Homestead's Dirt

In South Miami-Dade it's all in the land -- the earth, the profits, and the sweet deals

Meanwhile, Pinky Munz's position, relative to both the lake deal and the dump deal, looks pretty darn good. If front-runner ATC gets approval for its dump bid (as looks likely), Pinky gets the job. With the lake, the project didn't go out to bid, and Pinky got the job. But he stresses that the fill he stands to excavate from the lake is a "drop in the bucket" compared with Torcise's operation, which includes not only the vast quarry on Card Sound Road but a soon-to-be dug 200-acre lake scarcely two miles south of the city's 62-acre site.

Munz scoffs at the suggestion that his monetary contributions to Shiver's campaigns have in any way greased the skids for him, or for fellow Shiver-backer Tomas Mestre. "That's a crock," he says flatly. Redland also gave $400 to Steve Bateman's 1995 campaign; Florida Rock & Sand has contributed to numerous city council members' campaigns over the years, including $250 to Bateman in 1995.

"We're on ATC's team, but we're not a part of the negotiations with the city," Munz says. "We just jumped on their team because they needed a site contractor." He adds that it hadn't even crossed his mind to use fill from the 62-acre lake on the dump project. "[The dump] is already high; I'm not so sure they'll even need fill," he says. "There's no connection."

Bateman thinks the dump-capping and the lake-excavation projects are close enough to stink. "If I find out Redland is going to be doing trucking and fill work [for ATC], I'm even more angry, because it looks like there's a network here," Bateman says. "Pinky Munz is sitting on a giant, unshined diamond, and I don't mind that, provided he received it fairly."

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