An aerial from 2013 showing cleared areas.
When I looked at donations to Kevin Madok’s campaign for county clerk, I noted that two sizable donations came from landfill companies. That struck me as odd. Why would two landfill operations from out-of-town care who wins the election for Monroe County clerk of court?
Fast forward a month or two, and the county is crowing about some huge fines they’ve been allowed to impose on local business owner, Brian Lindback. They are salivating over the possibility of foreclosing on his property. It gives me the creeps. It should give everyone the creeps. Yesterday it was SUFA. Today it’s Brian Lindback. Who will be targeted tomorrow? You? Me? Your sweet old granny? Continue reading
I hear from quite a few people behind the scenes, and an awful lot of them tell me stories about being hassled out of business by Monroe County government or the City of Key West. It’s hard to verify most of this, but I’m inclined to believe these folks because I know how the county operates. They’re as sleazy as it gets. They love bullying people and they love going on the attack. They’ve already demonstrated that they’re more than happy to crap all over their taxpayers just because they can. Why not roll over a few business owners, too? Continue reading
Is this where all the tax money goes?
One of the many things that annoys me about the Board of County County Commissioners (BOCC) and their partner (in crime), the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA), is their tendency to shove things down the memory hole. So I keep a running list of unresolved issues. I followed up on two of those things just recently. I copied members of Keys media. We’ll see if anything pops up in the newspaper. I’m especially interested to see what half-baked cover story the Citizen might come up with. The things they react to and how they spin them are instructive sometimes. After all, the Citizen more or less functions as the county/FKAA propaganda arm. Continue reading
Update: Here’s another article from the Keynoter/Reporter. According to this, the money will be split among the entities in accordance with the 2013 interlocal agreement – meaning that the county will not be able to funnel it all to their wasteful and ridiculous canal projects. KLWTD will supposedly get $3.3 million, which could go toward addressing the funding inequity that the state has historically tried to make worse. The budget still has to go to the governor. We’ll see what happens.
It looks like the Keys will be getting $13.3 million from the state. That’s good I guess. It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally learned not to get too over-excited.
Unfortunately, state money has a poor track record in the Keys. When it has come through in the past, its been deployed in a way that only feeds corruption and waste. Your every day citizen/taxpayer sees little benefit, but well-connected bubbas certainly do.
You can find a bit of history here. Continue reading
Things seem to be moving right along at the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District, and I couldn’t be happier.
First and most important, the District’s Lead Operator, Jered Primicerio, won an award. It’s quite an honor, and quite an achievement.
Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District plant operator Jered Primicerio has received the David B. Lee Wastewater Award from the Florida Water and Pollution Control Operator’s Association.
The award has been given annually since 1964 to one plant operator in the state.
Congratulations to Jered Primicerio and the District.
This is a reminder of what the District is supposed to be about. While the board and the General Manager were getting bogged down in silly minutia, the District’s technical staff were quietly and, very effectively, doing their jobs. Continue reading
Ahhhh….it’s a “CRISIS!”. Run.
Uh oh! Looks like the affordable housing “CRISIS!” is coming straight for your wallet.
With 47 affordable housing deed restrictions set to expire in the next two years, the Monroe County Commission is now discussing how to save workforce housing.
The commission briefly broached the subject when it was talking about signing paperwork to release several properties from their deed restrictions and plans to revisit the issue within the next several months.
“How do we save these restrictions?” County Commissioner Heather Carruthers asked. “Do we have any program to buy back these restrictions? I haven’t seen anything from the Land Authority and nothing from staff. What can we do here?”
The bolding is mine.
First, I think it would be helpful to talk about the difference between a “CRISIS!” and a crisis. Continue reading
Get out! But leave your wallet.
After some phony tough talk, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) decided to kick the can down the road when it comes to canal restoration operating and maintenance costs. Due to their inaction, county-wide taxpayers will continue to be saddled with expenses for a project they never wanted and does not benefit them.
Here is a hilarious excerpt from the Citizen’s story.
Deciding whether just canal-front property owners or all county property owners should pay has been tricky, because there is no science or data to prove that poor water quality in canals impacts the nearshore waters.
Uh…it’s actually not tricky at all. If you don’t benefit, you don’t pay. Very simple. Continue reading
I know I use this picture a lot. I just like it.
I’m pretty sure I write one of the most depressing blogs on the internet. It’s all about local government insanity that seems to get worse and worse every day. Sorry about that. Governments in Monroe County don’t give me a whole lot of positive to work with most of the time. Unfortunately.
Well, I’ve got some good news for a change. I took a look at the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District’s agenda. It actually has substantive issues on it. No, they’re not tweaking the language of the grievance policy. Again. No, they’re not fighting to extract information from staff. Again. No, they’re not finagling the numbers related to the Cross Key project. Again. The board waved their magic wand and “poof”, we’ve suddenly got forward motion.
The most interesting items up for discussion include…
- The General Manager’s job description. It’s well done. The board is clearly looking for someone with solid technical expertise in the field, someone who is willing and able to look to the future.
- There’s a nice, detailed report about federal funding. This is the funding source the county tried to interfere with a few years back. It took a long time to fix what the county broke. It looks like things are still on track. Phew!
- There’s a very intriguing item about managing files. This is especially important for a public entity like the District, which needs to meet the requirements of Florida’s Sunshine Law.
There was also a nice article about the District’s wastewater treatment plant a week or so back in the Free Press.
The stupid. It burns. Really bad.
Here’s an item about canal restoration from the Key West Citizen. Now, as we know, the Citizen is about as reliable as Pravda when it comes to providing accurate information about their buddies at the county. So when they write an article that makes the county look this ridiculous, you know the situation is probably much worse than it seems on the surface. I’m sure the awful truth will someday come burbling up out of the ground like untreated sewage in Key Haven.
What’s really crazy is that the three worst, most consistently irresponsible commissioners on the board seem to be on the right side of this particular issue. Continue reading
Time for responsible humans to stop “playing ball”.
Life has taken over. I don’t have as much time to blog as I used to, but I still care about Keys issues, especially the issue of animal control.
Fortunately, Rick Boettger is all over it. He’s done a great job of getting the facts out about Monroe County’s disgraceful conduct regarding the Middle Keys animal shelter. He also filed the ethics complaint that led to county commissioner, George Neugent, being reprimanded by the Florida Ethics Commission – a major achievement.
Here’s his latest at the Blue Paper. The very first sentence grabbed my attention right away. Continue reading