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NUMBER 92 - JUNE 13, 2019
THE MILTON BROTHERS DIDN'T WANT THE GENERAL PUBLIC AT THE MEETING AND THAT'S WHY THEY HAD 5 ON-DUTY COPS, 3 COP CARS AND 2 SECURITY GUARDS OUTSIDE THEIR MIAMI BAY CLUB LAST NIGHT
There is every right for folks who live in Miami to be upset this morning that a supposedly "public" meeting called to discuss significant and unpopular changes to the design of a City of Miami park by developers who believe that because the park is next to one of their rental properties, and because they are paying for the changes as part of a "community benefits agreement" that will allow them to reap double their costs in construction benefits for their next project entitle them to special treatment took place under the watchful eye of 5 on-duty police officers in 3 police cars along with several security guards manning a guard post to make sure that no one who wasn't on "the list," was allowed to enter.
The notice of this so-called "public" meeting was the basis for a story that I wrote yesterday afternoon after being contacted by Elieen Bottari, who lives close to, and frequents Pallot Park, and who sent a scathing email to city officials about this last minute meeting. (If you didn't see the notice and read her email yesterday, you can do so HERE.)
Having encouraged folks to attend the meeting, I felt that I should do so as well, and when I showed up at the guard gate and presented my ID - a clear sign that this was not a "public" meeting because the law is very specific about not having to identify yourself as a requirement to attend a "public" meeting - I was denied entrance because I was told that my name wasn't on, "the list."
I then watched approximately 15 people who walked up to the gate and were allowed to enter, including Elvis Cruz, who wrote the following email last night after he left the meeting.
I have to correct Elvis' assumption that, "there were members of the public and news media that were turned away."
Only two people were actually barred from entering the meeting.
Me and Peter Ehrlich.
I believe that the reason that Peter wasn't allowed in was not because he didn't live in the neighborhood - he owns business property and lives closer to Pallot Park than Bob Powers, who you can see in the below photo taken by Elvis - but because the security guards assumed that Peter, with whom I talked with as he walked up to the security gate was somehow, "with me."
Milton attorney Iris Escarra
Miami Parks Director Lara Hamwey
That this was in fact a "public" meeting, as generally considered by those who attend such meetings, and that the efforts to deny access by virtue of requiring attendees to go through a guard gate and show ID in order to be screened as a requirement for entry raised a concern about the ability of citizens to know what was going on with a public park.
That I ended up being the one denied is also no surprise, given that my blog is still blocked on city computers, and that I am the only person that has ever been banned from access to a city building for my writing about the corruption that goes on at City Hall.
But the real reason that I was denied access to this meeting was not to stop me from chronicling the grievances of some of the residents who believe that the Milton brothers are treating the park as an extension of their rental property, and a piece of land that they can use to rehabilitate the reputation of themselves and their father who for years have been accused of racial discrimination in managing their properties:
But because of my July 2017 story alleging that they provided Tomas Regalado a rent free apartment in one of their luxury apartment buildings while Regalado was Mayor. They're pissed that my story prompted the FDLE to subpoena their records.
Had I had been allowed to attend the meeting, I would have, as I normally do, probably just posted the video of what transpired without any comments, but since I was denied access, I actually ended up with a better story, and on top of that, you know what they say about accused racists who can't take a joke!
It's Miami, Bitches!
TO BE MORE PRECISE, AND BECAUSE APPOINTED OFFICIALS, AND NOT ELECTED OFFICIALS WERE AT THE MEETING, I HAVE REMOVED THE REFERENCES TO THE SUNSHINE LAW, AND APOLOGIZE FOR IMPLYING THAT THE MILTONS DIDN'T GIVE A FUCK FOR THE SUNSHINE LAW, ALTHOUGH THEY CLEARLY WANTED TO CONTROL WHO ATTENDED. AT TODAY'S COMMISSION MEETING, COMMISSION CHAIRMAN RUSSELL REQUESTED THAT THE CITY MANAGER STUDY THE PROBLEM OF BOTH ELECTED AND APPOINTED OFFICIALS ATTENDING WHAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED PUBLIC MEETINGS AT PRIVATE FACILITATES, AND A REPORT WILL BE PRODUCED TO RESOLVE ANY FUTURE CONTROVERSARIES
NUMBER 93 - JUNE 14, 2019
ELVIS CRUZ SEND OUT AN EMAIL AFTER YESTERDAY'S COMMISSION MEETING
NUMBER 94 - JUNE 14, 2019
SWAT MEMBER INJURED DURING TRAINING
My stories over the years about the goings on inside the Miami Police Department have ebbed and flowed based on a number of factors, the biggest one being the level of frustration felt by the rank and file over how they were being treated.
The release of the video a couple days ago showing 2 officers wrestling with a suspect, and one officer tasering the other, represented a signal to me that the random comments that I hear from my sources about frustrations - especially dealing with the training of new officers - might once again be reaching a boiling point.
For instance I was recently told that a large number of new officers had to be retrained because their behavior on the street was felt to be a danger to themselves and to the citizens they were interacting with.
The above text message, sent out today, is more evidence that all is not well inside the department, and whether the claims being made about the commend staff in charge are true or not, it's never a good sign for these kinds of messages to make their way into the public, because if they are true, then the real issue will be whether they will be dealt with or swept under a rug?
While Chief Colina, who I have written about on several occasions is no where near as bad as his two predecessors - LLanes and Orosa- it's clear that something is not right inside the police department, and given that we're at the beginning of another brutally hot summer, the one thing that Miami does not need at this time - or any other time for that matter - is for something really stupid happening on the streets.
It's Miami, Bitches!