Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday, July 5: Regalado In the Lead On Bad Financial Decisions In Miami

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Norman Braman might want to turn his government reform attention to the City of Miami.

Mayor Tomas Regalado has been leading a recent collection of unwise spending decisions - especially when city policy dictates the opposite should be happening.

Want to get ahead in this bad economy? Just work as Miami city manager for a few months, then leave. That's what Tony Crapp did. After a forgettable six months in the post, he left to take a job at GrayRobinson law firm. Regalado made a lucrative offer, which Crapp turned down:


Of course, it wasn't like Crapp had much of a choice in saying no, since he was taking heat for the package he was giving to the city's chief financial officer, Larry Spring, who was also leaving. Of course, with eight years on the job - most of it under former Mayor Manny Diaz, whose leadership was productive - Spring made a better case for such a package.

Then there's the downright cowardice both Regalado and Crapp have shown regarding Police Chief Miguel Exposito after a series of shootings and other problems.

After a wishy-washy report regarding Exposito's actions as police chief, Crapp could have made the decision to fire him on the spot. Instead, he and Regalado offered Exposito money - at least $200,000, judging by a check made public; Exposito says it was $400,000 - to quit. Exposito refused to do so.

Meanwhile, the city has posted the police chief job as available, while Exposito vows to stay on. It's a situation that's unacceptable and demoralizing to the police department.

Miami needs leadership. Right now, the city isn't getting it - and not just because of the revolving door in the city manager's office since Regalado became mayor.

He took office with a promise to have a clean, open and fully accountable city government. He's got a ways to go to keep that promise.

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