Unopposed Candidates and Campaign Finance - Councilman Bob Best, Councilman Jaime Petralanda
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
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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.
Just because you do not take an interest in politics, does not mean that politics won't take an interest in you.
- Source unverified, but attributed *all over the internet* to the Greek philosopher Pericles...which merely underscores the hazards of copying someone else's research instead of looking it up for yourself.