Community News - Latest

South Miami

Group to advocate for ‘good government’ in South Miami



Two former city commissioners and another longtime resident are forming the ‘South Miami Citizens for Good Government’ to address what they consider ‘dysfunction’ on the part of current commissioners.

The group was launched on Dec. 10 at a reception where the organization chair John Edward Smith announced Rev. Dr. Anna Price and Armando Oliveros Jr. as co-chairs.

“We formed on the basis of collective concern for what is going on in the city for the last couple years,” Smith said. “Our disappointment with the dysfunction of the City Commission. So Dr. Price, Mr. Oliveros and myself decided to come together and put it out there and see how people will respond to us.”

Smith has lived in South Miami for 40 years, is a business development consultant, and publisher of SOMI Magazine. Price and Oliveros served as mayor and commissioner, respectively, on the 1997-1998 commission.

Oliveros stepped down from the commission in October 1999 when he was facing money-laundering charges unrelated to his work as a city official. He served seven years in federal prison. He lost to current Commissioner Bob Welsh in the 2012 election.

Price said the group will not be advocating for particular candidates.

As an example of of dysfunctional behavior, she pointed to a recent incident in which Commissioner Bob Welsh was censured for circulating a poster called “40 Acres and a Pool,” and Welsh sued two other commissioners for accusing him of circulating other posters years ago.

“I am very worried at the direction the city has been taking for several years,” Oliveros said. “There is a lot of misinformation and inaccurate information going out to people. The commission is a joke, I have to say. It’s very dysfunctional and their information to the public is erroneous. ... We want to get the people back to vote and know who and what they are voting for.”

Those citizens will be voting on Feb. 11 in the city of South Miami election.

“We plan to build sustainability for the organization so that we can continue to address issues that are a concern to a very diverse community,” Smith said.

The “sustainability” is something the city commission has lacked, according to Smith.

“We’ve had rotating city managers over the last three and a half years,” Smith said. “That is very disruptive to our professional staff. Nothing gets done. It takes the new city manager time to orient himself/herself. Things just get put aside.”

The organization had an introductory meeting in early December and plans to issue bilingual newsletters and hold a number of community events. One event Smith noted was a candidate forum prior to the city of South Miami election. The forum will be open for other organizations, panels, associations, and citizens to participate.

“The community is very divided,” Oliveros said. “We need the unity back again. The city has been stagnant. Businesses don’t want to come here anymore because they can’t deal with the commission. If we don’t have business and money coming in, it’s going to hurt the residents.”

Read more Community News - Latest stories from the Miami Herald

  • Sweetwater

    Sweetwater agrees to pay to avoid cancellation of insurance

    Sweetwater commissioners agreed Monday to pay up to $62,000 immediately to avoid cancellation of the city’s worker’s compensation insurance.

Artist Joseriberto Perez's postal worker parents inspired this work, which is a bundle of envelopes stained in coffee.

    Visual arts

    Artist’s work is influenced by Miami, Cuban heritage

    Joseriberto Perez, an emerging artist based in Miami, seems to avoid assigning his works meaning; he prefers the works to be ambiguous to the viewer and to lead to their own conclusions. But if you look closely, the artist has managed to create a body of work that examines his Cuban heritage and Miami upbringing in interesting ways.

Reinaldo Varela and Edenia Cruz Fernandez say they weren’t paid for work performed.


    Campaign workers say employer stiffed them on paychecks

    A couple that worked for a week promoting electoral candidates outside a voting precinct in Hialeah complained on Monday that the well-known political strategist Sasha Tirador had fired them and refused to pay them for the days worked.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK