In the first post, we saw the filings from the Mayoral candidates, and here are those for the two candidates who won re-election unopposed. Councilman Best ran a shoestring operation, loaning himself $500 and spending only $85 to pay the required candidate filing fee.
Councilman Petralanda raised $2,665, including $500 from Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.,
and $1000 from Waste Management, Inc. (WMI - listed on p.8 of the report as Trail Ridge Landfill, Inc).
Not for nothing, but Becker & Poliakoff is the City's lobbying firm, and WMI is the solid waste disposal provider for Miami-Dade County, and Miami Springs re-approved our interlocal agreement with Miami-Dade (thus sending our solid waste business and dollars to WMI.)
Later I will check, but I doubt that the Miami Springs Charter or Code has any explicit rule against accepting campaign contributions from city vendors. I am confident that it's a bad practice - even if only for the perception.
To wit: the motion to send our business to the County and thus, Waste Management passed 5-0. Doubtless it was the right decision. But , but when you accept a contribution from a vendor, and then second a motion that benefits that vendor, it invites speculation. The good news it's not too late to return contributions like these.
Finally, I want to reiterate that I feel Councilman Petralanda is a decent and honest public servant, and this is not to single him out, as there were a number of candidates who accepted large, outside sums, and I mean to discuss them all here. It also bears repeating that acceptance of campaign support does not automatically equate to impropriety, and it's unfair to suggest otherwise without evidence.
A couple of years ago in December 2012, my spouse then-Councilwoman Jennifer Ator asked the Council to consider adoption of a code of ethics and a "Citizen's Bill of Rights." It literally died on the dais for want of a second.
Perhaps its time has come? Documents below. s/o
Bob Best - Campaign Documents
Jaime Petralanda - Campaign Documents
Bill Tallman has been a Miami Springs resident since 2002, and a community activist since 2003. He believes that the best decisions tend to come from people with the best information at hand.