4

Like Beating an Undead Horse

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Chuck Rabin's Herald story today about the most recent lawsuit against the county by the Homestead Air Base Developers, Inc. or HABDI, has an abbreviated history of the development group's shady dealings.

If you want a more in-depth look at the no-bid contract the county awarded HABDI to build a commercial airport on the base, this 1996 feature story by former New Times staffer Jim DeFede neatly recounts the 5:40 a.m. commission vote that granted HABDI the lease, where none other than the late Art Teele prognosticated: "This has been artfully drafted as a major piece of litigation that will go on as long as this lease goes on."

DeFede surmised: "Throughout the thirteen-hour meeting, not one commissioner vouched for or made an impassioned plea in support of [HABDI member Carlos] Herrera or any of his partners. Instead, both during and after the meeting, commissioners were more concerned about how well taxpayers would be protected should Herrera and the others bungle this project or go bust."

Apparently not concerned enough: the commercial airport plan was killed by the federal government, first under Clinton and again under Bush. But HABDI is now seeking compensation — from taxpayers — for being dropped from the lease. -Emily Witt

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.