Coral Gables activist blasts email against candidate Carmen Olazabal

Coral Gables activist blasts email against candidate Carmen Olazabal
  • Sumo

Maria Cruz is a Coral Gables activist who is not afraid to speak.

She does so quite often at commission meetings, letting the mayor, commissioners and city administrators know exactly what she thinks. She has no hair on her tongue. She asks for more public records than Ladra and keeps her neighbors and friends informed on key issues.

Cruz is such a pain in the neck to her critics that the former administration had a police major spy on her at a commission meeting, possibly taking photographs of text messages that the taxpaying citizen was sending to the electeds, her employees, with whom she had a right to communicate freely.

Read related: Coral Gables spying major keeps her job, maxes pension

That spy? Former Coral Gables Police Major Theresa Molina, who had once been tapped for police chief by then interim city manager Carmen Olazabal. now a commission candidate and the only woman running in the April 9 election so far (qualifying ends Friday).

So when Olazabal’s social media accounts started buzzing with female power messages, Cruz took notice and decided it was time to speak again: In an email she sent to the 7,575 Gables residents — addresses she got from the city’s newsletter email list, a public record — she reminds voters about Olazabal’s questionable judgement, at best.

I’m writing to you today on my concerns about the current race for city commissioner. As a 43-year resident of the City Beautiful, I find myself obligated to share my experiences with one of the candidates, Carmen Olazabal, whom I believe is not the clear choice for our commission.

While Ms. Olazabal was interim city manager, she went against our elected officials and appointed an interim police chief, Major Theresa Molina (Miami Herald, September 12, 2014), without review. Major Molina violated my rights by spying on me, taking photographs, unbeknownst to me, at a city commission meeting. As a result of this abuse of authority, Major Molina was suspended and subsequently forced to retire.

As a woman, mother of three daughters, and grandmother of two young girls, I feel strongly about the importance of women representing us in all levels of government. However, this belief should not lead us to elect candidates with poor judgement and questionable track records.

Coral Gables, my home since 1976, deserves better.

Your neighbor,


Cruz was already upset that Olazabal was running and when the former manager pulled the female card and attached #WomenWhoRun to all her social media posts, it bothered her enough to pen the note.

Read related: In Coral Gables money race, unchallenged incumbent is leading

The email — which Cruz said she paid for out of her own pocket — also comes with five hyperlinks to stories about Molina and Olazabal’s time in the Gables. Ladra is kinda proud that three of them are Political Cortadito stories. Two others are stories that were published in the Miami Herald.

“My letter is not a campaign letter. My letter was to make sure people remembered,” Cruz told Ladra Tuesday, a few hours after the email went out. “Coral Gables voters have to vote for the best candidate, not the one who happens to be a woman.”

How much do you wanna bet it becomes a campaign letter?

Either Ralph Cabrera, who Cruz supports but didn’t name in the letter, or Jorge L. Fors, Jr. — the two other candidates in the race for this seat, vacated by Commissioner Frank Quesada — are going to send it in a mailer to more voters.

27 Responses to "Coral Gables activist blasts email against candidate Carmen Olazabal"

  1. Lucky citizens   February 20, 2019 at 8:15 am

    Maria Cruz is a hero. Coral Gables’ residents are lucky to have her looking out for them.

  2. No name   February 20, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Lol. To paraphrase. “When qualifications are on your side, pound qualifications . When experience is on your side, pound experience . When neither is on you side, pound WomenWhoRun

    • Daniel   March 14, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      Carmen is the most qualified person on the ballot. With degrees from MIT and Harvard, and extensive experience in the Coral Gables City government.

  3. voteforthebest   February 20, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Ms. Cruz: “Gables voters have to vote for the best candidate.” Me: Ok, I’ll vote for the MIT/Harvard one that ran a city.

  4. Gail   February 20, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    We need Maria Cruz just as we once needed Roxy Bolton.

  5. No Name   February 20, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    I’d say she’s a Ralph supporter. She has two Cabrera signs in front of her house and pile of them on her porch. One might think that she’s more than just a supporter.

  6. Jackson Rip Holmes   February 20, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Thank you.

    It takes alot to fill the shoes of Roxcy Bolton.

    But at least we have a candidate for this title in Maria Cruz.



    God has not forgotten Coral Gables.


    Jackson Rip Holmes

  7. Dunno   February 20, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Yet her e-mail blast says the email was received because we opted in via her website. Not true. Express your opinion all you want but don’t add more garbage to my inbox (same for rip Holmes’s ‘oh Lordy we may not have another department store [a what…??] on miracle mile’ e-mails that I seem to get 5 times before every commission meeting). Don’t send me emails and feign that I opted into your spam. Oh, I don’t support Carmen either.

  8. The Truth   February 20, 2019 at 9:36 pm


    Ed Pidermann the newly appointed Town Manager of Miami Lakes has Carmen Olazabal as the Planning, CIP and Special Services Director. Any truth that he is allowing her to campaign during City time and technically has a No-Show Job? As a matter of fact there is Quid Pro Quo between Pidermann a former City of Miami fire fighter; Nelson Rodriguez, a current Miami Lakes Councilmember and Coral Gables firefighter; and Carmen, Miami Lakes employee and Coral Gables Commissioner candidate. Any truth that Piderman and Rodriguez has both Fire Unions in Miami and Gables backing Carmen? Remember, it was this very same connection that rigged the hiring of a new Town Manager in Miami Lakes.

  9. Gonzalo Sanabria   February 21, 2019 at 8:08 am

    So a gadfly Maria Cruz is being exalted by LADRA? Make sure RC pays your $10k as Jorge is struggling with taking on Cason and people like me who simply support the best qualified, experienced candidate for this #4 Comm Seat so “fake pretentions” of righteousness are so obviously shallow and contrived? Stick to your ability of excellent unbiased journalism instead LADRA

  10. Gonzalo Sanabria   February 21, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Are you censoring?

  11. LovingourCityBeautiful   February 21, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    This smells like a hit job from one of the other two candidates. Carmen is obviously over qualified (MIT and Harvard) and very well respected in her community. She has earned my vote! Her emails have well thought out positions and policies which solidified this decision for me.

  12. stopthegames   February 22, 2019 at 1:10 am

    maria’s gripe is lago’s gripe,,, that Olazabal mistakenly appointed an acting chief. READ the Herald article!!! It says Lago snapped back: “…stop playing games…” and City Attorney Craig Leen HAD TO CORRECT Lago,,, “clarifying Olazabal had the authority to appoint an acting police chief” Olazabal appointed an acting chief to keep Maria and Lago and us safe, and now they team on this political SPAM to help the odious Ralph Cabrera?!?! Cabrera, Lago, and Maria (CLAM for short) need to STOP PLAYING POLITICAL GAMES and stop wasting our time

  13. Oswaldo   February 22, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Team Carmen is feeling the heat. #imhereforthecomments Team Carmen: you are so concerned with Cabrera that you don’t realize FORS will win like Gonzalo lost against Quesada.

  14. Nelson Rodriguez   February 22, 2019 at 9:41 am

    For the record I have only worked as a Firefighter in Coral Gables and never worked with Ed Pidermann at the City of Miami. As a Councilmember I don’t have the authority to run any operations in Miami Lakes, that is the Managers job. I assure you that Ed Pidermann would not allow any employee to have a no show job. Carmen Olazabal is a projects contractor and not an employee. Btw she was contracted by the previous manager Alex Rey. I don’t know who the union is supporting, that is the responsibility of the Union Executive Board.

  15. Maria C Cruz   February 22, 2019 at 10:26 am

    How sad that some people choose to hide behind the curtain of anonymity to post their comments! Two reasons come to mind, either they know they are not telling the truth, or they do not have what it takes to stand by their comments. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and the U.S. Constitution certainly protects free speech. Why, then, do they choose to be anonymous? Why hide?
    My respect goes to those that choose to identify themselves, even when they do not agree with me. My actions show that I stand by what I say, and I do it openly. Can we get the others to do it too? We’ll see!

  16. THE TRUTH   February 22, 2019 at 7:49 pm


    Don’t try to distance yourself from being part of a scheme of handpicking Ed Pidermann. Apparently, there a videos taken of you and Ed speaking throughout the Town Manager Selection Process. Deny it and the Video will appear. Also, deny the fact that you didn’t speak to a lobbyist who was a former City of Miami firefighter about selecting Ed. Also, deny that you influenced members of the selection committee to select three additional alternates to squeeze into the field. Buddy, the information is on its to the Feds! Easy Pizzi lime and squeeze!

  17. THE TRUTH   February 22, 2019 at 7:56 pm


    By the way there are members of the Selection Committee who are cooperating.

    Bye Bye Ed and hello to Handcuffs!

  18. Nelson Rodriguez   February 22, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    THE TRUTH is you have no idea what you’re talking about and I encourage you to release the “videos”. I also encourage you to identify yourself rather than hide behind “THE TRUTH” name. I met with each of the 5 finalists because it’s my responsibility to interview each candidate. Why don’t you call Ana Garcia who was #1 on the managers list? I’m sure she’ll give you her opinions on how I handled the hiring process.

  19. THE TRUTH   February 23, 2019 at 7:11 am

    The only hiding here is that you and the Town of Miami Lakes apparently are corrupt and have brought the City of Hialeah style of politics into our town. Even in your response above you indicate that the #1 ranked candidate Ana Garcia was no selected. Tell me how she is not selected, but the 17th ranked candidate who you pushed to be ranked higher and to make the cut with any experience get selected as Town Manager. Ana knows, trust me, that you were making it seem like that you favored her because you and your corrupt colleagues on the dais had already arranged it to select Ed. Let me tell you something you, you are and the rest of your fellow garbage of colleagues are no better than our former Mayor Pizzi. We are looking at starting a recall effort and looking at abolishing the Town. You cave in to the Graham’s and allow them to build and oversized and not within community standards the development around Main Street and City Hall and have done nothing to improve our quality of life. List your own achievements, while serving in office. I will list your major achievement. Bringing in corruption to the Town.

  20. The Real Truth   February 23, 2019 at 10:55 am

    The real truth is that Manny Cid, the puppets that he got elected in the last election and Josh Dieguez are the reason Ed Piederman was selected as manager. Marilyn Ruano and Nelson Rodriguez voted for Ana Garcia, who should been selected as town manager.

    Please look at the meeting when the decision was made and you will see the real truth.

  21. The Truth   February 23, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    The Real Truth, I mean Nelson Rodriguez don’t try to distance yourself and throw others under the bus, because you know that your involved and had a hand on steering the decision. The process was not fair. Furthermore, it has only gotten worse. You basically got rid off your former Assistant City Manager to clear the way for Ed Pidermann and I hear that you all have forced Ed to hire another clueless incompetent individual as a Deputy Town Manager. Completely ignoring a very well qualified individual in your Finance Director.
    Once again, the residents of Miami Lakes know this. Ed and the rest of the Concilmembers will be out soon!

  22. Miami Laker   February 24, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    The Truth you have nailed it. All of Miami Lakers are fed up. Now we know that becoming our own City is worst than being incorporated. The Town, Councilmembers, and Administration is a joke and laughing stock. The former Town Manager did nothing to improve our situation here. Instead traffic is unbearable, development on the east and west side has been approved, 154th and 170th bridged will be opened to allow for more traffic, blasting has continued, the American Mega Mall has been moving forward without a single Coincilmember speaking against it, etc.

    It is time to undo what has been done, because it can’t be any worse. We have no community leaders and representation protecting our best interest. Manny Cid, Nelson Rodriguez, Josh Dieguez, and Marilyn Ruano apparently led the way in disregarding everything that the Town Manager Selection recommended.

    We have Frank Bocanegra, Part II.

  23. The Truth   February 24, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    I have been contacted by several Miami Lakers to inform me that the press release posted on the Town of Miami Lakes website on new Town Manager, Ed Pidermann appointing Tony Lopez as Deputy Town Manager, has been brought down because of concerns that The Truth revealing the information is upsetting a good number of Miami Lakers.

    Here is the link that was brought down:

    If you look at Mr. Lopez resume, it is even worse than Pidermann’s. A piece of rock has better qualifications.

  24. The Real Truth   February 24, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    People need to look at the council meeting that selected the town manager, the facts speak for themselves. If you watch the meeting you will see the Mayor saying who his choice for town manager would have been and that is who Piederman appointed deputy manager. That should tell you who is pulling Piederman’s strings. Ruano and Rodriquez supported Ana Garcia, all the others supported Piederman

    By the way this is NOT Nelson Rodriquez. I am a resident who was very disappointed when Ms. Garcia was not appointed manager, but you are blaming the wrong people.

  25. THE TRUTH   February 24, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    The Real Truth, I mean NELSON RODRIGUEZ, Miami Lakes does not have a strong Mayor form of government. Stop trying pass the buck. You and your peers sit there loafing around and sit around watching your bald head alien looking Mayor pull the strings without consequences. Why did you all hate Pizzi and when he attempted to do the very same thing? Because he wasn’t Latino or Hispanic and running with the “in crowd” of Hialeah’s politics, Bovo’s politics and Gimenez’s politics?

    We are holding all of you accountable!

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