City of Doral in the eye of the storm.

| January 19, 2013

 

 

Para leer en español  

 

By Antonella Stelluto

City HallFor over three months the City of Doral has been the focus of residents, business owners and many local media.

The fact that Doral has draw so many eyes on lately has nothing to with its accomplishments as a city or to its continued growth and development, is due instead to its highly publicized and controversial political life.

And the controversy has not been the exception during these past weeks.

In an unexpected way Doral interim manager Merret Stierheim who entered as replacement for Yvonne Soler-McKinley a little over a month ago, submitted his letter of resignation to Mayor Luigi Boria.

And even more unexpectedly came the designation made by the city council hours later, of who would be responsible for managing the city permanently.

The elected candidate turned out to be none other than the highly controversial former city of Miami mayor and commissioner, Joe Carollo.

Carollo who among his achievements has rescuing the city of Miami from an imminent financial collapse and among his failures one of the biggest coup attempts in Miami’s political history, was nominated by mayor Boria and unanimously elected during the last Council meeting, which took place on January 9.

However, the introduction of Carollo in Doral political scene is not new. With his vast experience as a former mayor and commissioner, Carollo helped and became Boria’s advisor during his victorious political campaign.

Even, many claim that Carollo’s counseling along with former Councilman Pete Cabrera’s support during the runoff were decisive for the victory of Boria as mayor occurred.

During his short time in the city of Doral Stierheim was also an eye target just few days after taking office when he somewhat abruptly fired the former head of Doral Police Department; Ricardo “Ricky” Gomez who claimed his dismissal was due, primarily, to a political agreement between mayor Boria and former councilman Cabrera.

In his resignation letter Stierheim said he was “disappointed” with Boria’s decision of excluding him of what he understood what was one of his responsibilities as the interim manager; the search for a permanent candidate for the city administration.

“I would be less than honest not to express my disappoint with your reluctance to share with me who your candidates is and that you do not want a period of transition between me and the next City Manager,” Stierheim wrote in his resignation letter to Mayor Boria. “His wisdom and reasons behind this decision are certainly questionable.”

Meanwhile, Boria said in a press conference following the designation of Carollo as the new City of Doral manager that the decision of electing a permanent manager is part of his responsibilities as mayor and not one of Stierheim’s duties as interim manager.

“My job gives me the power to make that decision. As a businessman, I’m used to making my own decisions and release them when the time is right, “said Boria.

Paradoxically, in an interview for the Doral Family Journal after his election as Doral interim manager, Stierheim said that one of his duties was to assist the mayor in the search for a permanent manager for Doral.

Responsibility that Stieheim seemed to have taken very rapidly, since by the time of his resignation had already “four or five highly qualified candidates” to replace him.

Despite this, Boria decided to go for Carollo, who he considered a loyal person who “has the knowledge and ability to do the job.”

“Remember that I am not a career politician, I am an entrepreneur who needs someone with expertise in this area […] The reality is that we have a vision for the City we want to follow and the position of manager is vital to our city, “Boria said.

Carollo who took office last Thursday January 10, said in an interview with the Miami Herald that the presume discontent of Stierheim is because he believes Hispanics do not know how to govern themselves and need someone like him around.

However, the declarations given in recent days by Stierheim to different media suggest that there might be other reasons for his early departure.

Stierheim acknowledged in an interview to have had a confrontation with Carollo on previous days and that he threatened to resign.

Boria said he had no knowledge of this argument between Stierheim and Carollo, although Stierheim said that the dispute happened at the mayor’s office.

Ironically, it was Carollo himself who after rejecting Boria’s offer few months ago suggested  Stierheim as an ideal candidate for the manager position.

Stierheim and Carollo met when Carollo was mayor at the city of Miami and Stierheim was hired to fix the huge financial mess that Miami had at that time.

Stierheim with its extensive administrative experience was who really saved the city from fiscal ruin, even when Carollo self proclaimed the achievement as his own since he was smart enough to hire the right people.

The man who months ago seemed an ideal choice for the City, is today a big “disappointment “and “embarrassment” for his successor.

“I recommended [Stierheim],” Carollo said. “I brought this man [to Doral] and I feel responsible for what has happened. So I felt a responsibility to come and help at this time.”

The new manager and former Miami mayor will receive a monthly salary of $12,000 and will receive a vehicle and a cell phone.

Amidst contradictions between whether he had knowledge or not of Stierheim’s resignation or if the position manager position was offered to Carollo before or after Stierheim’s resignation, Boria claimed he keeps maintaining an excellent relation with Stierheim.

“I never saw in his letter any criticism towards me … I always respected Stierheim assistance, in fact, I never wanted him to be a temporary manager but he did not want to accept the permanent position,” Boria said

The only criticism that Boria issued towards Stierheim’s work is regarding the firing of Doral Former Police Chief Gomez, to what Boria said he “would have liked being informed ahead.”

The uncertainty now lies in whether or not Carollo has the skills to take over as Doral manager, since until now he had never held this position.

“There is a clear dichotomy between the professional management and politics,” said Stierheim.

———————– En Español ——————–

La ciudad del Doral en el ojo del huracán

Por Antonella Stelluto

Por mas de tres meses la ciudad del Doral ha sido el centro de atención de residentes, propietarios de negocios y de numerosos medios de comunicación locales.

El que el Doral atraiga últimamente tantas miradas en nada se debe a sus logros como ciudad ni a su constante crecimiento y desarrollo; se debe en cambio, a su muy publicitada y controversial vida política.

Y la controversia no ha sido la excepción en el transcurso de estas semanas.

De forma inesperada el administrador interino de la ciudad Merrett Stierheim quién entro como reemplazo de Yvonne Soler-McKinley hace poco mas de un mes, presentó su carta de renuncia al alcalde Luigi Boria.

Y de forma aún más inesperada vino el nombramiento, horas más tarde, de quién estaría a cargo de la administración de la ciudad de manera permanente.

El candidato elegido resultó ser no otro que el muy polémico ex alcalde y ex comisionado de la ciudad de Miami, Joe Carollo.

Carollo quién tiene entre sus logros el haber rescatado a la ciudad de Miami de un inminente declive financiero y entre sus fracasos uno de los mayores intentos de golpe de Estado de la historia política de Miami, fue nominado por Boria y elegido de manera unánime durante junta de consejo del pasado 9 de Enero.

Sin embargo, la introducción de Carollo en la escena política del Doral no es novedad. Con su basta experiencia como ex alcalde y ex comisionado, Carollo ayudó a Boria durante su victoriosa campaña electoral para la alcaldía del Doral.

Incluso, muchos afirman que la asesoría de Carollo y el apoyo del ex concejal Pete Cabrera durante la segunda vuelta fueron determinantes para que el triunfo de Boria como alcalde ocurriera.

Durante su corto paso por la alcaldía del Doral, Stierheim también fue blanco de miradas cuando a tan solo días de ocupar su cargo y de manera un tanto abrupta, despidiese al que fuera jefe del Departamento de la policía de Doral, Ricardo Gómez quién aseguró que su destitución se debió principalmente a un acuerdo político entre el alcalde y el ex concejal Cabrera.

En su carta de renuncia Stierheim dice sentirse “decepcionado” de la manera en que el alcalde lo excluyó de lo que Stierheim entendía era una de sus responsabilidades como administrador interino; el buscar un candidato para la administración permanente de la ciudad.

“Yo sería menos que honesto sino expresara mi decepción con su renuencia de compartir conmigo quienes son sus candidatos y que no desea un período de transición entre mi persona y el próximo administrador de la ciudad,” escribió Stierheim al alcalde Boria en su carta de renuncia.

“Su sabiduría y razones detrás de esta decisión son ciertamente cuestionables,” agregó.

Por su parte, Boria explicó en una rueda de prensa posterior al nombramiento de Carollo que la elección del nuevo administrador es una decisión que le compete al alcalde y no al administrador, sea este interino o permanente.

“Mi cargo me da la potestad de tomar esa decisión. Como empresario estoy acostumbrado a tomar mis propias decisiones y divulgarlas cuando sea el momento apropiado,” dijo Boria.

Paradójicamente, en una entrevista para el Doral Family Journal posterior a su elección como administrador interino,  Stierheim dijo que entre sus funciones estaba el asistir al alcalde en la búsqueda de un administrador permanente para el Doral.

Responsabilidad que Stierheim al parecer se tomo con mucha determinación, quién  para la fecha de su renuncia ya tenia “cuatro o cinco candidatos altamente calificados” para reemplazarlo en su cargo.

A pesar de esto, Boria decidió apostar por Carollo, quién considera una persona leal que “tiene el conocimiento y la capacidad para hacer el trabajo.”

“Recuerden que yo no soy un político de carrera; soy un empresario que necesita alguien que tenga experticia en este ámbito […]  La realidad es que tenemos una visión en la Ciudad que queremos seguir y la posición de administrador es vital para nuestra ciudad,” dijo Boria.

Carollo quién tomo posesión de su cargo el pasado Jueves 10 de Enero, dijo en una entrevista al Nuevo Herald que el supuesto descontento de Stierheim se debe a que el ex administrador cree que los hispanos no saben gobernar por ellos mismos y que necesitan de alguien como él de guía.

Sin embargo, las declaraciones emitidas por Stierheim en días recientes a diferentes medios sugieren que otras pudieron ser las razones de la pronta partida del ex administrador de la ciudad.

Stierheim reconoció en una entrevista haber tenido una confrontación en días previos con Carollo y que este amenazó con renunciar a su cargo.

Boria aseguro no tener conocimiento de esta disputa entre Stierheim y Carollo, aun cuando Stierheim declaró que el hecho había sucedido en la oficina del alcalde.

Irónicamente, fue el mismo Carollo quién tras rechazar la oferta de Boria pocos meses atrás sugirió a Stierheim para el cargo de administrador interino.

Stierheim y Carollo se conocieron cuando Carollo era el alcalde de la ciudad del Miami y Stierheim fue contratado por este para arreglar el enorme caos financiero que Miami atravesada en aquel momento.

Quien meses atrás resultaba la opción perfecta para el cargo de administrador interino es hoy una gran decepción y vergüenza para su sucesor.

“Yo recomendé a [Stierheim],” dijo Carollo.

“Yo traje a ese hombre [al Doral] y me siento muy responsable por lo que ha sucedido. Así que sentí la responsabilidad de venir y de ayudar en este momento,” agregó.

El nuevo administrador y ex alcalde de la Ciudad de Miami recibirá un sueldo mensual de $12,000 y como parte de su cargo le serán otorgados un vehiculo y un teléfono celular.

En medio de contradicciones entre sí tenia o no conocimiento de la renuncia de Stierheim o de si el cargo de administrador le fue ofrecido a Carollo antes o después de la renuncia de éste, Boria aseguro mantener un excelente relación con Stierheim.

“Yo en la carta nunca vi ningún tipo de critica hacia mi persona[…]siempre conté con Stierheim, de hecho, nunca quise que fuera un administrador interino sino uno permanente pero Stierheim no quiso aceptar el cargo de forma permanente,” dijo Boria. 

La única critica que Boria emitió hacia la labor de Stierheim fue con respecto al despido del ex jefe de la policía; a lo que Boria expresó le hubiese gustado “haber sido informado con anterioridad.”

La incertidumbre ahora recae en si Carollo tiene o no las habilidades necesarias para ocupar el cargo de administrador, ya que hasta ahora nunca había ocupado una posición administrativa.

“Existe una clara división entre la administración profesional y la política,” dijo Stierheim. 

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Comments (2)

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  1. Jose says:

    “Carollo who took office last Thursday January 10, said in an interview with the Miami Herald that the presume discontent of Stierheim is because he believes Hispanics do not know how to govern themselves and need someone like him around.”

    Stierheim did NOT say that but living in Miami .Being Cuban ,I would agree that “Hispanics do not know how to govern themselves ” because this is all I have seen here in Miami.

    Rampant city corruption, deplorable political ,police standards and perpetual hispanic soap opera like a pubescent drama.

    Hiring Carollo was a huge mistake and if I had known Mayor Luigi was going to bring one of the “old Cuban Guards” back in play, I would have NEVER voted for him.

  2. Jose says:

    I should have added that I thought Bermudez did a great job with very efficient staff but I did want the police chief gone and do not know any neighbor who did not feel the same.

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