Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

Opa-locka mayor to oversight board: Show respect — and let me keep my car

Opa-locka mayor Myra Taylor sits on the dais at a commision meeting on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, where the future of the embattled city was discussed, as well as the city manager, who was facing corruption allegations and has since been criminally charged.
Opa-locka mayor Myra Taylor sits on the dais at a commision meeting on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, where the future of the embattled city was discussed, as well as the city manager, who was facing corruption allegations and has since been criminally charged. pfarrell@miamiherald.com

After two months of scrutiny by the state of Florida, Opa-locka Mayor Myra Taylor wrote a scathing email on Friday that blasted a governor-appointed board tasked with saving the nearly insolvent city.

Taylor told the state’s chief inspector general, Melinda Miguel, that instead of focusing on the city’s finances, the oversight board “looks down” on Opa-locka’s elected officials and has not provided any solutions to their problems.

She noted, for instance, that her continued use of a city-owned vehicle had become “a center of the board’s concern.”

“To date, all the city has gotten is the flexing of power, a lot of meetings, a lot of conference calls, a lot of requests, a lot of public comments on our ‘bad’ situation, insulting remarks — but no real results!” Taylor wrote in the email, which was copied to Opa-locka City Manager Yvette Harrell.

Critics of Taylor said she should not have sent the email at a time the oversight board is helping to guide the city to recovery. They traced the city’s decline to Taylor’s re-election as mayor in 2010, when Opa-locka’s government last showed a budget surplus. Ever since, the city has run up debts now totaling more than $8 million.

On Monday, Taylor defended her email: “That’s the way I feel,” she told the Miami Herald, after meeting with members of the oversight board, which is chaired by Miguel.

Taylor said she knows what’s needed for the city but declined to say what that is. “All I know,” she said, “is we’re at the end financially.”

Miguel declined to comment about the mayor’s email. But at Monday’s committee meeting of the oversight board, she thanked Opa-locka’s employees for “opening the gates of your city to us.”

The nine-member state board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday at the Sherbondy Village community center.

Jay Weaver: 305-376-3446, @jayhweaver

Michael Sallah: 305-376-2218, @MikeSallah7

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