The Westside Gazette

Political deception haunts the politics of public service

Derek Joy

Political deception haunts the politics of public service

By Derek Joy

     I stumbled upon an old acquaintance by chance.  Jimmie seemingly reappeared out of nowhere.

And wouldn’t you just know it.  We kicked the game around. He finally mentioned an oft overlooked truth in today’s world.

“People always talk about doing something to help get kids on the right track.  But that is a responsibility of the parents.  It all begins at home,” Jimmie said.

Oh, so true.  And, as all truths, it has stood the test of time.

Not long ago, a disgruntled Miami Gardens resident had done such irrelevant political bellyaching that deception came into play.  An outside political consultant began talk of mounting a recall drive against Mayor Oliver Gilbert III.

Ah, yes.  In the interim, all hell broke loose on the local political landscape.

First, the FBI ensnared, indicted and arrested Miami Lakes Mayor Mic-hael Pizzi and Sweetwater Mayor Manny Morono for allegedly soliciting kickbacks and taking bribes in federal grants scams.

Then Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman was knocked off for allegedly accepting high priced consulting fees from a company that did business with the city of Homestead.

Just like that. . .one, two, three Mayors suspended from office by Flor-ida Governor Rick Scott.  Bateman.  Morono.  Pizzi.

All the while these three political scoundrels scurrilously engaged in their alleged criminal activities, not one word were uttered from those who sought to attack Gilbert.

Apparently the residents of Miami Lakes, Sweetwater and Homestead didn’t see the need to oust their respective mayors.

Were those residents deceived, haunted by fear, or simply turned a blind eye?   The criminal justice system unravels the truth of it all.  That’s when more questions will be much needed answers.

Meanwhile, the fallout has shown the political deception behind the move to oust Gilbert from office was nothing more than misguided jealousy.

Still, people of color in the city of Miami’s District 5 can answer questions for themselves as the campaign to replace term limited Commissioner Michelle Spence Jones heats up.

Spence Jones dodged two bullets by being acquitted in a trial on charges of wrongdoing and avoiding prosecution on other charges.  She then sought to find a loophole in the City Charter’s term limit provision.

That’s when former two times appointed City Commissioner, the Rev. Richard P. Dunn, challenged Spence Jones in court, and won.  He now headlines a list of three candidates – so far – seeking the District 5 seat.

Assistant Miami Dade State Attorney Keon Hardemon and educational consultant Dr, Robert Malone are  the other two candidates who have qualified for the election.

So, what will parents tell their children to justify their actions in this sure to be hotly contested campaign?  And how will people of color, along with the city of Miami in general, view public service with the winner?


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