Friday, June 15, 2007

City of Miami Commissioner Sarnoff Makes A Joke

To City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff

Never say MVB doesn't try to be fair and balanced with our take on local politics. We like to think we tell it like it is-- or should be-- and try to give credit where it is due no matter how much our opinions may differ on the dais. Case in point: although we consider Marc Sarnoff to be the "song and dance man" on the City of Miami commission, he must be given credit for a great one-liner that succinctly describes the half billion dollar Carnival performing arts center, aka the PAC. In today's Miami Herald, he will forever link in our mind the letters PAC with "Post Apocalyptic Center."

And, since we're in such a charitable mood, we support him on his slapped down attempt to wrestle control of the quasi-public Downtown Development Authority* from fellow commissioner Joe Sanchez. Sarnoff thinks the DDA isn't pulling its weight as do we. Instead of commissioning another study about downtown, as the DDA is more inclined to do than doing something of actual worth, we both agree that the agency should be more pro-active in achieving concrete-- as in sidewalk-- results. To take it a step further, we think commissioner Joe Sanchez, the still reigning chairman of the DDA, and Dana Nottingham, the executive director of the DDA, would be more effective if they got up out of their cushy executive chairs and went downtown with a shovel to scrape the gum off the sidewalks.

UpDate (6/21): DDA directors approved the agency's $4.1 million operating budget. It includes

  • $1.9 million in salaries and benefits for its 20-person staff,
  • $899,000 in operating expenses ($211,000 for marketing and publicity and $102,000 for professional fees including accounting and auditing),
  • $135,000 for a tenant improvement program,
  • $60,000 for a retail leasing consultant,
  • $35,000 to create a Biscayne Blvd cafĂ© district,
  • $15,000 for a retail training program.

That ought to cover the cost of a few more shovels.

*In fairness to our limited but oh so worthy readers, we should note that our publisher received payment for winning an "Urban Walls" mural contest way back in 1977, probably long before many of this blog's readers were born. Our allegiance will always be with the original DDA executives but none of them are currently affiliated with today's DDA due to death and attrition over the many years.

UpDate 2/16/08: Dana Nottingham, the DDA's director, finally gets the heave ho with a $180,000 severance deal.

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