Public apology, and promise, to the people of Miami Lakes
Ladra is beside herself.
Part of the reason this watchdog needed that short sabbatical I took the past few weeks was because of the guilt I feel over having let down the people of Miami Lakes.
Sure, I was licking my wounds. Some of “November is coming” came and rolled over me. I was also starting to put a good dent in “the book” — two words I hope cause every politico in the 305 to wince, even if just a little.
Ladra has promised to keep her eyes on you, Mayor Muscles. Consider it my just and deserved penance.
But mostly I’m embarassed. Ashamed, really. And this is from someone who has never felt much shame in her life.
I let the people of Miami Lakes down. I basically turned the other way while a grassroots opposition that could have taken the reigns from Mayor Michael “Muscles” Pizzi — who has long been suspected of inside deals with a powerful developer and burning down his office to steal $200,000 – lost their just but miserable cause. I was distracted. Or, maybe, intentionally “misdirected” — a sneaky yet effective campaign tactic I learned about after getting embedded in one of the state campaigns last year.
And while it has been hard to face it — and it will be hard to look the people of Miami Lakes in the face — I’m going to have to. It is my promise — perhaps my penance — to go to meetings and look into any potential shenanigans.
Pizzi took the reign with a bit of a mandate in a 70-30 landslide over founding village Mayor Wayne Slaton, whose colorful yet ineffective campaign inclued a top 10 list of reasons why not to vote for Pizzi, ala David Letterman. Maybe Slaton should have turned to the Santeria gods and put mirrors around his yard signs.
Pizzi, who spent almost $70,000 of the $80,000 raised by Nov. 1, was better funded. Slaton didn’t break $30,000 in contributions — more than half of which were loans to himself.
Mayor Muscles also beat his old nemesis — and my truly talented dentist – Dr. David Bennett, a lontime Pizzi critic who has sued and threatened to recall the man. He wasn’t running against Bennett, but he may as well have been. Bennett sure was running against him. But, alas, Doc — a fellow public records relisher — got beat 60-40 by firefighter Nelson Rodriguez. And Tony Lama — a secretive man who had an interesting exchange with Ladra on facebook, in which he basically said he wouldn’t talk to me — beat Richard Pulido, a schoolteacher and consistent anti-Pizzi vote, 56-40.
Expect Lama and Rodriguez to mimick Muscles.
But Pizzi didn’t get all his pieces, er, slate in. Newly elected Councilman Manny Cid, former aide to State Rep. Eddy “Here Comes Hialeah” Gonzalez, who is serving his last term as an elected official anywhere is my guess, might not be as eager to rubber stamp hizzoner’s hijinks as former Councilwoman Mary Collins in the closest of all contests — 52 to 48 percent.
Okay, okay. I know I have a sentence to fulfill. When is the next meeting?