Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Cheap Little Flag, Cheap Little City

It seems like at every patriotic holiday the City of North Miami
gives out these cute little flags. They must buy thousands of them every year. They're just the right size for Monkette to hold so often I get a picture of her holdiong one. I also keep a couple of them in the truck next to the rear view mirror. This photo is actually a direct scan of he flag, no camera involved!
But I'm going to tell you about how the North Miami mayor and city council conspired to shaft the members of the city advisory boards. One of my other posts this week tells about how city staff can't even get their shit together to get our checks out in a timely fashion, but this is more insidious. People in politics should be honest, the "My word is my bond" kind of thing. But not Mayor Kevin Burns and the North Miami City Council who gave recently themselves a ten-fold increase in pay, generous retirement benefits, expense accounts, and lifetime health insurance, followed by an attempt to increase the utility bill WAY up there. They claim it's to pay for a new water plant, but if you look at their row of brand new ultra deluxe SUV's parked behind city hall it kinda makes you wonder. The city manager has one too!
The council chambers were packed with angry taxpayers. The council backed off on the utility bill increase. I hope they can afford to make the payments on those big fancy SUV's because without the new water plan there's no chance (not that I'm implying anything here) for getting kick backs from whatever contractor would be awarded the multi-million dollar contract.
I spent a dozen years on the North Miami Planning Comission and six or so on the Board of Adjustment, my current position. Our pay is a token TEN BUCKS a meeting, the same as it was in 1961, and we pay for our own gas if we drive around looking at the properties on the agenda. I actually do drive around and look at them. I was dumbstruck a few months ago when our chairwoman said that she doesn't bother.
I've been lobbying to at least bring it up by the amount of inflation over the years. Of course the city has grown from maybe 20,000 to over 60,000 since 1961. The boards have a lot more work to do these days. I presented the council with a figure of $85.00, which is about what 1961's $10 became due to inflation. A raise was passed at last. Then when I didn't receive the check two months running (see the emails in another blog posting) I was starting to get major pissed. So was my girlfriend Robin because I'm no fun to be around when I'm pissed. She kept telling me that at a party around Christmastime Mayor Kevin Burns told her that we'd be getting $85.00 a meeting.
Was I ever surprised when I finally got my check for the two meetings. It wasn't for $170.00. It was for a lousy $40.00. TWENTY BUCKS A MEETING. It still doesn't pay for the gasoline! Mayor Kevin Burns lied to Robin. Yup, Kevin Burns lied to a lady! My mommy always told me that was a no-no! The entire North Miami City Council screwed us. Well, somebody has to pay for those big fancy SUV's , right? Please call (305) 893-6511 and tell Kevin what you think about this underhanded dealing. Monkette would be grateful too!
...and Kevin, remember Mayor Howard Neu! He got me pissed once too. Once is enough!
(But that's a story for another day!)

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