Pocket the Difference

Miami commissioners use a well-worn strategy to avoid public notice of their sweetheart deals

City taxpayers, already burdened with the highest taxes in the county, paid for Regalado's charity. As in dozens of other cases, they didn't have a chance to debate it. The solution seems simple: Enforce the rules that are in place. But as long as politicians run the show, and there is money to be made, a long-time observer of local politics does not see the practice ending. "That's the way they do their dirty deals," declares Dan Paul.

Commissioner Tomas Regalado gladly poured tax dollars into this Little Havana money pit
Steve Satterwhite
Commissioner Tomas Regalado gladly poured tax dollars into this Little Havana money pit
J.L. "Take 'em by surprise" Plummer proposed 98 pocket items in his last ten months in office
Bill Cooke
J.L. "Take 'em by surprise" Plummer proposed 98 pocket items in his last ten months in office
Commissioner Joe Sanchez put the parking in Bicentennial Park
Bill Cooke
Commissioner Joe Sanchez put the parking in Bicentennial Park
Bicentennial Park
Steve Satterwhite
Bicentennial Park

So far this year commissioners have followed the rules. Few pocket items have been presented. Those that affected the budget were cleared by the city manager. Don't give up yet, though. There are eight months left in 2000.

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