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COMMISSIONER "COCO LOCO" CAROLLO TRIED TO CLAIM THAT HE AND SEVERAL BAYFRONT PARK TRUST BOARD MEMBERS WERE ENTITLED TO EAT IN "PRIVATE," WHILE DISCUSSING WHO KNOWS WHAT AHEAD OF THE LAST BAYFRONT PARK TRUST BOARD MEETING
Joe Carollo likes to portray himself as a populist hero looking out for regular folks, and always looking to be on the side of transparency and honest government, that is until he gets caught behaving like a petty dictator, and then he acquires the same kind of bitch attitude that his pal and puppet master Marc Sarnoff used to get when I'd catch him in a lie.
Just before last week's Bayfront Park Trust Board meeting, several of the board members, along with Assistant City Attorney Robert Suarez-Rivas were in the room next to the meeting room eating sandwichs provided by the Trust.
For those of you who don't know, or who would maybe like to have a "free" lunch on the city of Miami's taxpayers, these board meetings are purposely held at noon, so that the participants and guests can partake of a catered lunch of sandwiches, soft drinks and pastries.
Anyhow, I was sitting by the door to this room and when Carollo went into the room, he slammed the door shut. Yes, Carollo is a door slammer. Who would have guessed that, right?.
Anyhow, Carollo in a voice loud enough that I could hear through the door, started telling someone, and I assume that it was Suarez-Rivas something to the effect that he thought he had told him to do something, which I have to assume Suarez-Rivas hadn't done, and so out of curiosity and to hear better, I reached over and turned the knob on the door and pushed it open.
Carollo seeing the door open, walked over and slammed it shut again.
I waited a moment of two, and then got up, and opened the door again, where upon Carollo came to the door and we had an exchange of words.
I should have turned on my video camera before I opened the door like he accused me of doing, but I didn't, and when I did turn on my camera, the short video clip above is what I captured.
In the room, and clearly visible in the background at the table with a plate in his hand you see board member Steven Kneapler. Robert Suarez-Rivas, and Richie Blom, Carollo's Chief of Staff were also in the room, along with Ralph Duarte, another board member.
,The voice of the woman you hear saying excuse me as she enters the room is none other than Mary Lugo, who has played a major role in Carollo's activities on SW 8th Street. And as you hear Carollo declare, "So this is private here, and let's eat," before he shuts the door again.
Like so many claims that Carollo makes, the gathering of these board members in this room does not qualify as a "luncheon" meeting based on the description of the Florida Sunshine Manual, Page 38, and it definitely can't be declared "private."
NUMBER 117 - OCTOBER 30, 2018
The food is made available for all who attend, just like the food at the city's Finance Committee meetings is available to all who attend, as well as the food that is purchased with taxpayers dollars for any public meeting.
More importantly, the Sunshine Manual cites the Florida Supreme Court where they state very clearly that, "A secret meeting occurs when public officials meet at a time and place to avoid being seen or heard by the public."
The inability to see or hear what was going on in that room I believe qualifies, based on the Supreme Court's description, as a private meeting, whether or not the Commissioner declares it private, which in this case he did by declaring it "private," and shutting the door
Now, I can't speak to all that was actually said behind thise closed doors, and given the general level of cowardice that has been exhibited by the board members when it comes to standing up to Carollo on anything of consequence, we'll probably never know what was actually discussed, but the Commissioner continues to demonstrate that he has little respect for the law, and even less for for the norms of transparency and openness that he demands from others, and for thst reason, we award Carollo with a Crespogram Smoochie!
A CRESPOGRAM SMOOCHIE