THE WYNWOOD DISTRICT PROVIDES A REVEALING WINDOW INTO HOW THE CITY OF MIAMI REALLY FUNCTIONS, AND WHY, FOR SOME BUSINESS OWNERS AND RESIDENTS THEIR DREAMS ARE TURNING INTO NIGHTMARES AS MIAMI'S TIME HONORED FAMILY AND FRIENDS PROVIDES PROTECTION FOR INSIDERS WHILE SCREWING EVERYONE ELSE
NUMBER 36 - FEBRUARY 13, 2020
Lombardi was a well-connected insider, and the discovery of this letter was not so much a revelation as it was a confirmation of stories that I'd begun hearing from others that the administration of Mayor Francis Suarez and City Manager Emilio Gonzalez was both incompetent and unresponsive to the needs of business people trying to negotiate their way through the labyrinth of twists, turns and road blocks that consumed the time and money of business people in order to get anything done in the city.
Several weeks later, Lombardi wrote another letter to commiserate with attorney Michael Fogarty, then a tenant at , the luxury rental property developed by the Related Group, who for a year had been complaining about the noise coming from several nightclubs blocks away, without getting any response or help from the city.
Lombardi's letter did not stop Fogarty from deciding that he's had enough of Wynwood, and soon after he departed.
His departure however, did not stop the noise complaints, and in copies of hundreds of emails that I obtained between Manny Gonzalez, the Wynwood BID's Executive Director, various city officials including the City Manager Emilio Gonzalez, the Director of Code Compliance Adele Valencia, Zoning Director Joesph Ruiz, Police Commander Dan Kerr, Tony Albelo and his representatives at SWARM, the entertainment production company that pretty much controls all such activities in Wynwood, along Moishe Mana's representatives who have partnered with SWARM as a venue for concerts revealed that in addition to noise complaints, a laundry list of other alleged code and zoning violations, including businesses operating without legal permits, illegal construction of businesses on properties requiring a Temporary Use Permit, Special Event Permits containing phony information and even allegations that some permits contained the forged signatures of Vincent Betancourt.
Last but not least were complaints by several business owners who based on credible evidence believed that at least one of Mana's employees was openly engaged in conspiring to illegally compete against them.
As the Cubans like to say, it was all one big arroz con mango, and while in Miami everyone likes to pride themselves on how unique our kind of public corruption is, the truth of the matter is that what is going on in Wynwood is pretty much an example of the time honored practice of taking advantage of weak enforcement, corruptible public officials in order to take the money and run.
PERMITS? WHAT PERMITS? WE DON'T NEED NO STINK'EN PERMITS
In starting and operating a business there are two things that are more important than just about everything everything else: Time and money.
If you run out of one, it's often because you've run out of the other.
At the last Special City Commission meeting on January 17th, held to discuss a plan submitted by FIU to deal with the city's affordable housing problems, several developers and contractors experienced in dealing with the city spoke about the persistent problems they and others constantly faced in order to get permits approved, and their projects built.
It wasn't the first, nor will it be the last time that people knowledgable about the inner workings of Miami city government show up at a commission meeting to voice their complaints and concerns about these issues, but unfortunately as long as incompetent people continue to be hired as administrators or as long as you can buy off the mayor and/or city commissioners with $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or even $50,000 campaign donations made to their PAC's, nothing will change when it comes to streamlining the policies and procedures that everyone acknowledges make Miami one of the most difficult cities in the country to open or operate a business.
Cities that operate with the kinds of bureaucratic and procedural road blocks like Miami has are often the result of politicians with the power to set policy making decisions that are based on creating a system that benefits them and their deep pocket donors at the expense of the little guys just trying to chase their dream of operating their own business.
In the end it's all about money, and in Wynwood there is currently a lot of money sloshing around as various players and interest groups focus on the BILLION DOLLARS of new commercial and residential construction projects projected to be built in the next few years.
That development, and the changes that it will bring are at the center of the current struggle between the first and second generation of investors and entrepreneurs who early on made a decision to self-regulate themselves through the creation of a business improvement district (BID) so as to have some control over the brick and mortar development, and the quick buck wildcatters who came in behind them, much like wildcatters back in the day who came into gold rush communities to operate the honky-tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and who now that Wynwood has gained some international acclaim not only are ready to take credit for the zizzle that contributed to the growth, but also seeing the handwriting on the wall that with the new real estate development that will change the dynamics in the district see the hand writing on the wall and are working to pull as much money out before the changes force them to accept the fact that their run has ended.
To appreciate how all of this is playing out, and how the city's policies and procedures and even legal opinons are being ignored, one only needs to look at how the issues of excess noise described in the emails above continued to be handled.
NOISE? WHAT NOISE? THAT'S NOT NOISE, THAT'S THE SOUND OF MONEY
Wynwood is not the first district in the city of Miami to have experienced loud noise as a result of nightclubs and bars catering to a young, hip crowd with hormones and money.
Before Wynwood there was Coconut Grove whose clubs and bars catered to the college students at the University of Miami, and the Club District just north of downtown which had a half-dozen or so clubs that stayed open all night and blared music from rooftops that kept the folks living in the high-rise condos popping up along Biscayne Boulevard in a state of almost constant aggravation.
The frustration of these condo owners didn't go on for months, it went on for years, and like Wynwood, the club owners ignored, bribed and did any and everything they could, including so I was told, managing to get an incriminating photograph of an elected official in the men's room to use as leverage.
In the end though, the folks in the condos put so much pressure on the city administration that the City Attorney's Office was forced to issue an "Interpretation of City Code Chapter 36-4 and 36-5, that dealt with excessive noise violations, especially loud music.
Here is that interpretation from Assistant City Attorney Rachel Dooley written in 2017.
Pretty simple and straight forward, right.
It took a while for this interpretation to sink in, but sink in it did, and the noise levels in the Club District took a dramatic dive to reasonable levels.
You would think that after a year of email complaints of excessive noise from residents like Michael Fogarty and others, as well as the letters written by David Lombardi and complaints from other business owners and residents, that this interpretation should and would have been applied in Wynwood, and that the Mayor, the City Manager, the City Attorney, the Zoning Director and the Code Compliance Director would not only have embraced this interpretation, but made it a point to convey their embrace to all of the Wynwood bar and club owners as a way to make them understand that the games about excessive noise were over.
After repeated and unsuccessful efforts to have Code Compliance do more that issue Ticket Warning Letters to repeat offenders, followed in some cases by Ticket Violations, and in other cases by just walking away after being threatened with lawsuits the issue of excessive noise continues to be a big problem in the district.
Because of the city's reluctance to strongly enforce either the code or the interpretation of the noise ordinance, especially the 100 foot rule, Manny Gonzalez, the Executive Director of the Wynwood BID and his board members looked around for some other way to force compliance.
Gonzalez discovered that one of the things that the original members who created the BID had done was to create a Neighborhood Revitalization District (NRD) Plan, and that based on that plan any and all establishments that featured outdoor entertainment had to get a Warrant from the city's Planning and Zoning Department.
Fortified with this knowledge, Gonzalez sent an email out to all of the concerned parties that explained the implications of the requirements that were placed on business owners who had sought a warrant, and on the fact that a "warrant is a privilege and not a right."
What Gonzalez did not know when he sent out that letter, and only learned afterwards when he sought to obtain copies of all the warrants issued to Wynwood business owners who operated businesses that sold alcohol outdoors, was that there didn't seem to be an accurate list that anyone in the city could provide him that containedthat information.
And so from August to November of last year, the beat as they say, went on.
On November 7th, after Adele Valencia, the Director of Code Compliance told the the Wynwood Board that the city was being sued over the provisions of Chapter 36-5, the decision was made to seek a legal opinion from the city on the validity of the ordinance as it relates to the issuance of warrants.
On February 3, 2020, I sent City Attorney Victoria Mendez an email asking her on the status of the above requested legal opinion.
She has neither acknowledged or replied to my request.
Welcome to Miami, Bitches!
THIS CONCLUDES PART I OF THIS MULTI-PART SERIES.
I HOPE TO POST PART II IN A FEW DAYS AND THE REMAINING PARTS AS I COMPLETE THEM.
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TWO WEEKS AGO COMMISSIONER JOE CAROLLO WAS DEMANDING THAT COMMISSIONER KEON HARDEMON REVEAL HOW MUCH MONEY CITY MANAGER EMILIO GONZALEZ HAD RAISED FOR HIS COUNTY COMMISSION CAMPAIGN. NOW I WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE $40,000 THAT MARC "PAY FOR PLAY" SARNOFF LAUNDERED FOR CAROLLO WENT
The morning that Joe Carollo showed up at City Hall for his first commission meeting after being elected, following him through the door were former District 2 commissioner Marc "Pay For Play" Sarnoff, and former state senator Alex Diaz de la Portilla.
Both of them became regular visitors to Carollo's office on commission days, and it was clear from the very beginning that both of those guys, for their own reasons had strapped saddles on Carollo and planned to ride him like a bucking brono at the rodeo.
Diaz de la Portilla is now the new city commissioner for District 1, and Sarnoff has become, and no doubt plans to become an even bigger backroom wheeler/dealer lobbyist, given that after all the money he helped Diaz de la Portilla raise, he now has a saddle on him too.
I've written numerous stories in the past 11 years about the antics of both Marc Sarnoff and the huge amounts of money that raised, and the amount of money that now shows up in campaign and PAC accounts of politicians.
That money, which is for all intents and purposes is nothing else but legalized bribery, plays an important role in how the city, the county, and every other municipality in Miami-Dade County continues to make decisions about traffic, land use, and the delivery of services that often ends up being against the best interests of the residents.
Back before he got reelected, my limited dealings with Joe Carollo resulted in my believing that as crazy as he might be, the one thing I didn't think was that he was besides being crazy he was also a crook!
I now acknowledge that I was absolutely, 100% wrong.
Joe Carollo is one of, if not the biggest crook that has been on the Miami City Commission in years, and now that he has Diaz de la Portilla as a wingman - a wingman who is both smarter, more self-controlled and equally gifted when it comes to arts of political and financial chicanery - the citizens of Miami are in for a bad and bumpy ride.
This is one more reason that folks in District 3 should be lining up to sign the petitions to Recall Carollo. He has every intention to loot the city and with 3 votes and a compromised City Attorney who pulls legal opinions out of her ass when needed, he can go a long ways towards that goal with little opposition.
To get to where he wants to go Carollo needs money, and today's story is about how he raises money, $40,000 to be exact.
$40,000 was the amount of money that was donated to Marc Sarnoff's PAC, , by two guys who obviously didn't want to be seen giving Carollo campaign money directly, and more importantly, Carollo has to date failed to report that he received that money.
Here's how it happened.
On December 4, 2019, 29 NE 11th Street LLC, donated $25,000 to Sarnoff's PAC.
On December 11, 2019, three donations of $5000 were donated to Sarnoff's PAC from CG Summer Investments, LLC, Doral Court Rental Investments and Terra City Center Investments. All of these donations are highlighted in Red.
NUMBER 31 - FEBRUARY 9, 2020
Copyrighted: 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
On December 11, 2019, the same day he received the $15,000, Sarnoff donated $25,000 to , Carollo's political committee.
The following day, he donated another $15,000, for a grand total of $40,000. The amounts mirror to the dollar the money that Sarnoff received from the 4 companies.
Who was behind the companies that donated the $40,000 to Sarnoff?
The first company,, is registered to , which in turn is registered to Marc Roberts. Marc Roberts started out as a partner with Art Falcone and Nitin Motwani the developers behind the project across from the AAA Arena. Along the way he had some financial problems but still managed to hold on to much of the property that makes up the Club District along 11th Street.
Among those properties is 29 NE 11th Street, the location of the club 11Eleven.
In 2014, in one of the stories that I wrote about the unsuccessful efforts of Sarnoff's wife to replace him as the District 2 city commissioner I wrote about some significant donations that had been made to Sarnoff's PAC, and one of those donations was a $20,000 donation came from 29 NE 11th Street. LLC.
Another one of the properties that Roberts owns is at 90 NW 11th Street, which he is currently trying to get the city to issue a COU for that would allow him to open a medical marijuana dispensary.
In that effort he is represented by Lou Terminello, of Greenspoon Marder, the same law firm that allegedly pays Mayor Francis Suarez $300,000 to be, "of counsel."
The effort to create some distance between the $25,000 and any tie-in to the 11Eleven Club is understandable given Carollo's puritanical ways of going after anything having to do with sex.
It was Carollo after all who held the press conference before the Super Bowl to "expose" the adult entertainment that was supposed to occur on the party boat tied up on the seawall at Bayfront Park.
You cannot take too many steps in ay direction when it comes to the confluence of money and politics in Miami without bumping into one of the usual suspects, and clearly the connection between Roberts, Sarnoff, and Carollo all line up like Jupiter aligning with Mars.
The three $5000 checks are also easily traceable to another player who shows up frequently at Miami City Hall to hit the Pinata.
These companies: CG Summer Investments, LLC, Doral Court Rental Investments, are part of the David Martin, Terra Group empire, and he too has a history of giving big dollar donations to Sarnoff and Carollo, as well as his sweetheart deal in buying the Oak Street Parking Garage from Art Noriega and the Miami Parking Authority. Noriega continues to be touted as the front runner to become the next City Manager, once Colonel Klink leaves.
To this point, what we have is just another view into the money that lubricates the connections between developers, elected officials and the screwing that the public gets when the elected officials are called on to make a decision that results in a Return On Investment (ROI) for those campaign dollars.
But this is a little different, because in this case we have another little trick that I've written about in the past, and which reveals the way in which donations like this disappears.
We've established that on December 11th and 12th, Sarnoff donated $40,000 to Carollo's Electioneering Campaign Organization, .
By rights, if you were so inclined, you should have been able to go to Carollo's financial reports for Miami First and see when that money was reported.
In this case, that money should have shown up in the finance report for the month of December 2019, given that he received $15,000 from another deep pocket developer on the 13th.
But, as you can see the December report doesn't incude the $40,000 in donations from Sarnoff's PAC.
I've written about this sleight of hand in the past. Money gets churned in and out of one PAC to another, and then it goes into the PAC of the intended recipient, and just disappears.
The campaign laws and the oversight of the Florida Elections Commissionare so lax, that if you file a complaint, it takes them months, if not longer to even investigate, and by then the money has been "reported" and the excuse given is that it was just an innocent oversight.
When dealing with corrupt politicians in Florida, there are no coincidences or innocent oversights.
When politicians need pocket money, or money for things that they don't want anyone to know about money to PAC's and ECO's go into a rabbit hole.
Given the timing of these donatons, maybe this was the money that Carollo spent on the trip to Paris and elsewhere with wifey during the Christmas holidays.
Now that Carollo is now facing a recall, if he hasn't spent all that money how sweet do you think it is to have parts or all of that $40,000 of untraceable money to defend himself.
Money that no one would have known about if I hadn't written this story.
It's Miami, Bitches!
In that story, as in regarding the alleged activities of Jerome Starling, I included portion of the Miami Police Department investigative report, photos, letters and evidence that showed that you had visited my site and seen that original series.
Yet, almost a year later, you were still showing up at his events, posing for pictures with him, and allowing your name to be listed as a member of his Host Committee.
So, in following up with my question in my headline above, WHAT THE FUCK IS IT WITH YOU AND ALLEGED CHILD MOLESTORS?
I'm really serious Francis.
Some of this shit involving Pedrosa was reported to have happend in YOUR offices, and your supposed anger and indignation was only enough to ask Pedrosa to resign!?
It is bad enough that a raving lunatic like Joe Carollo bitch slaps you at will during commission meetings, and is now planning on putting you into an untenable financial predicament with his scheme to introduce a change to the salary ordinance that would give you a raise, bur require that you give up your outside employment, thereby making it all but impossible for you to continue to cover the expenses of that $1.45 million dollar house you bought in Coconut Grove.
It's ingenious and meant to embarrass you if not cripple you financially, and to add insult to injury he's now he's using this incident with Pedrosa to tear you a new asshole and inoculate himself against the recall effort by showing that he's a tough guy who'll stand up to protect the children of the City of Miami - even if it's only noise that he's making - which is more than you've shown yourself capable of doing.
The city is in a really bad situation thanks to your soon to be departed City Manager Emilio Gonzalez and the band of incompetents like Adele Valencia that he inserted like cherrys on a cake to run the city, and you've now lost control of the City Commission to the cabal of Carollo, Diaz de la Portilla, and Reyes.
I don't consider Manolo Reyes a crook, but more of an unwitting co-conspirator, but there is absolutely no question that Carollo and Diaz de la Portilla are hell bent on looting the city in ways that no one can really begin to comprehend, and to top it off you are the Mayor whose supposed to stand up against this corrupt conspiracy.
The time has come Francis, for you to stand up like a man, and if you won't fight for yourself, fight for your city.
On Tuesday morning you need to be front and center at the press conference that is going to be held outside of City Hall over the recall effort, and you need to sign a recall petition in front the the TV cameras.
You then need to pledge to raise as much money as Joe Arriola is donating, ask for a fist full of petitions, have Sneakers The Bodyguard drive you into the heart of District 3 and start knocking on doors to get people to sign recall petitions.
You don't do it for 10 minutes for the TV cameras, you do it ALL DAY!!
You come back the next day, and do it again. You become the real leader of this recall effort, and if you don't get the required 1500 - actually more like 2000 signatures - the next morning you file a new set of recall papers and start all over again.
You do to Joe Carollo what he's doing to you, only you wake up earlier, stay in the streets longer, and show him and the residents of Miami that his thuggish days are over with!
You fight for your future and the future of your city, because he can't kill you, and he can't eat you, so what do you have to lose?
If you don't understand that, and if you won't stand up and fight, then RESIGN!
AN OPEN LETTER TO MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ ABOUT HIS ASSOCIATION WITH ALLEGED CHILD MOLESTORS AND ON HIS NEED TO STAND UP, FIGHT JOE CAROLLO, OR RESIGN
The year is a little more than a month old, and this has clearly been the worse period of time of your supposed public service.
We both started out together in 2010, you as a young, inexperienced commissioner, and me as an old, inexperienced blogger.
You're now older and the Mayor of Miami, and I'm even older, and a lot wiser and jaded as I've watched you and the others on the Commission more often than not do things that raised questions about your morality, your ethics and your commitment to looking out for the best interests of the citizens who put you in office.
I've written about most of issues and incidents, and quite frankly as weary as I sometimes get of chronicling your misbehavior, I must say that the way that you handled the incident with Rene Pedrosa, has once again made me question whether you have the ethical compass to be an elected official.
We're all adults, and we've all experienced lust, desire and sexual longings, but there have always been bright lines over which no one with any sense dares to cross.
But they do, and Rene Pedrosa did.
In the initial Miami Herald story that revealed that he was under criminal investigation, it quoted you as saying that you had, upon questioning Pedrosa over the allegations asked him to resign.
NUMBER 32 - FEBRUARY 9, 2020
If Pedrosa had done to YOUR son what he did to someone else's son, would you have been so solicitous and merely asked him to resign, or would you at the very least fired his ass on the spot?
There is a tremendous difference between firing someone and asking them to resign, and part of that difference is in how that decision is seen by the public on whose behalf you serve and protect.
Time and again, people in power demonstrate both a tone deafness and a solicitousness to people who do or have been accused of doing some very bad things that is neither merited or warranted, and for some reason you seem have a bad problem when it comes to how you respond to men who are accused of child molestation.
On December 17, 2017, .
ADIOS - COLONEL KLINK IS LEAVING THE BUILDING
HE WAS CLUELESS WHEN HE TOOK THE JOB. HE WAS PART OF THE SCHEME TO GIVE AWAY MELREESE GOLF COURSE. HE FAILED TO TAKE OUT JOE CAROLLO WHEN HE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY. NO MATTER WHAT EXCUSE HE GIVES FOR THE COOKING THE PERMITS FOR THE DECK AND TREE REMOVAL AT HIS HOUSE, HIS SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT BLINDED HIM TO DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM OPENLY FROM THE BEGINNING, AND THEREFORE HE DESERVED BEING BITCH SLAPPED WHEN IT WAS REVEALED, AND LASTLY, THE NEXT BEST THING TO A PERP WALK IS WATCHING ANOTHER GUY HAILED TO BE AS SMART AS A ROCKET SCIENTIST WHEN HE SHOWED UP NOW LEAVING CITY HALL AS JUST ANOTHER DUMB FUCK AMATEUR WHO WAS NEVER READY TO PLAY IN THE BIG LEAGUES.
Joey Fleches took a funny photo of me posing for a picture for Colonel Klink. He said he would post it on Twitter.
NUMBER 34 - FEBRUARY 11, 2020
RECALL JOE CAROLLO PRESS CONFERENCE AT MIAMI CITY HALL
Here is the video of the press conference, in English and Spanish.
NUMBER 33 - FEBRUARY 11, 2020
JOE CAROLLO ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE PRESS CONFERENCE HELD AT CITY HALL TO ANNOUNCE THE RECALL EFFORT AGAINST HIM, AND IN HIS CORNER IS A REAL MIAMI BITCH!
NO, THIS WASN'T PUBLISHED IN THE ONION, AND NO, I'M NOT PLAYING WITH YOU!
The above is really the complete English version of the statement that Carollo issued on January 11th, at 10:46 AM.
It's a statement that begins by trying to misdirect the readers attention from him by invoking accused child molestor Rene Pedrosa into the fray, then goes on to link Pedrosa to the Mayor as a way to muddy up the waters even more, and ends by labeling those in favor of removing him as "anti-democratic...socialist radicals."
It's classic Carollo.
The only thing missing is that he didn't invoke a claim that all of the stories about his lying, demagogic rantings and ravings as a commissioner were the result of, "fake news."
It's still early in the game however, and before this is over the above comments might turn out to be the sanest words that come out of Carollo's mouth as he undertakes what will be a scorched earth effort to attack his enemies.
However, before everyone on the recall side of things laughs so hard they pee in their pants there are some unpleasant truths that they need to understand and pay attention to.
First, there is a definite method to Carollo's madness, and all of you need to understand, especially all you radical commie, socialists that better get used to being called that from now on, is that he didn't manage to get reelected to the Miami City Commission without knowing or playing to the voters in his district.
As more than one person has reminded me in recent days, most of the working class and old Cubans who make up the bulk of the residents in District 3 aren't big on social media, and most of them definitely don't watch gringo TV.
Those folks get their "news," and their view of the world almost exclusively from Latin radio, and in that world, Carollo's ravings fit right in with all of the other rabid, conspiratorial, anti-Castro rantings and ravings from radio hosts who've made careers fanning the flames of communists and socialists lurking behind every plastic Rooster in Little Havana.
Secondly, this is going to get really nasty, very quickly. There has never been much in the way of truthfulness and rationality in Miami politics, and this fight has managed to provide an opportunity for opportunists on both sides to come out of the wood work.
Behind all of the patriotic chest beating lurks an opportunity for some of these "Sunshine Patriots" to rekindle vendettas and blood feuds that in some cases go all the way back to Cuba and that, more than any concern for the plight of the residents of the City of Miami will definitely play a part in what happens in the weeks to come.
Thirdly, this is going to be a very bumpy road, and there is no assurance that given the incompetent way in which this was all originally organized that the recall effort will not be decided by voters, but by judges.
Fourthly, I will once again remind you - and I'm sure that I will do it again and again because it is the root cause for why all of this craziness is now happening - is that Francis Suarez, the sometimes, part-time Mayor of Miami is a coward who is ultimately the person most responsible not only for Carollo getting elected, but also for his ability to pour sand into the gears at City Hall and wage a reign of abuse and terror on his staff and on city employees.
I agree with those who question and argue that Francis Suarez should also be the subject of a recall, but the reason he isn't is that back in the day, another crooked mayor of Miami obviously acting out of self interest made sure that the City Charter didn't include a provision allowing for the recall of the Mayor.
There is more than I can and will write about all this as the recall effort goes forward, but sometimes you just got to give people enough rope to see whether they hang their opponents or themselves, and that's where I am today
One thing I cannot end without commenting on however, are the rumors that former commissioner Marc "Pay For Play" Sarnoff is now exerting himself into this frey by allegedly telling folks in city hall that they should not support "the recall, or else..."
Sarnoff is at the end of the day just another sleazy opportunist who cares nothing for anyone other than himself, and in his years on the commission demonstrated that he was a racist, venal and lying weasel dick, who as I revealed in the photo illustration below, would end up being some guy's bitch if he went to prison.
So, don't pay attention to Marc Sarnoff, because the only reason he's supporting Carollo and Diaz de la Portilla is that he sees in them an opportunity to do what he's always done, make money by fucking the taxpayers of Miami.
This is what a real Miami Bitch looks like!
NUMBER 35 - FEBRUARY 12, 2020
“Rene Pedrosa, the personal spokesperson and advisor to the mayor of Miami, was charged and arrested by Miami Police for the crime of battery "sexual" against a minor, pornography and other serious crimes last week.
“Now, this small group holds a press conference with the fairytale of a recall to divert attention from the gravity of the crimes committed against a minor in the Mayor's conference room.
“Rene Pedrosa was one of the original organizers of this anti- democratic recall, of which the vast majority of this small group do not live in district 3 and is comprised of socialist radicals, as well as others that want to do business with the Cuban dictatorship and corrupt politicians that want to be relevant again."
Nobody in Wynwood seems to know exactly what Andrew Suarez does for Moishe Mana, the billionaire owner of the large chunks of downtown Miami and Wynwood, including Mana Wynwood, a convention and meeting space that I was told recently Suarez now claims to part owner of, but everyone knows that he's the Mayor cousin, and that blood is thicker than water.
My first introduction to cousin Andrew and the confluence of business and politics currently a subject of considerable debate and concern in Wynwood came during a lunch meeting I had with a local lobbyist last year who shared with me a portion of an email from a person who at the time was trying to open a business in Wynwood that included this sentence:
"We were visited by Andrew Suarez, the mayor's cousin,
and also Vinnie Bettencourt, the head of Film and TV for
the city (previously Asst City Manager), who both said
that they want to help us open and get the best liquor/
warrant scenario possible."
It seems that Suarez and Betancourt's - the writer of the letter had misspelled Betancourt's name - offers of help were a Miami version of being visited by a couple Welcome Wagon representatives, only instead of passing out coupons and advertisements they were offering their services as inside fixers.
Because I couldn't approach the business owner without compromising my friend I filed the information away and started paying more attention to allegations and rumors that came my way about how a laundry list of questionable or illegal activities was going on in Wynwood, including Special Event Permits issued by Betancourt that raise serious questions of whether he and/or his staff are grossly incompetent - one of his staff is the mother of a senior staff member of Code Compliance - or are issuing permits based on reasons that warrant an investigation by the FDLE.
Although some of these activities were the result of the kinds of growing pains a district like Wynwood could expect to go through as part of its rapid development from an area of empty warehouses to a dynamic entertainment and arts district, what was beginning to concern and alarm some folks, especially the business people who had invested millions of dollars into making Wynwood into what it has become today, was the lack of response by the city in dealing with some of the more outrageous examples of misbehavior.
One of those business people was David Lombardi, who by his own account started investing in Wynwood in 2001, and who along with Tony Goldman could be considered one of the founding fathers of the area.
Lombardi is a guy who has invested millions in Wynwood, and because of this I was surprised when I discovered the below letter in a packet of documents I obtained through a public record request I recently made to the Wynwood BID.
The letter was written last June, and in it Lombardi complained to a number of city officials about what he perceived to be problems arising out of the failure of city departments like Code Compliance to do their job.
NUMBER 37 - FEBRUARY 14, 2020
FLYER OF THE DAY - THE RECALL JOE EFFORT SENDS OUT IT'S FIRST MAILER. CAN'T WAIT TO SEE HOW COMMISISONER COMEMIERDA REPLIES