flagstone.
It is city administration who will have to go to court, or before an arbitrator to argue the case that Flagstone violated the terms of their lease, or to negotiate the terms of a "cure" - not the City Commission, nor for that matter the folks from Causeway Chaos.
The critical next step, and the one which will determine whether Flagstone actually might get evicted, or just slapped on the hand is what will the letter that the City Attorney sends to Flagstone say?Will the letter state that it is a "termination" of the agreements between the City and Flagstone, or will it say that Flagstone is in "default" of these agreement?
In the legal world there's a very big difference in results between the words "termination" and "default," and depending on who you talk to - and who I've talked to - default will allow Flagstone the right to arbitrate and correct any claimed default with a "cure," while termination will force them to file a lawsuit to try and stop the city from evicting them.
Anybody want to give odds on which word Victoria Mendez will chose to go with?
It's always Miami, Bitches!