Midtown Walmart: City Official's Offensive Email Emerges Just Before Final Vote Tonight
Tonight, city council members will decide the fate of one of Miami's most divisive issues: Walmart's bid to build a big-box store in midtown.
One of many offensive images included in a city official's email about Walmart.
The mega-retailer's plan to invade Miami has pissed off opponents, inspired passionate protests, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars -- perhaps millions -- in lobbying and public relations fees. So what could make the situation even more incendiary?
How about an offensive, arguably racist email sent by the city's chief of urban design openly mocking Walmart customers?
The following email -- obtained by New Times -- was sent by Enrique D. Nuñez, the City of Miami's chief of urban design, on March 6, 2013, at 2:39 p.m. (in other words, during work hours).
The recipients are all fellow members of the Planning & Zoning Department: Carmen Sanchez (assistant director), Kimberly Kennedy (administrative aide), Lydia Sacher (administrative assistant), Antonio Perez (planner), David Snow (position unknown), and Harold Ruck (chief of community planning).
We should point out that Planning & Zoning is precisely the department charged with reviewing and approving Walmart's application for a Class II Special Permit to build in midtown.
Neither Nuñez nor planning director Francisco Garcia responded to repeated requests for comment yesterday.
In his email, Nuñez is clearly forwarding an email featuring photos from the popular (possibly racist and classist, certainly condescending) blog People of Walmart.
But Nuñez puts his own imprimatur on the offensive email by ominously adding, "Coming to Midtown."
Here's the email in its entirety (broken up into JPEGs). You can decide for yourself if this is something Nuñez should be sending around the office. By the way, records from 2011 show Nuñez making more than $112,000 per year.