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NUMBER 104 - JULY 11, 2019
PETER EHRLICH SUES THE CITY OVER BEING DENIED ACCESS TO PUBLIC MEETING ORGANIZED BY THE CITY OF MIAMI PARKS & RECREATION DEPARTMENT TO DISCUSS UPGRADE TO PALLOT PARK
Local businessman and community activist Peter Ehrlich, has just filed a lawsuit over his being denied access to a meeting organized by the City of Miami's Park and Recreation Department.
In a statement released by Ehrlich's attorney, David Winker, he stated that:
Copyrighted: 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
As residents, we count on the City of Miami to represent our interests.
Unfortunately, there have been a number of instances lately where city officials have appeared to act more as cheerleaders and PR agents for developers, rather than looking out for the best interests of residents and the future of our City.
My client Peter Ehrlich received an invitation from the City to attend a meeting regarding Pallot Park. The meeting was conducted by Lara Hamwey, City of Miami Parks & Recreation Department Director.
Daniel Prats, district liason for City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell, and Hector Badia, Assistant Director of the City of Miami’s Office of Capital Improvements, were also present at the meeting.
My client was denied entry to the meeting because of his past comments opposing the changes the developer Joseph Milton was proposing to make to the park as part of a development deal he struck with the City to allow him to build at a greater height than he was otherwise entitled.
What happened is blatantly wrong. But rather than take responsibility and simply acknowledge their error, the City doubled down and Commissioner Ken Russell publicly defended selectively barring residents from the meeting. It looks like this is going to become the new norm in the City and that is unacceptable.
My client Peter Ehrlich is a well-respected property owner and businessman in the City who serves on the boards of the Urban Environment League, Scenic Miami, Citizens for a Scenic Florida, the Lemon City Cemetery Corp, MiMo Historic District, Bayside Historic District and the Virginia Key Advisory Board. If Mr. Ehrlich is going to be barred entry- imagine what is happening to less prominent residents.
Meaningful participation in public debate, fairness, due process, equal treatment, transparency... these are core principals of our democratic society that are worth fighting for.
Mr. Ehrlich is bringing this suit to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone again.