The County Bully

Careful not to overtly criticize Vidal, Diaz de la Portilla added, "Ultimately he makes the right decision." Translation: Vidal screwed up with this move, but he'll eventually make it right by promoting Hudak back to the level of assistant county manager.

Other commissioners, including James Burke, Bruce Kaplan, and Natacha Millan, said that they also liked Hudak but did not feel it was appropriate to second-guess Vidal's decision. And Millan noted that she had not received one phone call from women's groups upset about Hudak's demotion.

Sorenson also lambasted Vidal for not taking more action in general in support of the county's female employees. This past May the Metro-Dade Women's Association published a report highly critical of the county. Based on a comprehensive survey of county government, it noted that women are "hired less often in the executive ranks of county government than males" and that the salary gap between male and female executives is widening, with men earning anywhere from $5000 to $27,000 more than their female counterparts in the same job categories.

In July the county commission unanimously passed a pair of resolutions demanding action and requiring the county manager to form "an autonomous task force" to implement recommended solutions proposed by the women's group. But five months later Vidal hadn't done anything. When Sorenson asked why, he feebly responded, "I'll have to find out and report back to the commission."

"We need to have that established immediately," Sorenson chided. "We need to deal with these issues."

Vidal said he would look into it.
No doubt. He'll have that task force up and running real soon. Probably right around the time Damon Chapple gets out of prison.

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