City Manager, Jorge Gonzalez Gets the Heave-ho From the Miami Beach City Commission; Last Day is July 8
After having first proposed resigning a year from now – an offer that hit a brick wall in the form of four commissioners – embattled Miami Beach City Manager Jorge Gonzalez will now leave office on the revised date he offered up, last-minute, to the City Commission at its meeting on Wednesday: July 8.
The vote was 5-2, with Mayor Bower and Jerry Libbin against his dismissal.
The body also decided not to adopt the five-point plan proposed by the city manager, which included short-term fixes as turning to the county’s inspector general to help recalibrate city employees’ ethics with retraining. On some, the commission decided to wait, pending further review and discussion.
The meeting exposed frayed interpersonal relationships among some of the commissioners, including ones, like Michael Gongora’s and Jerry Libbin’s, men who are assumed to be 2013 mayoral contenders, and others, like the mayor’s and Jonah Wolfson’s, whose past abrasiveness with one another in previous meetings rose again, and frequently, to the surface during Wednesday’ session.
Realtor and past commission candidate Sherry Roberts told the body that she was disappointed that they were behaving jovially over discussions about ethics.
“I’m sitting here watching you all argue, laugh and joke” about what she described as “one of the most serious” controversies to face the city in a while.
Once Gonzalez’s dismissal was settled, a dispute arose between Wolfson and Bower when he challenged her contention that only two commissioners – Gongora and Tobin – had requested a special meeting weeks ago to contend with the federal corruption case against city employees and Gonzalez’s fate. In fact there were four commissioners, he told her, who had requested a meeting.
She defended her decision not to call one, saying to have scheduled one was “unreasonable,” and further explaining that Libbin was out of town and would have been unable to attend.