Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gimenez beats Burgess to punch

It didn't take long for the front-running candidates to replace recalled Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez to start jockeying for pole position. They were already making grandiose statements about the choice of the people, as if people had much of a choice.

But Miami-Dade Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, who has an obvious in-the-know advantage that the other candidates will soon envy if they do not already, is leading that race after he issued a press release this morning announcing the county manager's resignation even before the county manager made it public. Gimenez probably got a head's up sent to all the commissioners before Manager George Burgess makes it public in about a half hour in a press conference at county hall. Way to get the scoop, Commissioner. (Should have predicted that!) If I were one of the other mayoral candidates, I would be trying to get in that email loop.

And maybe then they could have taken credit, too.

"George Burgess resigned his position as county manager today -- knowing that my first move as mayor of Miami-Dade County would have been to fire him," said Gimenez, who already has the election won in his head.

He called Burgess "the architect of all the failed policies of the Alvarez administration, including this year’s bloated budget that necessitated a tax increase, the disastrous Marlins stadium deal, poorly negotiated union contracts, and numerous other management decisions that cast a negative light on county government as a whole and eroded voter confidence."

Wait,where was the recall Burgess effort? Now it wasn't Alvarez? It was the manager?

Gimenez calls the resignation "a step in the right direction as our county moves toward recovery" but warns that "we must work to make sure that new leadership is installed to prevent any of this from happening again."

He means himself, of course, and it looks like he already feels this election is in the bag: "I look forward to leading this effort as Mayor and thank you for your support."

Ladra has always liked Gimenez and we have been friendly in the past, but I find many of his statements and moves -- like Tuesday block the last discretionary fund allocations by 24-year Commissioner Natacha Seijas as she left the building -- are self serving. Ladra cannot help but wonder how Gimenez -- who also requested a disbursement on Tuesday, but whose timing was not questioned, even though he is running for office -- has used his discretionary budget. Public records requests for those documents (read: follow the money) will be filed with his office today.

In fact, Ladra will be requesting all the commissioners' disbursements from discretionary funds -- and Gimenez should say his first move as mayor would be to propose eliminating those. But I bet he doesn't do that.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I have decided to moderate comments for a while as there are some that are simply off-subject and have become personal and offensive in nature, attacking not just me but others through this venue.

Comments that add substance and context to the news and issues in the blog will be posted. Comments that use profanity and abuse this open space to attack others will be saved and, when called for, sent to the appropriate authorities.