At last week's May 15 Homestead City Council meeting, Mayor Steve Bateman got testy with local business owner Michelle Pederson, prompting her husband Kevin to call hizzoner out. The back and forth occurred during the citizen's comments portion of the council meeting after Homestead resident Mark Bell -- hubby to County Commissioner Lynda Bell -- expressed his displeasure that Homestead's elected officials may no longer want to build a new city hall in the downtown area on Krome Avenue.
An irate Bateman went off, claiming he's never supported building a new city hall in downtown Homestead because it is going to cost the city $30 million. "There's a handful of you who've threatened me, given me a hard time because I wanted to speak my peace and vote the way I want to vote," Bateman groused.
Then Michelle Pederson, who owns a Goodyear store in downtown Homestead, took the podium to speak about the new city hall too. That's when it got nasty. Bateman interrupted Pederson several times. "I have the floor right now," she scolded the mayor. "You don't have to be rude."
Bateman then accused Pederson of encouraging people to talk about the city hall issue too make him look bad. "You got five of my friends to talk against me," he railed. "Bring em on!"
Pederson shot back: "I really wish you wish you would learn civility because you lack it."
Her husband came up to the podium after her. He let Bateman have it. "Sir that was rude," Kevin Pederson said. "You want to yell, yell at me...I never had my family insulted like that. Sir, you owe her an apology."
Bateman caved. "I apologize," he said.
You can view the exchange below. The argument starts at the 12 minute mark.
Follow Francisco Alvarado on Twitter: @thefrankness.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.