Miami-Dade Surfing The Spotlight

AFTER MONTHS OF SETBACKS, the Miami-Dade County Commission moved Tuesday to accept County Manager George Burgess's recommendation to award federal lobbying contracts to four firms instead of three, a move that will require that the county spend $150,000 that was to be set aside for related work orders and optional services.

During last year's solicitation process, the commission moved to award governmental consulting contracts to Alcalde & Fay, based in Arlington, VA; Patton Boggs, based in Washington, DC: and Greenberg Traurig, based in Miami. The firms would provide Miami-Dade with representation and governmental consulting services before the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

Last June 10 the award recommendation went before the commission's Health, Public Safety & Intergovernmental Committee. As rankings were close, the committee requested that the fourth (Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson, based in Orlando) and fifth (Cardenas Partners, based in Tallahassee) ranked firms also receive contracts.

The original award recommendation allocated $720,000 annually, amounting to $190,000 per contract per year, with an additional $150,000 reserved for any additional lobbying services. According to Victoria Mallette, county communications director, Mr. Burgess recommended negotiating a contract with Akerman for the additional $150,000.

—Ashley Hopkins

Burgess resigned his position as Miami-Dade County Manager after Mayor Carlos Alvarez was recalled last week with nearly 90% of the vote lodged against him. But now Burgess is under attack for the golden parachute severance package he is set to receive.

Corruption continues to bleed our nation. Feeding at the public trough is out of control. The "little" people in "mere" unions are being stripped of lavish considerations yet the "big" boys continue to scoop out golden nuggets for themselves. We, the people, stumble deeper into debt as a massive transfer of wealth is funneled upward in the economic food chain, changing us from a once thriving nation to a mere clash of forces driven by personal greed spun out of balance from the capitalistic morality.

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