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Hialeah: Campaign $ before safety

  • SumoMe

Hialeah’s alcaldito Carlos Hernandez and his yes council would have people believe that they have to fire almost half the city’s firefighter paramedics to balance the budget without raising taxes. But a closer look at the city’s checkbook may indicate that what they really want is to take money from the fire department budget so they can keep on doling out millions in no-bid contracts and purchase order increases for their friends and campaign contributors.

On the agenda for tonight’s meeting, two days before they consider firing 40 percent of the 270 firefighters that currently serve more than 220,000 residents, there are several items that are worth questioning. They include more than a dozen requests to waive the competitive bidding process — which guarantees fair, not inflated prices, and an open, level playing field — for a total of more than $800,000, which includes one for Maguire Group for inspections that have already been done on the water pump that cost the city double because it wasn’t done right the first time. Maguire Group, its officers and their other companies contributed at least $4,300 to the failed Julio Robaina county mayoral campaign — and, Ladra is willing to wager, we’ll see some contributions to the current candidates on the dais (which is the long podium they sit at for meetings, for that person who did not recognize the word).

Additionally, there is a “change order” for contracts with two other companies (probably no bid contracts, also) that contributed to the Robaina campaign: Acosta Tractors ($175,000) and Overland Carriers (doesn’t say how much the change is, but the contract total is $2.1 million so I bet it’s at least a six-figure figure). Acosta Tractors and its related officers and companies donated $2,000 in four bundled maximum $500 contributions. Overland just $1,000 that I could find so far, but its harder than it looks to trace these contributions back and connect them to bundles. And I haven’t even started to look at the seven or eight PACs that supported Robaina that might have also benefited from these benevolent city vendors.

This is how the city administration misspends your hard-earned taxes, Hialeah. Watch them as they raise no questions and rubber-stamp every no-bid contract and every change order. Council President Isis “Guttergirl” Garcia-Martinez might even give her nod with her signature enthusiastic “Absolutely!” — just in case there is any question of how she really feels.

Then Thursday, do not let the council blame the city’s hard-working employees for their own financial mismanagement and cut half of the city’s firefighters and paramedics so that they can keep on doling out funds to their campaign contributors.

That’s pathetic. And it should be criminal.

16 Responses to Hialeah: Campaign $ before safety

  1. Anonymous Reply

    September 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Ladra, take a closer look at the agenda. There also are increases in bids for items in the 2010-2011 budget. Is this a way to get rid of the left over money and show a deficit? Also, how do you award a bid for an amount for 2011-2012 when the 2011-2012 budget hasn't been approved yet?

  2. Anonymous Reply

    September 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    and no one is going to say nothing about the alcaldito's secretary lizette having an affair with another Mayoral Candidate who is NOT Raul Martinez?????
    Has anyone but that Candidate been able to get copies of the finances of the City, what happened to public records?????

  3. Robert Spiegel Reply

    September 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    "What has happened to the City of Hialeah. When I was a police officer in the City of Hialeah during the 70's and 80's. Residents where proud to live in the City and employees were proud to serve the residents. The residents of Hialeah were always proud of their employees. We responded to Police and Fire calls. Picked up garbage, fixed the streets. Had a water and sewer department that was second to none, the best recreation program in South Florida, a library system that was one of the best (if not the best) in South Florida and on and on. The City’s political leaders that were elected genuinely cared about the City and the people that lived there. The residents of Hialeah need to wake up and see what is happening to their City. People it is being destroyed by the people you have elected to represent you. It is no longer an honor or privilege to hold public office in the City of Hialeah, these offices are now bought and paid for. The attitude that should be "What can I do to make the City a better place", is now “What can I get out of being elected to office?”. With much of the campaign money to elect these corrupt politicians coming from illegal operations within the City. Shame on them for what they are doing. I'm an outsider now, but have always had a love for the City I gave the best part of my life to and for, as a resident and employee. Residents you need to fight for your protection (Police and Fire) and don’t let the politicians take these basic rights away from you. Bring back the dignity the City of Hialeah so rightly deserves.
    Ladra, keep going girl. They say one person can make a difference and if the residents of Hialeah don't listen, shame on them. They then deserve what they get. And as much as I wouldn't wish this on anyone. If they let the City down, I hope that they are the ones that need the help they didn't help to keep intact.

  4. Anonymous Reply

    September 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    WOW I thought I was the only one who knew that, but I believe it is a Mayoral's Candidates staffer not the candidate and actually the gossip is that, that same person is trying to hit on another staffers wife in the same team. That is somthing else….WOW!!!!

  5. Anonymous Reply

    September 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    She's just trying to have some job security…cut her some slack.
    Let's focus on the issues.
    The way the charter is written it makes it very difficult to get elected in the city of Hialeah. There are no districts and lots of changes can be made at the last minute, as we saw, in order to gain political advantage. If by some fluke you do get elected you better join the yes team or you will get put out like Cindy Miel. Her no votes on waiving competitive bids cost her the council seat… And now we are stuck with gutter mouth gavel girl!
    Get involved people! Learn about the candidates and get these idiots out of city hall or we're gonna have to get out of Hialeah.

  6. Anonymous Reply

    September 14, 2011 at 6:04 am

    So sad!! This is why so many of us have left that once wonderful city. Gamberos like Robaina, El alcaldito Hernandez, and gavel girl Martinez have drive us away. A once vibrante city has turned into a gangster style run administration with bids, jobs, postions, titles, money and favors going to friends for financial kickbacks. Of course gavel girl is fighting so hard to keep her seat, that paultry little day care prison she runs does not let her live the lifestyle of her rich and famous idol "the gambero of hialeah" or that of el $190,000.00 alcaldito. This has to stop!! we need to ensure these people are ousted and held accountable for their crimes against a once proud and thriving city, its employees and most of all its residents.

  7. Anonymous Reply

    September 14, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Robert, when you were a cop in hialeah, racism on the police force was standard practice. Fast forward today most cops don't live in the city they serve, so of course they don't have a problem with tax increases.

    The vote in broward county last night should speak volumes. We can't afford the high pensions or salaries anymore. Cops and fire fighters have to understand this. Hernandez el pueblo esta contigo.

  8. Anonymous Reply

    September 14, 2011 at 8:54 am

    how sweet!!! Carlitos mother is leaving comments to protect her child!!! Carlitos was also a cop in Hialeah, so he was part of the racism I guess.
    Why Carlos does not put the facts that he is firing fire fighters up to the vote of the citizens?????

  9. Anonymous Reply

    September 14, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Carlos, aka The Rock, because he is that stupid, should be aware that the severely diminished fire department he wants to leave behind will result in even higher insurance rates for homeowners. Knuckleheads who whine about their taxes never look at the whole picture. The vote in Hollywood shows the ignorance of the electorate at large, if electing Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, David Rivera, etc. is not proof enough. Things are falling apart because society itself is getting more and more stupid and shortsighted.

  10. Anonymous Reply

    September 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    The biggest disgrace in City history is what we have here leading our city today. From the old mayor Robaina to the current mayor and especially his city council. it is embarassing to even say that one lives in this city with evrything going on. We are the laughing stock of the country. people in New york are even finding out about the type of politics that is going on here. We will not need to bring businesses to the city because there will be no residents to have to support. I know of many that are already looking to move out of the city and not return. We need more then change we need to get rid of all that are leading this city. I ask if there is anyone out there that is well educated and has the guts to be in politics to come out. Where is that guy Ralph Perez who went for the state position? We need to get rid of that Isis lady from the city she is an embarassment, classless, unprofessional, and has no clue what is going on. Please Mr.mayor do not allow her to go out into the media and speak for your behalf.

  11. Anonymous Reply

    September 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    For those that think the City of Hialeah employees are riding the "gravy train" of huge pensions, please do some research first. Hialeah employees are among the lowest paid of the major municipalities in both Dade and Broward. Although some employee pensions have gone off the deep end, Hialeah is not among them. Pensions in Hialeah are based on base salary with no overtime or additional benefits calculated into the pension. Unlike Hollywood or Miami-Dade where every penny made is calculated into a pension, which is what drives up the payouts, Hialeah is ONLY base pay calculated. Just look at your dear
    "Alcadito" himself, retired after 25 years as a lieutenant and his pension is
    $57,000 or so? That is not an "Outrageous" pension for working the streets and exposing yourself to all types of dangers, diseases and exposures.

    In addition, to Mr. Vega, before setting up a platform that vilifies Hialeah employees, specially Police and Fire take a look at the Police Contract! I'm sure
    that you get to celebrate each holiday, that if elected you will be the first to stand
    and proclaim your humble gratitude on Veterans Day to all those that serve. However, note that not one of the many that served and are employed by the Hialeah Police Department are given that recognition, as all officers in Hialeah have ZERO holidays as per the contract! On Veterans Day, if a police officer that served wants to attend any ceremony they must take a regular vacation day; for
    them, as per the City, it's just another day! There are many more items that would set one to ponder, but I leave that for anyone that feels the need to be a
    critic to educate themselves. I'm sure the Police contract is a public record, read it, then offer your opinion. The residents should know that the Police and the General Employees concessions is what is keeping the current budget afloat!

    Glad to say I'm retired, sorry to add that it was due to the politics. I always enjoyed serving the residents of Hialeah, I only wish they would better inform themselves before allowing others to sell them a bill of goods.

    Pension are not was has lead to the current financial problems in the City of Hialeah, the problem has been GREED, MISMANAGEMENT, and CORRUPTION!

  12. Anonymous Reply

    September 15, 2011 at 7:18 am

    totally agree with the above person, if a vote is put to the Hialeah Residents, it would not be what happened in Hollywood, we are very proud of the Fire Department in Hialeah, best in the County, well. it will not be the best with only 1/2 the force, and what the City is going to save in salaries, will have to pay in overtime, because the schedule have to be covered, cut from the administration, alcaldito is making 57,000 a year in pension, well, "a modest" salary of 70,000 should be more than sufficient.

  13. Anonymous Reply

    September 15, 2011 at 8:09 am

    PLEASE ALL CITY OF HIALEAH JOIN US TONIGHT FOR BUDGET MEETING TO EXPRESS YOUR OPINIONS…. THIS IS THE TIME! I WANT TO SEE CITY HALL PACKED, DON'T LET ME DOWN

  14. Anonymous Reply

    September 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Please print the actually compensation received annually by these parasites including the overtime. Government salaries and pensions are out of control!!!!

  15. Anonymous Reply

    September 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Last ANON, are you stupid, ignorant or BOTH. The tax payers expect services for their payments. Essential services will be cut becuase of stupid and ignorant management of our tax dollars. Why are you not vocal about the squandering of our tax dollars and choose to make those who provide essential services the scapegoats? Pay attention THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL SUCK> THEY WON'T SPEND OUR DOLLARS ON ESSENTIAL SERVICES BUT WOULD RATHER SPEND IT ON INVISABLE WATER PLANTS AND WATER PUMPS THAT ARE NOT OPERATIONAL. Their lack of respect for our money is absurd and unjust and they compound it by continuing down the same road. ITS OVER ON NOVEMBER 1st.

  16. Hialeah residents Reply

    September 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Carlos Hernandez for Mayor!!!

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