Support The Crespogram

NUMBER 118 - NOVEMBER 16, 2018



For the 2nd time in as many weeks, the Colonel asked to take my photo - the first time was at the City Manager's Golf Tournament - and this time I decided to take a photo of him taking my photo.

I asked him what he was planning to do with my photo, like maybe stick it on a BOLO flyer or something (HaHa), and he replied that he wasn't sure, but maybe he might put it in his bathroom.

Now I admit that I have a twisted mind, but my first thought after he said that was this vision of the Colonel having a big bulletin board over his toilet and when he pees, he stands there looking at all the photos that he's taken of people he'd like to pee on.

If he does, then I hope he's put me up there next to Joe Carollo.

I suspect that within the next 60 days there's going to be a line out the door of folks who decide to run against Russell, and Crespodamas is predicting now that Russell's bestest pal at city hall - that'd be weak Mayor Francis Suarez - will end up supporting one of those opponents.


Going to a Miami City Commission meeting is a lot like going to a racetrack where the jockeys are all overweight, prone to use their horses like bumper cars, and not immune to letting another horse win, as long as the money's right.

When you arrive at such a racetrack, it only takes a quick walk around to talk with the bookies and odds makers to find out which races are fixed before going to the betting window and putting your $2 bet on the sure thing.

At yesterday's Commission meeting the sure thing was that the vote on the ULTRA Music Festival was going to be 4 to 1 in favor, and that the vote against would be cast by Commissioner "Sellout" Russell.

Almost 3 hours after the issue came up for discussion, and after all the Sturm and Drang, the final vote was 4 to 1, and the vote against was cast by Commissioner "Sellout" Russell.

That doesn't mean that throughout the discussion there wasn't a bit of drama because in Miami there's a drama queen lurking in most politicians,  and of course there were the usual examples of Commissioners who talk too much without saying much of consequence, or that the champion of financial accountability hadn't bothered to actually read the proposed revocable license agreement from beginning to end and had to grudgingly concede that when the Crespogram said that the agreement included a provision (Section 10-2), that excluded 9000 tickets and not 3000 tickets from the count and the surcharge that I was right, or that in the end ULTRA was forced to pay more than the administration of Francis Suarez had magnanimously agreed to let them initially get away with paying, but there was never any doubt that ULTRA would walk out of the meeting without an agreement.

While I continue to have my issues and problems with Joe Carollo and his behavior, I do in this particular instance agree with the comments he made before his vote, even though I'm not sure that a No vote would have resulted in the the fight returning to Bayfront Park, and even if it did, sometimes the only way to drive a stake through bad public policy and kill it for good is to do it in a courtroom, which is obviously easy for me to say since I'm not the one who would have to help pay for the attorneys, but then that why I don't get paid big bucks for my opinions.  Here is Carollo's statement:

          "I think the way that this was handled was horrendous.

          The way that this was negotiated for our side is scary,

          because with the major projects that we have coming up,

          if this is a sign of how they're going to be negotiated,  

          we're in trouble. And at least from one vote up here, I'm

          not going to allow those kinds of negotiations.  

          You saw tonight that from what was negotiated, to what

          we ended up with was major difference, and I don't get

          paid those big bucks to negotiate that way. But, I do have

          a lot of concerns from the ecological point of view, from

          the noise effects that this could have on our own residents

          on Brickell Avenue, our other neighbors at Miami Beach

          at Fisher Isle. There's a lot of questions. This contract is

          not the kind of contract that I would have signed off on,

          if I would have been negotiating it from the start.

          Having said that, I am a realist and know enough about

          politics to know that if I vote no today, this is going to

          come right back in another go around is going to happen

          at Bayfront Park, and while I want to be as neighborly as

          I can with the residents of Key Biscayne, I need to protect

          our residents in the city even more so.

          Having said that, my vote is going to be yes for those

          reasons, but only for this one year. If you guys don't get

          your act together, and we have security concerns,  if people

          get hurt in these three days, if we have a traffic mess and

          if we have noise hitting Brickell or Fisher isle, you're not

          going to have my vote. That's why I wanted those 60 days,

          not one day like you have in the contract to be able to

          revoke it.

          So I vote yes today, not a happy yes, but a yes for the

          reasons I described. I don't want to have to fight this off

          again from Bayfront Park, the residents of Biscayne and

          the people who have offices there have gone through

          enough and I won't do that to them, so I vote yes."

The irony is that Joe Carollo is not the District 2 Commissioner, and therefore he is not the one who represents the residents on Brickell or on Biscayne Boulevard.

The person who should have had, and voiced these concerns about his constituents was Ken Russell, aka Commissioner "Sellout," who only seems, when it suits his rarified sensibilities about what his job really entails, decides to show a concern for his constituents.

Say what you will about Marc Sarnoff, and I certainly did for almost 7 years, including a pithy comment on Twitter last night, if he had been the City Commissioner yesterday, he, and not Joe Carollo would have been the one driving this discussion and he would never have allowed this shit show, or this revocable license agreement to go forward without his absolute and complete approval before the item was placed on the agenda.

Before putting this on the back burner for a while, I will close by saying that no one should ignore, excuse or forget the screwing that this deal represents to the two young guys who for the last two years staged their Rapture Music Festival at the Virginia Key Beach. I don't know if they really have a rock solid legal case, but they were certainly fucked over by the city.

It's Miami, Bitches!

Attorney Richard Perez is explaining the difference between the $1.4 million that his client Russell Falbisch - the guy with his hands ovefr the seat - got Colonel Klink to accept as ULTRA's payment for the Virgina Key properties, and the $2 million that Commissioner Carollo said that wanted ULTRA to pay for his vote.