Miami Beach delays vote on leaders’ freebie tickets

Miami Beach’s elected officials won’t be giving up the freedom to do what they wish with the hundreds of free event and performance tickets that flow into their offices each year — at least, not yet.

Commissioners had been expected to vote Wednesday night on a measure to place new restrictions on officials’ complimentary passes.

But Mayor Matti Herrera Bower, in what is becoming a pattern, abruptly adjourned the meeting about 9:30 p.m. during a heated discussion about whether the city should continue to negotiate a severance package with former City Manager Jorge Gonzalez or send the matter to an arbitrator.

Gonzalez has requested $405,000, his laptop computer, city SUV, iPad and an extra six months of pensionable service worth an estimated $75,000 over the long term, according to the city attorney’s office.

Both issues could come up again when the commission meets Sept. 27 to finalize its 2013 budget.