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Joe Martinez moves to kill West End — and incorporation

  • SumoMe

Newly elected Commissioner Joe Martinez is sort of on a war path. And there is no bigger casualty than former joezapCommissioner Juan Zapata. Martinez has several items on Tuesday’s agenda to start to undo some of the things that Zapata is most proud of from the last four years.

Martinez will ask his colleauges to strip the “West End” name from county facilities — basically erase it from the map. He also wants to stop the North end Municipal Advisory Committee, which has been meeting to move forward on the incorporation process.

“It was my platform. It’s why I ran,” Martinez said though we know that he ran because he can’t stand not being in office. After all, he ran for mayor in 2012 and for Congress in 2014 but couldn’t get elected outside his district.

Read related story: ‘West End’ Kendall city would operate with $40 million

He says that the West End name was thrust upon the public without their consent or input. “People didn’t have a say. A lot of people didn’t like the way the name was just given to them.”

If approved, the West End Regional Library will go back to being the West Kendall Regional Library, the Miami-Dade Police Department’s West District Station will go back to being the Hammocks District Station and the West west-kendall-regional-libraryjEnd District Park will go back to being the West Kendall District Park.

“That’s fine,” Zapata told Ladra on Sunday, explaining that the West End moniker was intended to be a regional brand to bring together the communities of West Kendall, Bird Road, Country Walk, Kendale Lakes, Calusa and Hammocks, among others.

“You can self identify whatever you want, but you need a regional brand,” Zapata said, adding that he had sought the advice of marketing experts and had three town hall meetings about it. “They couldn’t market West Kendall. Everyone just thinks of it being ‘so far’ and ‘the traffic.’ I wanted to change that narrative. I couldn’t change the narrative without that name. I wanted people to look at this area differently. I wanted to change the vibe.”

Counters Martinez: “I’m not doing it to undo what he did. In the 12 years that I was commissioner, not once did anybody say let’s change the name.”

Read related story: Juan Zapata’s ‘West End’ is criticized — with poetry

But while he says Martinez is doing the same thing that he accuses Zapata of — making the name change arbitrarily without input from the community, the former commissioner and state rep is more concerned with the rescinding of the MAC, which has met for about two years to put together its incorporation application.

“All I did was allow a process, start a conversation,” Zapata said. “I can’t understand why anybody would be against neighbors getting together to discuss the future of this community.”

Zapata and incorporation supporters say that the district provides $16 million in revenue to the county through property taxes but does not get it’s fair share of unicorporated municipal services.

“We’ve actually been waiting fo the county to do a public hearing” said Joe Rodriguez, a member West End MAC mapof the North side MAC. “It’s very feasible to do a city out here. The county’s own consultant told us we’re getting raped out here by the county. We give millions in taxes but you never see a cop out here, or very rarely.

“We’re almost at the end of the process. We’re not finished because the county has been dragging their feet,” Rodriguez said, adding that Martinez never even went to the group to tell them what he was doing.

Read related story: ‘West End’ has fewer cops per capita, needs more

“We’re at the end of the process,” he told Ladra last week. “All we’re asking is to let this go to a vote of the people If it passes, it’s the will of the people. If it fails, it fails.”

Martinez counters that very few people attend the MAC meetings. “If there were 200 people who show up, or 150. But I don’t remember many people being in favor of it.” He says he campaigned against the incorporation because voters told him they were against it.

“They do not want another layer of government,” he told Ladra, “and the people who show up to vote are just the eople in favor.”

He says he’s open to getting it started again — “if that’s what the people want.”

Asked how he would pay for the changing of the signs — which Zapata paid for out of his office funds — Martinez said he had not thought about that yet. He wanted to see if the old signs were still around somewhere. But he might seek private sponsors to make donations.

But won’t he owe someone a favor then?

 

17 Responses to Joe Martinez moves to kill West End — and incorporation

  1. Manny Reply

    December 19, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I guess police officer Martínez is afraid of the people deciding they had enough of him giving away their money in the past and supporting his big developer friends.

    • Sammy Reply

      December 19, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Try again sir, Zapata had very HEAVY donations from developers. And a new city would benefit them.

      And another comment the Zapata had Officers work details on his properties.

      • Manny Reply

        December 20, 2016 at 5:02 pm

        Sammy provide facts what details did they work? Would like to know.

        Also on contributions Martínez received over $50k from Wayne Rosen a developer and Lennar to his political action committee and if you look at his campaign report most of his money came from builders like Adrian homes and many more.

  2. Sammy Reply

    December 19, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Commissioner Martinez lost the Mayor race by fraud. You wrote so yourself so that in its self isn’t a Lost by his merits, reminder 80k in ABs and some dead people voted too. None the less yes he lost to Curbelo… Who was backed by very Republican.. talk about owning someone a favor. Yet what has he done… Next!!!!

    Now current 2016. Those MAC meetings are sometimes changed to only benefit those few in favor. You should look into that, I’m sure there’s a few favors to be owed. Would you yourself want another level of added taxes. Now, your Star BOY Zapata didn’t do much until he pushed West End. Just check the facts!! The work, hidden agendas. Seriously Claiming movies nights was his… no sorry try again. While the reason “he says he pushed” the city isn’t a reason I’m buying. I think it needs more research.

    • Miami Dade County Sucks Reply

      December 19, 2016 at 10:02 am

      Hey Sammy, get your facts straight. The county controls the MAC meetings not the board. There will not be an extra layer of government, the county which now acts like your local government but do not live in the area will be replaced by people who live in the area and actually care what happens out here. Check the revenue and expenses of the area, that is what tells the story!

      • Sammy Reply

        December 19, 2016 at 1:51 pm

        OK…Like who?? Please elaborate… Cause sorry but Commissioner Martinez does live in the area. And Zapata didn’t but that’s another topic and I’m sure you knew that right Mr.Fact Checker. And to educate you a little cause my facts aren’t correct. And please dont try to twist my words again. And it will be an added layer of government and extra taxes. How would they pay for their police and fire?? You think the Mayor of WEST END is working for free?? And if your saying the county controls the meetings which i was arguing that. The one who was helping post those were the ones in office which wasn’t Martinez since he just got sworn in. OK. Right but check the revenue and cost taking out Zapata’s education cost of course. Check how much money was put into the district. How much was done the first 2 years of his term when there was no west in. And the grass wasn’t cut. But the second last 2 years ohh wait the last 18mths yes he was doing paint outs ( Commissioner Martinez has done) Movies nights again Martinez did.. Commissioner Martinez all did creative vision and turn around awards, Holiday events health fairs senior center, Grand via apartments. yes he had a long term but check how long it took him to start. Sooner than are Past Commissioner. So correct your statement commissioner Martinez DOES CARE!! AND THERE WILL BE MORE TAXES

  3. Miami Dade County Sucks Reply

    December 19, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Hey Sammy are you related to Joe Martinez? The budget the MAC did includes all expenses to run the city and there is a surplus. Since you are the expert read the attached report prepared by the consultant hired by the county. Be informed before you speak!

    http://www.miamidade.gov/incorporationandannexation/library/reports/2016-west-end-north-budget-review.pdf

    • Sammy Reply

      December 20, 2016 at 10:29 am

      No!!! Relation what’s so ever! Just because I’m not agreeing with you doesn’t automatically mean I’m related to him. But that was a good line of defense. I do however live in the district. I wasn’t defending him just stating facts. So please READ!! Understand the statement, listen and then responded.
      1- You said it will be governed by people who live in the district, I simply quested you like who?? And also noted that the pass commissioner didn’t live in the district.
      2- I said added taxes! And that happens. Everything comes at a cost. Just look at those lovely stadiums
      3- You also stated those people that live in the area care, i simply stated again who?? Zapata didn’t do much for the district he so loves until there was a motivation of the city or better yet till he saw it coming into play.
      I do agree the district gets shafted with money but that’s up to the commissioner to push for more OR at least put more work into improving the quality of life. I could be wrong but isn’t that why they are elected?? And disagree if you want I understand the promises that were made in order with the have the MAC meetings. The district wasn’t taken care of for the first 2 years of his term. That is timeline facts. Period. And no vote for any of this?? How much did it cost to change everything, the app?? Etc. I am against small cities and their corruptions. PERIOD.

      • Manny Reply

        December 20, 2016 at 4:59 pm

        Sammy where did Zapata live if not in his district? Interested in knowing! Because county elections verifies that before they qualify to run for office.

        Also Comm Martinez did a lot of good but he also left a lot of bad things behind! Grand Viabhad major issues with parking that the county just had to spend millions to fix a parking issue because residents did not have a space to park.

  4. Nacho Libre Reply

    December 20, 2016 at 12:07 am

    “Zapata and incorporation supporters say . . . the district provides $16 million in revenue to the county through property taxes but does not get it’s fair share of [unincorporated] municipal services.” Blame Carlos Gimenez for such inequitable distribution of your tax dollars. Especially as it pertains to Public Safety. Should’ve voted for Raquel Regalado; now reap the consequences of your mayoral votes for Gimenez.

  5. Interesting..... Reply

    December 20, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Spending tax payer funds on putting up new signs in my opinion was wasteful spending. Spending tax payer funds to replace them is wasteful spending. In short, I would call this guy Commissioner Joe Zapata-Martinez Jr.

  6. Silenced Citizen Reply

    December 20, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Take it from someone in Doral who knows… do yourselves a favor and avoid incorporation. All you do is create more openings for opportunists. They rape your area and your taxes for their developer friends. Don’t open the door for them

  7. Pingback: The demise of the “West End” inches closer to reality in West Kendall – Miami Metro Bugle

  8. A. Bird Reply

    December 22, 2016 at 6:15 am

    We have been blessed with outstanding District 11 Commissioners over the years. Why Commissioner Joe A. Martinez would you want to take away the “West End” name that represents all the communities of District 11 under one umbrella and NO SEGREGATION… Comm. Martinez move forward to better improve all of District 11. Thank you, from a concern resident of Lakes of the Meadow Community of District 11.

  9. happy Reply

    December 29, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    yes it will be another layer of government and we don’t need it . I have been a resident for over 20 years and in the last 4 years there is hardly any policing in the area, I had to get security cameras there is a lot of robbery in the area.
    and while 16 million is a lot of contribution, perhaps the local ordinances need to be changed to benefit the area in which it was generated..just like state taxes when is given back to the county based on population. Bottom line someone wants another layer of government to make money out of tax payers…ENOUGH

    • Silenced citizen Reply

      December 30, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      The lack of policing has nothing to do with incorporations or mismanaged tax money. The police force has been downsized to dangerous levels and burdened with so many conflicting inititiatives and time consuming ‘advancements’ that they are practically at a standstill.

  10. At Tax Payers Expensive Reply

    December 30, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    This name changing thing is an unnecessary expense that ultimately is being paid by the citizens of Miami-Dade. It’s not just the signs on the front of the buildings that require changing. But it also includes stationary, business cards, websites, phone greeting recordings, and street directional signs that also require changing. All these changes can cost tens’ of thousands of tax payer dollars. I can’t say about the Regional Library, but Zapata never paid for the costs incurred for these changes at the Miami-Dade Police Department’s West District Station.

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