Some of the most important local elections are happening August 30th. It is very important for each of us to either vote, find others who live in Miami-Dade to vote in the event we don’t, or both. Get your family members out to vote. Get everyone single person you know and motivate them to vote. If, for some reason you can’t make it to the polls, then request an absentee ballot. The ballot will be sent to you; you fill it out at your leisure and send it back (on time of course). But vote!
How many hits does it take for us to wake up to the fact that we can make a difference simply by voting? How much more can your wallet suffer at the hands of Carlos Gimenez? If you vote for nothing else but for the mayor’s race, you will have helped yourself a great deal. Do it for yourself. Gimenez has made it abundantly clear that he hates law enforcement. How much more do we need to motivate us? Let’s knock him out like we did his close ally, former Commissioner Linda Bell.
City of Sweetwater
Another great illustration of the importance of voting has to be the politics in the city of Sweetwater. The current Mayor, Orlando Lopez, won on a technicality and not by popular vote. There was a technicality and the real winner, Jose Diaz, didn’t resign his council post by a certain date as required. Thus, they have Mayor Lopez who has been embattled with the council from day one. Never have I seen such disdain for the democratic process. The Mayor attempts to implement an issue, it gets rejected by the legislative body (council) but he continues as if they had passed the item. On other issues, the council passes items, such as resolutions, he vetoes the issue, the council overrides his vetoes and Mayor Lopez ignores the override.
Even the interim Police Chief has been confirmed and he still operates with full authority. And as whacky as all that sounds, lately the mayor is threatening to place the entire city workforce on a part-time basis to avoid having to pay benefits. The Mayor is trying his best to destroy the city so that there is nothing left for his successor.
Makes going to work fun, doesn’t it?
City of South Miami & Village of Pinecrest
The City of South Miami was the first in the state of Florida to pass a resolution asking the Florida Legislature to pass a law similar to Blue Lives Matter, enhancing crimes against law enforcement as hate crimes. Such a passage would allow the penalties to be increased. We thank Commissioner Josh Liebman for introducing the resolution, and Mayor Stoddard and the entire council for passing the item. Pinecrest Commissioner, Doug Kraft, also proposed a resolution mirroring South Miami’s calling for enhanced penalties for crimes against law enforcement. The resolution passed unanimously. Thank you to Doug Kraft, who has always been a staunch supporter of our members, for standing behind our protectors!
While the economy is improving for a variety of reasons, securing collective bargaining agreements hasn’t gotten any easier. Kudos to our exceptional legal team for recently securing contracts in the following locations:
• City of South Miami- Supervisory
• FIU Supervisory
• MDPD Rank and File
• MDPD Supervisory Unit
• Miami Gardens
An extraordinary amount of hours and work goes into these contracts and we appreciate all of their effort. We can never thank our legal team enough for their tireless efforts for our benefit and well-being.
During the fourth of July weekend, Bal Harbor Police Chief suffered a heart attack while working out. He was transported to Mount Sinai, where he underwent heart surgery. As of this writing, he is still in the hospital fighting for his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and we wish him a full recovery.
Life Member Bill McQuay
I recognize that when I write about some of the old timers, many readers have no idea who I’m writing about, but it is so important to at least recognize great history. Bill McQuay was one of those special individuals who helped forge the very trial we travel today. He was a true hardcore PBA member, and board member, volunteering for everything possible. Bill passed away recently. Our condolences and heartfelt sympathy are with the family.
One of his passions was chairing the scholarship program for PBA members’ children. He was so instrumental in getting that program off the ground, along with our dear friend, Jorge Durand, who took over as Chair when Bill retired.
His neverending work and volunteerism earned his proper nomination of PBA Life Member; a prestigious recognition that is not given out lightly.
To Bill: your passion has paid off many times over as the kids you mentored and helped provide scholarship funds for have become successful productive people. I remember many of them telling me that the interview for the scholarship was their very first interview, but was a great start which helped them along the way. On behalf of all the lives you touched, thank you for being so special and enriching our lives. Rest in peace my dear friend.
I know I started my message with mentioning that August 30th is an important voting day but it so important it’s worth mentioning again now. Please go out and vote, but equally as important, help yourself by voting the PBA way.