Incumbents win in North Bay Village

November 4, 2014 Posted by Frank M


Incumbents keep their seats in North Bay Village.

Mayor Connie Leon Kreps beat challenger Jorge Brito 59.98% to 40.02%.

Commissioner Jorge Gonzalez finally beat Mario Garcia 56.33% 43.67%. The last time they faced off, Garcia won more votes but had longed stepped out of the race.


Early Voting Totals 2014

November 4, 2014 Posted by Frank M

Early Voting Totals per day
Includes Ballots Cast and Absentee Ballots reported.

Ballots cast per day

Absentee Ballots Reported Per Day


Three Jobs

September 30, 2014 Posted by Frank M


$19 million dollar neglect in Miami Beach

September 17, 2014 Posted by Frank M

Jimmy Morales

Jimmy Morales

Miami Beach is out nearly $19 million in parking impact fees because city failed to collect.

The staggering number comes from a report released by the city manager’s office this week which showed a long history of neglectful collection policy. The uncollected money would have gone towards improving the city’s parking facilities.

“Administratively we are fixing the problem,” said City Manager Jimmy Moralez to the city commission on Wednesday. “Currently we are billing, and billing for next year as well.”

Moralez sees the issue as a retroactive one and asked the commission for guidance on how to proceed in recovering past fees due to the city.

For 25 years Miami Beach has had the “fee in lieu of parking” program which allows developers to construct projects without sufficient parking. A one-time fee is accessed per parking space, currently a $35,000 fee, and that money goes into the city coffers to improve parking facilities.

The problem is that for nearly the entire lifetime of the program, the city has been woefully neglectful in properly collecting the fees, or even collecting at all said the report.

The findings also showed:


Early voting

August 23, 2014 Posted by Frank M



North Bay Village discretionary budget workshop (Graphs and Charts)

July 5, 2014 Posted by Frank M

Last May North Bay Village held a budget workshop designed to get input from the commissioners and the public. The real budget hearings will start later this month. While the numbers are not complete at the moment, NBV Finance Director Bert Wrains prepared a preliminary outline for discretionary expenses.

Editor’s note:Numbers reflect May’s numbers.


Friday’s Critical Mass Miami route

June 26, 2014 Posted by Frank M

Critical Mass for June is still on in Miami.

According to the Miami PD, it will be a “surprise” whether or not cops start cracking down on infractions inherent with the protest ride.

The coy comments came at a press conference this week where officials called the Critical Mass event unsafe.

This map was available at a Meetup group dedicated to the end-of-the-month rides, but tellingly not on Raydel Baluja-Herrera ‘s Miami Bike Scene blog. The Miami PD say Baluja-Herrera is the de facto organizer.

Most comments on the Meetup group seem to confirm they will be at the ride this Friday. However a poster named Richard Sanda said he would skip the circus he fears the event will become.

“Sorry; just not in the mood for the media or the cops…at this stage in the game, I try and avoid the whole hectic thing,” wrote Sanda.

Some have asserted the City of Miami is making a play for money. Hilda Diaz on the Meetup Group disagreed: “No, all the bullshit is happening because there are assholes joining the rides who have no business riding a bike in traffic. No helmet, no lights, cutting between cars and then ruin it for everyone one else. “

Riders meet at Government Center at 6:30p.m. and ride off at around 7:15.


Miami Police calls Critical Mass unsafe

June 25, 2014 Posted by Frank M

The Miami Police Department has put Critical Mass Miami on notice. They have the certified mail receipt to prove it.

On Wednesday in front of a throng of reporters, Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa declared the monthly bike event unsafe, and unsanctioned.

“When you have three thousand people riding bicycles you would think you would want control over it. This is why Critical Mass has turned into a Critical Mess,” said the chief.

“There is no order, there is no control,” said Orosa.

Critical Mass is a monthly bike event held on the last Friday of the month in hundreds of cities around the world. It is generally believed the biking is meant to draw attention to existing laws, or the lack of them, that establish a safe sharing of the road between bicycles and automobiles. Because of this, the event can become a moment of activism for some, and the rules of the road are purposely ignored.

“For bicyclists the same rules as a vehicle apply when you are on the road,” said Orosa. “Critical mass runs red lights, runs stop signs, and basically makes everyone wait for them.”

To some, that’s the point.

“Critical Mass is slight civil disobedience,” said Chauncey O’Connor a bicycle enthusiast who attended the press conference. He believes civil disobedience is the most powerful tool for change.


Obama talks with Tumblr users

June 10, 2014 Posted by Frank M

Quick recap
President Barack Obama teamed up with social networking site Tumblr to reach out to the indebted youth of America.

Obama is promoting the expansion of a program meant to lower the monthly payments of school tuition loans. A method of achieving this would be to cap repayments to 10% of earned income.

While at the same time, Obama hopes to give a shout out to more comprehensive bill championed by senate democrats.

The President is not shy about appearing on mediums that skew to a younger audience, and just under half of Tumblr users are in the 18-35 demo. To promote the Affordable Health Care Act, Obama went on the internet show “Between Two Ferns,” with Comedian Zack Galifianakis.


SunPost: North Bay Village Mayor Responds to Barry Report

June 10, 2014 Posted by Frank M

Pic via NBV

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the Miami SunPost. By Frank Maradiaga

May had a curious buzz to it in North Bay Village. Aside from the new City Hall digs, the results to the resident survey was due. There had been an onslaught of solicitation to participate in the survey: it was mixed in with bills, village notices, and links sent through mailing lists. The village held a special commission meeting just to hear it. It seemingly did not disappoint: through a third party residents had their collective concerns amplified and commissioners were handed a map.

The 62-page marketing plan, which many on the commission carry a full-color copy of in their binders, is a treasure trove of issues and opinions most politicians would spend considerable shoe-leather and campaign funds to acquire.

Promptly it was praised by the commission, the sentiment being that it was unbiased and professional.

Yet, as the SunPost previously reported, buried in the report is a murderously-hostile take down of the elected officials in NBV. It said the Village lacked: transparent government, sincere leaders, democratic principles, civility, actual law enforcement, good decisions, residents willing to rate the administration, communication, and any solution for problems.

Recently the SunPost brought the survey’s assessment to the attention of the Mayor and Vice-Mayor of North Bay Village, Connie Leon-Kreps and Eddie Lim respectively. They seemed to not have been aware of these harsh words,and asked for the page numbers where the criticism appear.

“Corruption within and self interests in public offices is at its peak,” Lim read word for word from the report. He snorted “What the hell are they talking about?”

At first a jovial Lim brushed off the harsh words by suggesting that the report was talking about government in general.

Yet a closer inspection of the writing found that most assumptions made in report ended in the phrase “in NBV.” If the report didn’t use “NBV” it used the moniker “Village,” making whom the report was referring to insufferably clear.