Lynda Bell's Broken Vow To Voters
In fact, since she took office, her decision-making has been from another planet. Consider her following missteps:
• In February, she appeared on Spanish-language radio station Radio Caracol and vowed to do "everything within [her] power to stop" Cuban artists from performing at a concert that was to be held at Homestead-Miami Speedway. When speedway officials canceled the three-day event in April, the American Civil Liberties Union demanded an investigation to determine if Bell had used her public office to stop the show.
• In May, Bell moved into a spacious new district office in Palmetto Bay that will cost taxpayers $170,000 in rent over the next four years. She also spent $28,100 on office furnishings. According to Eye On Miami blogger Genius of Despair, who first reported about the commish's new digs, Bell could have remained in her predecessor's old office at the South Dade Government Center at no cost to taxpayers.
• She's out to weaken the county department that protects the local environment. On July 7, she persuaded her county commission colleagues to form a task force to review how the Department of Environmental Resources Management designates sensitive wetlands, a move that has drawn criticism from the Tropical Audubon Society.
• And, oh yeah, one of her former legislative aides -- an African-American woman named Lois Jones -- has filed racial discrimination complaints against the white commish with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Florida Commission on Human Relations.
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It is not the first time Bell has faced allegations of being insensitive to African-Americans. When she was Homestead mayor, she and city council members were widely criticized for taking no action to ban the Confederate flag from the town's Veterans Day parade.
Bell -- who represents Kendall, the Redland, Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, and Homestead -- did not respond to three messages left at her district and downtown Miami commission offices seeking comment.
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