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GOD SIGNS ON AS FRANCIS SUAREZ'S PERSONAL ADVISOR, WHICH CAN ONLY MEAN THAT HELL HAS FROZEN OVER
NUMBER 6 - MARCH 1, 2018
Dear Mayor Suarez,
I read with interest your father's Tweet about a comment that you made during your State of the City address where you stated that "God had promised," to guide you in your "service to the city through good and bad."
Since God has signed on to be an advisor, I would like for you to consider this letter as a formal public records request for a copy of the contract and the exchange of any and all emails along with any other public records between you and God that led to him agreeing to sign on as a consultant..
I certainly applaud your desire to reach out for advise and guidance from God because it's hard in Miami to avoid finding yourself in the company of slimy, sleazy and ethically challenged people all wanting to elbow their way to the trough in an effort to cash in while screwing the taxpayers, and after eight years on the City Commission you could not only benefit from a little guidance from God, but also it might help if her were to bring in a couple of his angels to run you through a car wash as a way to remove some of the accumulated slime.
I don't know how many discussions you've had with God so far, but I certainly hope that among the things he's suggested that you should quit doing is allowing yourself to be photographed with alleged child molesters, drug dealers and corrupt politicians? Photographs, like words, have consequences.
Given that last year you collected almost $2 million in donations for your campaign account and Political Committee from developers, land use attorneys and contractors who viewed the $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 and even $50,000 donations that they gave you to be "investments," I certainly hope that God has provided you with advise on how NOT to prostitute yourself and your office when those folks start showing up at your door looking for a return on those "investments," and more importantly that you paid attention to that advise, because even know the knocks on your door are growing loud.
Now that you've revealed that God has signed on to personally provide you with guidance, I would suggest that you post Sunshine Meeting notices the next time you and he decide to have a discussion about your stewardship of the City. God's been known to work in mysterious ways, but if he's going to be your personal advisor, I think he needs to be aware that he's a public employee, and needs to follow Florida's Sunshine and Public Records Laws.
WHEN MIAMI POITICIANS TALK ABOUT RESILLENCY PLANNING TO DEAL WITH SEA LEVEL RISE, IT'S LIKE DONALD TRUMP TALKING ABOUT RUNNING INTO A SCHOOL BUILDING TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN - IT'S ALL BULSHIT
Last month, I attended a meeting organized by the Urban Environment League so that newly elected Mayor Francis Suarez could talk to them about his goals for the city.
I wasn't overly impressed, in large part because he was provided an unchecked opportunity to deliver a series of practiced self-serving bromides, without fear of questions or contradictions.
One of the things that Suarez said struck me as a sign of his unwillingness to either face reality, or more likely, a willingness to talk nonsense as a way to avoid talking about a reality he really does understand, was this statement he made about his desire that the City of Miami would "be sustainable and here" for his grandchildren's, grandchildren.
Days later, Suarez's father Xavier, tweeted an illustration that had accompanied an Op-Ed in the Miami Herald by County Clerk Harvey Ruvin, regarding his thoughts on global warming and sea level rise.
The illustration represents the projected impact that seal level rise is expected to have on the southern half of Florida by the year 2100.
While there are any number of so-called short term "solutions" to try and deal with the effects of the submersion of most of the lower half of Florida, they are little more than bandaids incapable of warding off the very painfull and inevitable results of the global warming and sea level rise that will eventually produce the results indicated in the above illustration.
Unfortunately, long before the predicted results of submersion come to pass, South Florida is going to become uninhabitable to large numbers of people as a result of problems that are already well on their way to occurring.
In a December 2015, article in The New Yorker magazine, Elizabeth Kolbert, the Pulitzer Prize winning environmental reporter wrote about the coming drowning of Miami in a story packed with detailed and alarming information about what those of us in South Florida could look forward to in the coming years.
There was one portion of her story that was especially alarming because the results it predicts are not already occurring on a sporadic basis, but they could become permanent within the next 8-10 years.
The latest predictions have sea level rise at somewhere around two feet by 2100. Based on that number we could see a rise of 12 inches in 40 years, and 6 inches in twenty years.
In fact, these increases could come sooner, because all indications point to a cumulative acceleration of the melting of the ice in both of the Poles. Therefore, if the numbers projected in Kolbert's article are even close to accurate, an increase in sea level of 4-6 inches in less than 10 years could be enough to create a tipping point that triggers both a sizable loss of flood control, and more importantly a loss of drinkable water.
All of this is compounded by the fact that in addition to these problems, there are parts of Miami-Dade County where homes and businesses are not hooked up to the county's sewer system, but rather rely on septic tanks, which as the water table rises - especially during high tides - are already causing a backflow of raw sewage into some of these homes and businesses.
Long before the water comes up over the seawalls, the rising water table, the intrusion of salt water into the aquifers and the flow of raw sewage coming out of toilets and bathtub drains will all contribute to insurance companies refusal to provide property insurance.
HURRICANES, AND THE DIFFERENCE A BIG ONE WILL MAKE
Although South Florida has been fortunate in that a major hurricane hasn't hit us directly since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, a hurricane like the one that hit Huston, Texas last year dropping over 50 inches of rain, could create such havoc with the water table that it could not only cost hundreds of billions in damage, but also push parts of Miami-Dade beyond a tipping point.
Insurance companies are already refusing to issue flood insurance to hundreds of thousands of costal homes identified as being in flood zones, and that practice can only continue to increase, because as one climate scientist has opined, "You can't build a wall across the top of a sponge and not keep the water from getting from one side to another."
Just this week, the New York Times published a longform piece about the city of New Orleans and their efforts to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina where "federal, state and local government spent more than $20 billion - that's BILLION - on levees, flood walls, gates and pumps, since Hurricane Katrina in 2005," and still, because much the city sits below sea level, the city continues to be "vulnerable if infrastructure were to fail."
In South Florida, we've not even come close to spending one twentieth of that amount on improving infrastructure, and we face a more extensional threat because our future isn't just tied to problems caused by hurricane damage.
Now, I understand the problems of a politician not wanting to sound alarmist, because there is still the present that needs to be dealt with, and prematurely tanking the economy and but at he same time, no reasonable politician should not continue to engage in Happy Talk either.
The claim of Francis Suarez, that his wants, or expects his grandchildren's grandchildren living in a "sustainable" Miami, "that is here, for those many, many generations to come," is questionable at best, and ridiculous at worst.
While premature in it's projections, the following two images below, one that reflect the current skyline of Miami, and the other a projection of what that skyline will look like in 30 years, are certainly reasonable projections of what Miami will look like sometime close to the end of this century.
Of course between now and then, there is still plenty of time for developers to pour concrete on every single piece of vacant land that they can monetize, and when they start heading for the door, that's when you know that the jig is up, and you'd better be right behind them.
In the meantime between the Happy Talk by politicians like Francis Suarez, folks cashing in as experts on how to combat climate change and the developers lining up at City Hall to get their deals approved ASAP, it's going to be more fun than Fast Times at Ridgemont High
X MARKS THE SPOT
Ever eager to learn all he can about the city he now manages, new City Manager Emilio Gonzalez, along with Commissioner Manolo Reyes ponder not only what lies under the X, but whether the bug the saw scurrying under the car was Manolo's dear friend former Commisisoner Marc Sarnoff traveling incognito as a scorpion.
It's Miami, Bitches!
IN JANUARY OF 2015, I FILED AN ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT ALBERTO CARVAHLO
On September 14, 2016, the State Of Florida Commission On Ethics agreed with me,
I filed my ethics complaint against Carvalho, shortly after posting a three part series describing how local politicians, including Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine "Queen Of Swag" Fernandez-Rundle, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, his daughter and School Board member Raquel Regalado, and former Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and Carvalho had received thousands and thousands of dollars in free tickets and gifts. (My stories about Carvalho can be read HERE and HERE, my story about Fernandez-Rundle can be read HERE, and my story about the Regalados, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and former Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff can be read HERE.)
I filed my complaint against Carvalho ONLY after I had made 3 separate public records requests seeking documentation from his office as to whether he had ever filed a Form 9 Gift Report and was first ignored, and then given a run around by Carvalho's staff.
In my original complaint, I listed 5 instances where I believed Carvalho had accepted tickets to Black Tie galas and other events including a cruise, along with accompanying tickets for his wife, and failed to report them.
In addition to tickets I also alleged that he had taken and failed to report expensive ties as birthday gifts from the Chairman of the School Board. In support of that allegation, I included portions from a flattering profile story that appeared in the Miami Herald's upscale INDULGE magazine.
The subsequent investigation took almost 18 months, and the final investigative report expanded my original 5 possible violations BY ADDING 6 MORE POSSIBLE VIOLATIONS to make a total of 11 separate instances where the Commission On Ethics investigator believed that Carvalho had failed to comply with the requirements to report accepting free tickets and the ties.
On September 9th, the Florida Commission on Ethics (COE) met in Executive Session and concluded, but not without first hearing ample amounts of self-serving platitudes about how Carvalho was honoring his father by appearing at the hearing, and how he respected the Commission and the job they do, by claiming that the Superintendent's job is a 24/7 commitment where attending events is something he considered to be part of his official duties.
The Commission's conclusion after an hour and seven minute hearing was that there was Probable Cause that Carvalho had violated Florida law by failing to file the acceptance of tickets and ties detailed in 8 of the 11 counts of the complaint.
Two of the three counts where there was No Probable Cause involved Carvalho taking tickets from a vendor doing business with the school system, which is a different, and far more serious kind of violation, but which the Commission seemed both confused and uninterested in referring to any other agency for review.
The third instance involved tickets accepted by his wife, who was a board member of the host group.
There are a number of people who believe that Carvahlo pulled a fast one by first agreeing to take the job of Superintendent of the New York City Schools, only to turn around and reject the job once the offer became public.
I tend to agree. He has been playing a cat and mouse game with the local newsmedia, with the Schoolboard and with the larger constituency that includes teachers, parents and politicians either involved in education, or concerned that he might run against them, and the one thing that has remained constant throughout all of those endeavors, as well as with his appearance before the Ethics Commission has been his need to be idolized and praised.
As long as folks slobber all over him, like it was reported that the School Board did this morning, I don't expect to see Alberto going anywhere.