Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Don't Trip, He is the Strong Mayor

Black leaders staged a sit-in to protest the termination of Metro-Dade Transit director Roosevelt Bradley by Carlos Alvarez, Miami-Dade County’s strong mayor. Alvarez cited performance issues and nepotism as reasons contributing to Bradley’s removal. Black leaders claim racism and Alvarez denies race has anything to do with it.

Alvarez refers to Bradley as a nice guy. He goes on to say that the Transit area needs more than a nice guy. Interesting…interesting. Alvarez was given authority to make such personnel changes when the majority of individuals that voted, chose the strong mayor form of municipal government for Miami-Dade County.

Perhaps Bradley’s firing is what Blacks needed to happen since too few turned out to vote on such a serious issue. Don’t cry now. Much more effort should have been placed in educating Blacks about the strong mayor position. Alvarez waged a phenomenal media campaign while the opposition tried too little too late.

Too add insult to injury, protestors left the Mayor’s office without seeing or hearing him. Hello, talk about giving someone your behind to kiss. The protestors should have taken a lesson from former State Senator Kendrick Meek and Senator Tony Hill who sat-in all night in Governor Jeb Bush's office. Stay until your message is heard by the mainstream media. Spend the night in the Mayor’s office, if necessary. That would have been much more effective.

Denying charges of racism, Alvarez forced the Planning and Zoning director Dianne O’Quinn Williams to retire and Employee Relations Director Donald Allen was demoted. Both are white. He also hired Phyllis Tynes-Saunders a Black woman to head Human Services.

The Alvarez victory was also a clue from the citizens of Miami-Dade County that the corruption and mismanagement featured in media would not be tolerated any longer. The commissioners have themselves to blame for their plight.

Amazingly, Blacks were the only demographic group to overwhelmingly oppose the strong mayor. In spite of improper oversight and mismanagement of housing funds, Blacks still cut some slack to the Black leaders. Several key white Latin leaders also opposed the strong mayor move. What’s done is done. If the bloodletting has begun, get popcorn and a beverage, this show will be interesting. Stay tuned.

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