West Miami-Dade

Commissioners upset with mayor for not signing check for seniors’ bingo night

Sweetwater commissioners are upset with the mayor’s office for not signing discretionary checks for a senior activity.

At a meeting Aug. 4, Commissioner Isolina Maroño told mayor Jose Diaz that she had requested a check to be approved, which would pay the costs for a senior Bingo Night scheduled for this month.

“I’ve been waiting for a long time,” she said at the meeting.

Commissioners each get $3,000 in discretionary funds, while the mayor receives $5,000. The checks must first be requested from the finance department, then the mayor’s office signs the approval, said Commissioner Orlando Lopez, who had also requested a check two months ago.

Diaz said his officer has been backed up with other priorities.

“Maybe they have a reason, but up to a certain degree,” he said. “The problem with them is that they evaluate as if they were the ones acting because that is how they function. We are there every day taking care of emergencies.”

Lopez said he isn’t buying Diaz’s response.

“He is not busy,” he said. “He is blocking it.”

The mayor’s chief of staff, Marcos Villanueva, said that staff has been occupied and has been giving attention to other significant issues.

“Well, we can’t feed the horses and they can die, or we can have bingo night,” he said.

There is no deadline for checks, but it should be signed in a reasonable time, between 20 or 45 days, said City Attorney Ralph Ventura.