Dave Crystal is running for office again. In November of this year, Jerry Libbin will vacate his Miami Beach City Commissioner’s seat and Mr. Crystal is ready to fill that seat.
Mr. Crystal told me he plans to be the second person in a generation to qualify for the ticket by signature petition. No small task, but also equally impressive are his campaign stances.
I asked Mr. Crystal why he’s running for City Commissioner. He said for many of the same reasons for which he ran for mayor in 2010 and 2011, noting that it is sad that so little has been accomplished by the current Commission over the last two years that he can essentially run on the same platform he had two years ago. According to Dave, he was the first candidate in Miami Beach history to call out rampant extortion and corruption – particularly in Code Compliance and the Building Department – and after last year’s arrest of nine public employees – including Jose Alberto, the former top code compliance officer –involving a sting by the FBI, he feels vindicated.
More to this black-mark on the City Manager’s and City Commission’s reputation is that it is difficult to be in a position of leadership at that level and not know about this type of corruption: “Either they knew about the corruption and were in on it, or they sensed the corruption and purposely turned a blind eye, or they were completely blind, aloof and inept and shouldn’t be in positions of authority,” says Crystal. And according to Dave, there are still many in local government here who should be arrested in order safeguard taxpayer’s money.
Issues from his last campaign still loom large. For instance:
- Wasteful spending – e.g.: expensive studies footed by the taxpayer which are never used
- Projects needlessly implemented over and over again with no resolution
- Needless extended finish dates – e.g.: The North Shore Senior Center
- Unnecessary projects like the corner islands – inadequately marked - all over North Beach which cause damage to car’s undersides and endanger bicyclists; forcing them into traffic while shortening the road-widths instead of expanding them
- Putting the personal interests of cronies and special interests ahead of the needs of taxpayers
Other issues Mr. Crystal would like to pursue are:
- Create a Green Ferry System which would create revenue for the city as a boon for tourism, reduce traffic congestion and pollution and create more jobs for city residents
- Create an Inspector General position for Miami Beach – to root out corruption and to ensure that contractors and officials are doing the job they were hired to do – much like Elliot Ness from the ‘Untouchables’
- Ensure that city employees are no longer making three times the market rate nation-wide
- Drastically reduce the ballooning pension liabilities and looming fiscal cliff they are creating
November 5 of this year will be the time to cast your vote, with early voting typically starting around 10 days prior. In the meantime around April 1 of this year, Mr. Crystal’s website, www.crystalforcommissioner.com, will be up so that you can view his issues and plans for our community, and, if you agree with his positions, make donations to his campaign.
For those already convinced to join Mr. Crystal’s crusade to clean up Miami Beach, snail mail donations can be made to:
Dave Crystal Campaign Account
PO Box 416151
Miami Beach, FL 33141
Stay safe and stay informed, guys and gals.