Miami Beach City Manager Jorge Gonzalez Promises Reforms As He Fights For His Job UPDATE

Categories: Politicks
Jorge Gonzalez
Miami Beach residents are happy, the city is a well-oiled machine and -- despite a string of embarrassments by the police and a mass FBI corruption bust last month -- the majority of city employees do good work. That was City Manager Jorge Gonzalez's upbeat message, at least, to an angry, packed room at David's Cafe II this morning.

Behind the scenes, though, Gonzalez is fighting desperately for his job. Gonzalez has been meeting with commissioners before tomorrow's public meeting and fighting to get another year as manager, commissioners tell Riptide.

Update: Gonzalez says he's resigning -- but not for another year, reports the Miami Herald's David Smiley. On Twitter, Smiley reports that Gonzalez will stay on until May 2013.

Update II: Today the Miami Beach City Commission accepted Gonzalez's resignation with a departure date set for this July. The measure was quickly passed with no public comment.

The city manager didn't directly address this morning the swirling rumors that his resignation is eminent. Riptide left him a message on his cell phone after the meeting as well, which he has not returned.

Two city commissioners -- Ed Tobin and Jonah Wolfson -- grabbed the microphone during the meeting to criticize Gonzalez; Wolfson reiterated that he thought it was time for him to resign.

Gonzalez has been raked over the coals after the FBI nabbed seven Beach employees in a corruption sting last month, including Jose Alberto, the lead code compliance inspector for the city. Some of the men had been ignoring code violations in exchange for cash; others helped arrange what they thought was a cocaine shipment.

But in his speech at David's, Gonzalez tried to downplay the arrests. He threw out a litany of stats showing that most Beach residents rated the city government well in a recent survey.

"People are happy, and the government is meeting expectations," he said.

Gonzalez also pledged a number of changes in the wake of the scandal, including placing a Miami Beach cop on full-time public corruption duty with the FBI, bringing in the Miami-Dade Inspector General and doing an audit of city practices.

But the crowd at David's was hostile.

Residents brought up a number of missteps during Gonzalez's recent tenure, from last year's Memorial Day shootings, to the Beach cops caught drinking before seriously injuring beach-goers during an ATV joyride to the recent corruption arrests. The FBI probe into city employees is ongoing and many expect more arrests to come.

"You are not the person to lead," said resident Frank Del Vecchio before demanding Gonzalez resign.

The city manager is expected to keep meeting with city officials before tomorrow's commissioner meeting.

Update: Here's David Smiley's Tweet on Gonzalez's resignation. We'll update again when we learn more details:

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16 comments
nodseth
nodseth

F the MBPD the whole department.I hope a rouge wave comes along and whips Miami beach off the map.I feel bad for people who come to Miami,what a disaponittment it must be,what a suck ass city Miami has become.I grew up here and so did my parents and grandmother.The city may have gotten a face lift  over the past couple of decades but it has no soul.

Terrence Sturrup
Terrence Sturrup

south beach corrupt liked miami gardens.miami gardens p.d. be harrasing blacks and latinos.miami gardens put gun two differents judges head and back.

jessie
jessie

Fire chief and police chief should be next

Overpaid con man
Overpaid con man

Jorge Gonzalez is another corrupt public sector overpaid employee. He would never survive in the private sector. Lucky for him the taxpayers will pay him $125,000 for life. Plus give him free health care. No wonder so many governments are going bankrupt!

Overpaid employees
Overpaid employees

Jorge Gonzalez is a perfect example of what is wrong with government. He is only 45 yet he will be retiring with a $125,000 per year pension. Starting now?There is no way the taxpayers can support these massive pay and benefit programs.

Clean house...
Clean house...

Whenever Jorge Gonzalez screws up or when one of his favorite assistants gets arrested Jorge calls the Herald and blames the hapless commissioners. Duh. Jorge is the Manager. If this was baseball Jorge would have been fired long before this.

Fresh start needed
Fresh start needed

Miami Beach needs a fresh start. This dude Gonzalez has been there too long.

Another corrupt Kooban
Another corrupt Kooban

The guy is Kooban. The low IQ Kooban mayor likes him. People who do not pay bribes hate him.

Indict Jorge next
Indict Jorge next

Miami Beach is just a city of 90,000 residents, many just part-time. So why does the overpaid City Manager Jorge demand that 100's get paid well over $100,000? In a recession? Why does Jorge let so many employees get away with being corrupt? Is Jorge running a criminal enterprise?

Michael Wind
Michael Wind

because of the amount of money the entire government of miami beach is totally corrupt,starting from the top.

Fire his butt
Fire his butt

Jorge gets a $350,000 pay and benefit package. For that he oversees corrupt and stupid employees. Most are way overpaid. It is time for some adult supervision.

Slam
Slam

I've been trying to post this comment for almost two hours. Unfortunately today I am relying on the city's crappy wifi service, which taxpayers spent millions on and still sucks while you take credit for it. Too many bad things have happened under your watch Jorge. It really is time for you and you unbelievable compensation package to hit the road. At this point, you have really overstayed your welcome. I will vote and campaign for any commissioner who leads the way to show you the door, unless you of course do the classy thing and resign.

Wmartinez42
Wmartinez42

What a slimeball ! Just RESIGN already !!!!

Zilicon
Zilicon

Please Resign Jorge.

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