North Miami Beach employee and AFSCME President Janice Coakley starts every public comment in response to a department’s budget presentation with the phrase, “I have a problem with that.”  Ever since the Budget Season has begun, she has been constantly telling the Mayor, Council and City Manager that the workforce in our city is top heavy.  What she means is that there are too many managers and not enough workers, and that “it’s always the little person to get cut.”  I tend to agree with her.  Janice, I have a problem with that, too.

As Councilwoman Phyllis Smith noted in last night’s budget workshop, the Customer Service Department has 22 employees and 6 managers.  Phyllis calculated that roughly one quarter of the staff of that department are managers, or that each manager supervises a grand total of 2.7 workers.  Yeah, I’d say that sounds pretty top heavy to me.  But what I find really incredible is that with all those employees in Customer Service, they still can’t find someone to answer the phone.  I’m just saying. Continue reading


My WTF Moment of the Day

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times…I’m no financial expert.  I could stare at the North Miami Beach budget and all the slide presentations given by the various department heads, and my eyes literally glaze over.  It reminds me of the time I mentioned a certain bodily function to my then teenage son, when he screamed while running out of the room, “WTMI, MOM!”

Likewise, I consider going line by line through a city budget WTMI – Way Too Much Information.  It’s not as if I’m not intelligent enough to figure it out if I put my mind to it.  But, why should I?  Why risk straining a brain cell if others are willing to put on their thinking caps, boil it down to a bottom line, and spell it out to me in plain English so I can then simply write about it?  It’s so much easier to pretend to be a dumb blonde and let everyone else do the hard work.  Works for me, he he he.

As fate would have it, I was sitting here minding my own business when I received an email from a person who was questioning the Procurement Budget Presentation. Continue reading


The Mean Season

Long time residents of South Florida will remember back in the 1970s when John Katzenbach was the top crime reporter for the Miami Herald.  In 1982 he published his first book about a serial killer’s murderous crime spree in Miami called In the Heat of the Summer, on which the 1985 film The Mean Season is based.  Mr. Katzenbach was one of my favorite reporters in those days, and I used to pore over the Miami Herald every morning in search of one of his articles.

According to Wikipedia, the term mean season refers to “a pattern of weather that occurs in Florida during the late summer months. Hot mornings with sticky weather lead into violent thunderstorms that blow in from the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico in the afternoon. However, the rain doesn’t alleviate the heat and only makes things hotter that evening. This cycle repeats every day for a month.”  Obviously, all of us here in South Florida are as we speak in the grips of The Mean Season. Continue reading


Random Thoughts and Nominations

Unless there are any really new developments in the not so breaking story of the North Miami Beach Police Department vs. the city, I won’t be writing more about this situation.  No, I have not backed down because of any, ahem, attempted intimidation by anyone.  If I thought there was an end game to continuing to do battle with anyone, believe me I’m more than capable of going the distance.  But the truth is, this drama is going to play itself out the way it’s supposed to no matter how the individual players behave or what anyone else has to say about it.   I fully expect that at future budget workshops there will continue to be over the top performances by both cops and residents, and I’ve pretty much wrung every last bit of dark humor out of them for this column.  I’d venture to say that everyone knows where everyone else stands and very few people are gonna change their minds.  You all know that I feel the current problem was created by outlandish spending by the previous administration, and is now being exacerbated by the unrealistic demands and bullying behavior of the union.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  Period.

As I never beat dead horses, I’m moving on.  Next! Continue reading


The Calico Cop from Hell

I want to personally thank Sergeant Nelson Reyes of the North Miami Beach Police Department for giving me the material to write this blog.  If it weren’t for him, frankly, I doubt I could have summoned up the energy or the interest to report to you the details of the budget workshop I just attended.  I showed up, I listened, I wandered off in my mind to chase unicorns, and to keep myself from falling asleep I took cursory notes of the meeting, hoping I would get excited about something.  Anything.

For the first forty five minutes or so, a trail of people got up to speak.  Most of them, residents and cops alike, said pretty much the same thing they all said at any one or more of the previous budget workshops.  Yada, yada, yada.  I stopped taking notes after about seven speakers, wishing I was home watching any of the handful of cop shows I’ve recorded over the last week, because the “real life” cop show I was watching was boooooooooring.  This is why I never watch “reality” shows, American Idol included.  “Dancing with the Stars” holds no interest for me except to make me wish I had visions of Dwight Yoakam dancing in my head.  So, yeah, you get the picture.  Budget workshops, and reality TV, are really not my thing. Continue reading


Myron The Rat Update

After laying low for several months since he was shamed out of office, former North Miami Beach mayor Myron Rosner’s name has been resurfacing lately like a sewer rat slipping out of manholes at night for a scurry about town under cover of darkness.  People have been asking about the status of the various ongoing investigations of our resident rodent, and I’ve been doing a little worm digging on their behalf.  For starters, his trial before the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics for all the allegedly illegal construction on his property is tentatively scheduled for September 22, 2011, barring any additional continuations his latest attorney will try to finagle.  The trial was to have originally been held last September, and was continued to March of this year.  Then Myron somehow managed to have it delayed until this past June so that it wouldn’t interfere with his thankfully unsuccessful bid for re-election.  The trial was then continued yet again due to the resignation of the then Ethics Commission chief, Robert Myers, who was replaced by then State Attorney Joe Centorino.  Why it was necessary to postpone Myron’s trial just because there was a changing of the guard is one of life’s greatest mysteries.  It’s not as if Mr. Centorino wasn’t fully aware of the myriad complaints filed against Myron for the past three years, the ethics violation charges being the only ones to stick at the time.  Nevertheless, Myron’s trial was continued until, hopefully, next month – more than two years after they were filed. Continue reading


Concerning Conversating

While we anxiously await tonight’s City of North Miami Beach budget workshop so that I can blog about current events, I thought I’d go off on a random tangent about a favorite topic of mine – using proper English.

One of my pet peeves is the word “conversate” and its intended progressive verb form, “conversating.”  First of all, let’s get something straight.  There is no such word.  It’s made up.  I understand that “conversate” might have been derived from the word “conversation” in the convoluted sense of some idiot’s imagination.  But for those who don’t know, people who are engaged in a conversation are conversing, not “conversating.”  Let’s put it this way; if you are using your “imagination,” would you be “imaginating?”  Jeez, I hope not! Continue reading


A perfect example of why I’m anti-UNION

Reposted from:


DEVELOPING: Ohio Business Owner Shot For Being Non-Union, Police Investigating

by LaborUnionReport

This is a developing story as police are still investigating the shooting of a non-union business owner, John King, by what appears to be a union assailant.

With around 25 employees, John King owns one of the largest non-union electrical contracting businesses in the Toledo, Ohio area. As a non-union contractor, his business happens to be doing well at a time when unions in the construction industry are suffering. This, it seems, has made the usual animosity unions have for him even greater, making him a prime target of union thugs. So much so, that one of them tried to kill him last week at his home. Continue reading


Flipping for Food

WHO:  Children helping Children….all welcomed, groups, girl & boy scouts, teams, etc.
WHAT:   Fundraiser for the children in Africa – the worse drought in history.
All proceeds go to “Doctor’s without Borders.”
Children participate in anything from jumps on the trampoline to forward rolls on the floor.  Sponsors of participants donate & each particpant should try to collect a minuiim of $25.00 to enter.
WHEN:  Sunday Sept. 18th at 10:00 AM – SAVE THE DATE! Continue reading