Long Miami Beach meeting prompts testy commission exchanges

As Miami Beach’s commission meeting last week dragged on for the 14th hour, things got a little testy.

It was 11:20 p.m. Commissioner Jonah Wolfson began to mock Mayor Matti Herrera Bower’s high-pitched voice, and, for the second time that night, threatened to throw himself off the third floor of City Hall.

Commissioner Ed Tobin offered: “I’ll carry you there, if you promise to do it.”

Earlier in the meeting, Commissioner Michael Góngora and Wolfson took to calling each other liars. They were arguing over whether Wolfson had attended executive sessions to discuss union negotiations.

Decorum on the dais (or a lack thereof) and the way meetings are run have become a campaign issue on the Beach. Four seats, including the mayor’s, are up for grabs in the Nov. 5 election.

Wednesday’s meeting lasted about 16 hours, and included about four hours of debate over which company to pick to manage the city’s tennis centers.

After dozens of parents flooded the commission chambers, including former Miami Heat player Rony Seikaly, the commission chose to go against the recommendation of its city manager and tennis committee, and temporarily stick with the company that was ranked last in a competitive process.