It looks like Miami-Dade Carlos Gimenez is trying to get some feedback on the directions and priorities he announced last week at the State of the County address. Not from the people, really, but from the special interests.
That’s why he had one of his favorite lobbyists do it. Jorge Luis Lopez, who went to Europe and visited the Pope with Gimenez last year, sent an email Sunday that urged readers to fill out a survey ranking the priorities and issues that the mayor mentioned last week.
At first blush, the personalized email from Lopez’s law firm linked to the survey may look like he’s taking a true pulse of the people. Asking to find issues or projects — like development of the airport and seaport — either “very important” or “should NOT be a priority” or more lukewarm options in between.
But think about it. Lopez isn’t sharing this on a larger scale with everyday people. Why isn’t the mayor going directly to the county website to take a people’s poll himself? Well because he doesn’t care what the little people think. The little people are not on the Jorge Luis Lopez email list. That list, however, is full of other lobbyists, news media, elected officials, business people with business at the county and other movers and shakers.
Oh, and clients. So Lopez can look like the right hand man to the mayor.
“The email list is made up of friends, clients, and colleagues. There are many business contacts who have subscribed to his periodic emails and others who are part of his personal contact list,” said Mayra del Rio, an assistant of Lopez’s who answered Ladra’s email to him.
“The email and survey were meant to be informal and the plan is for them to deal with rotating topics – the state of the county was the relevant topic due to timing,” she said.
Here is the email text:
As you know, Mayor Carlos Gimenez delivered the State of the County Address earlier this week. The well attended address, which was held at Milander Auditorium in Hialeah, highlighted where our County has been in the last year, and where our Mayor sees it going in the future. For those who missed the address, you can watch it here or read a transcript of the speech here. You can also read Mayor Gimenez’s OpEd in today’s Miami Herald or here.While we all know where Mayor Gimenez thinks the County stands, I want to know where you think it stands. Please share your opinions with me in this very brief confidential survey. If you share your opinions, we’ll get back to you in a few days with the overall responses of all participants.Please take our survey here: Survey.Thanks again for your feedback- I’ll be sure to get back to you soon!Warmest regards,
The questions on the survey are also interesting. It seems to Ladra that these are the areas where the the most money is to be made: Development of the seaport and airport, a Miami convention center instead of one just in Miami Beach, public private partnerships, the proposed Baylink light rail, housing projects, traffic reduction.
Funny… there’s no mention of the water and sewer system and the much needed upgrades there or the redistricting for precincts, which Gimenez wanted to hold off and got much political pressure on, or anything about his battle with employees.
In fact, you don’t see Gimenez taking the public pulse on the library issue or how to spend the Jackson Health System bond monies approved by voters last year. You don’t see the mayor of the 10th largest county in the U.S. using the website he bragged about so much last week and/or even his group of lobbyists to survey the real public on issues that really matter.
Because that would provide real direction from the people on the street, Joe and Juana Voter. And he doesn’t want that.
The king would rather hear solely from the royal court.