| Columns |

It Pays to Be a Cue in Hialeah

Having the surname Cue certainly has its perks in Miami-Dade's second largest city. Consider how lucky Hialeah Councilwoman Katharine Cue is because of her surname.

After spending most of her childhood and teenage years on the talent show circuit, Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina tapped the then-19-year-old young lady as a clerical trainee in 2006. It was a part-time gig that earned her a bi-weekly pay check of $429.

A year later, he appointed her to temporary office associate making $745 every two weeks. On October 1, 2007, the mayor gave her another promotion, making her the city's education czar at a bi-weekly pay rate of $1,028. The kicker: Cue has no formal educational training. According to her resume, she is working toward a degree in public relations and communications at Florida International University. To get the job, Cue had to take an education test. She scored a 78. In other words, she was average at best. Yet Robaina did not consider any other applicants.

And that didn't stop Robaina from bumping up her salary yet again to $1,091 every two weeks. Cue resigned from her city job on November 24 of last year, five days after she was appointed to the city council.

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The councilwoman is not the only Cue banking a nice chunk of city dollars. Her mother Carmen Cue went to work for Hialeah in 2003 as the city's performing arts director - a position that paid her $1,152 every two weeks. At the time, Cue reported to then-Mayor Raul Martinez, who bumped her salary up to $1,409 in 2005.

She resigned two months later, but was rehired by Robaina on February 21, 2006, to be his public relations and cultural coordinator, making $1,992 every two weeks. A year later, on August 7, he named her director of the newly formed communications and special events office. Her salary jumped to $53,000 a year. Less than a month later, Robaina gave her another raise, bringing her annual pay to $59,000.

So why is Robaina so happy to shower the Cues with city money? Well in 2005, the year Robaina was elected, the Cue women voted in the city of Hialeah even though Katharine and Carmen, according to their driver's license records, listed their home address as 19195 Mystic Point in Aventura. 

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