#PoliticalCortadito: #Gimenez pissing away $350,000 of #taxpayer's money on "bogus ‘leadership’ lessons for cronies"


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Political Cortadito: "Carlos Gimenez plans bogus ‘leadership’ lessons for cronies"


And the $350,000 would go to an FIU program run by a former president — who gave $20,000 to his campaigns




Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez must have opened another drawer the other day.

Because he found some more money for something he wants that means absolutely nothing to the constituents and people who he allegedly serves.

Gimenez wants to spend $350,000 to give 30 top administrators — the members of his inner circle and keepers of his darkest secrets — some leadership classes at Florida International University that the Miami Herald’s usually dry Doug Hanks very correctly interpreted as “lessons on self-awareness, body language and the impact of family backgrounds,” whatever that is. He forgot “how to engage with others.”

And, get this: Next year, Gimenez wants to send 100 staffers. Would that then cost the county $1.2 million? For an education in body language and self awareness?


Really? Really? This is the best way to spend our hard-earned tax dollars? Why don’t we let the cronies at the county compete with the already vastly eduated public? It’s not our job to ensure that they meet the standards of good leadership? With the inclusion of a psychologist on the panel of teachers, it seems that we are also providing these understandably traumatized public employees with much-needed therapy (is there a couch, too?).

There was so much hype a couple of years ago about former Commissioner Juan Zapata billing the county $31,000 for a Harvard “master’s” program — even though Commissioner Jean Monestime also got reimbursed $12,400 for a Harvard “executive business” course and nobody talked about that — that this seems a little, well, hypocritical at worst, frivolous at best. Ladra has it on good authority that the Zapata story was pushed by a Gimenez aide to discredit one of the mayor’s biggest critics. And now they promote this as progressive minded. How convenient.

Can it be because the mayor has been safely elected for the last time (at least consecutively), spending $350,000 on continuing education for 30 of the mayor’s chosen county employees — the ones who know where the bones are buried — is suddenly okay? Can someone say double standard?
Or could it simply be quid pro quo?




Carlos Gimenez shakes Mitch Maidique’s hand at a fundraiser at Jeff Berkowtiz’s home.

Former FIU President ModestoMitch” Maidique — who designed the FIU Center for Leadership and is employed by it — gave Gimenez at least $20,000 in campaign contributions to the mayoral account and both political action committees since 2011 (including $14,000 from his then-wife, Nancy Maidique).

Maybe former county commissioner Katy Sorenson and her husband should have donated to the Gimenez PAC to keep the Good Government Initiative at the University of Miami going. Certainly, his staffers would benefit more from ethics lessons than any self-awareness or body language bullshit.

Some of the new “students” identified in a Gimenez memo are the same members of his inner circle who already took a one-day, 10-hour “leadership course,” because one has to use the term loosely, at the same FIU scam, er, program in 2012.



Sure, it was just a one-day intensive course but that class (photographed to the left) was attended by Gimenez, his five deputy mayors — Russell Benford, Alina Hudak, Chip Iglesias, Ed Marquez and Bernard “Jack” Osterholt — his former communications chief Fernando Figueredo, his former deputy and current chief of staff, Alex Ferro, Inson Kim, who was his director of policy and legislative affairs then and is now heading the communications and outreach department, former senior advisor Lisa Martinez and Budget Director Jennifer Moon.

Guess it didn’t stick because they are all going back to school. Every one of the administrators who took the 2012 crash course are coming back to campus (with the exception of the three who are no longer at the county). Plus now the list attached to the mayor’s memo also includes what looks like every department director: Communications Director and Mouthpiece Michael Hernandez, Fire Chief David Downey, Police Director Juan Perez, Human Resources Director Arleene Cuellar, Transportation and Public Works Director Alicia Bravo, Water and Sewer Director Lester Sola, Seaport Director Juan Kuryla, Director of Cultural Affairs Michael Spring and so on and so on and so on.

These are people who make six figure annual salaries. Kuryla is at $297,000. Ed Marquez makes $267,000. Alina Hudak gets paid just under $259,000. Sola and Osterholt each make about $250,000. Which means they can all afford to pay for their own professional development. Why is that the taxpayer’s responsibility?
And shouldn’t they already possess this particular skill set? Wouldn’t this course be more geared to build a bench from the assistant directors and  supervisors who are really doing all the work anyway?

I mean, if Alina Hudak and Ed Marquez and Russell Benford and Lester Sola and Juan Kuryla don’t know how to read body language already, we’re worse off than anyone thought. What do they say about teaching old dogs? And we certainly don’t need them to be more self aware. We need them to be more aware of everybody else.

Or is this how Gimenez, who is on his last four years, trying to help his cronies be more employable when he’s gone?

This whole thing smells fishy. Too bad they can’t see Ladra’s body language. They would have no trouble reading it.

It says, “Bitch, please.”


Read: http://www.politicalcortadito.com/2017/03/02/carlos-gimenez-leadership-cronies-donor/
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