Monday, August 25, 2008

Al Kaplan For North Miami Mayor


It's odd but the little strip mall has a Starbucks at its southern end, which is within the city limits of North Miami. A few store north and across a narrow alley is the City of North Miami Beach. One itty bitty strip mall, two cities. Just about everybody at Starbucks knows me and I'll talk with just about anybody and everybody. So I'm talking. To anybody and everybody! It's probably well past the time for just talking. Yup, time has run out for sure. The 13th hour has arrived!

For the past few years I've also been talking with everybody and anybody around city hall about "The Fence Issue" and getting nowhere. Today the deputy city manager, Dennis Kelley, came by my house. He agreed that the neighbor's fence was taller than he is. It's taller than his six feet for sure. Six feet maximum is what the code allows, and my contention is that at the time the fence was constructed the code said five feet. Even if the code was changed afterwards the fence should have been made to conform when I first complained. I'm also contending that it should have come in front of the Board of Adjustment for a variance, even if it was after the code was changed, bacause it's still overheight and it was constructed before the change.

Well, it seems that Clarence Patterson, our city manager, thinks that the fence is just fine as it is. That's great. An appointed official gets to make law? That's not the way I read the city charter. We have an elected council and an elected mayor. THEY make the rules and THEY hire and fire the city manager. For at least two years now people have been encouraging me to run for mayor. I still have that photograph of my bruised, cut, and bloody face courtesy of my neighbor's contractor. Well the cuts and bruising are courtesy of the contractor. My son Jonathan took the photo. What folks are telling me is that picture would make for a fantastic campaign poster. It would make for a great T-shirt. It would grab attention as the cover of a campaign brochure. It would probably get coverage in the Miami Herald and on TV as well. I'll even insist on using it as my official portrait to hang in city hall along with all the other portraits of North Miami mayors.

Yesterday I had lunch with the guy who made up the last "Al Kaplan T-shirt" a couple of years ago. Stay tuned...

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