Thursday, March 8, 2012

So what's the big deal about the City of South Miami doing business with a tag agency that's owned by the Police Chief's wife?

So what is the big deal?  Besides the obvious appearance of a conflict of interest, is there anything else wrong with it?  Let's start by looking back at that list of tag agencies we looked at yesterday...

18655 S. Dixie Highway 33157 9.2 miles
5400 NW 22nd Avenue 33142 13.7 miles
1418 Ponce de Leon Blvd 33134 5.0 miles
30708 S. Federal Highway 33030 22.7 miles
11287 S. Dixie Highway 33156 4.0 miles
1375 NW 36th Street 33142 12.0 miles
8530 Bird Road 33155 4.9 miles
13710-K SW 56th street 33175 8.9 miles
20 West 49th Street 33012 15.3 miles
1834 NE Miami Gardens Drive 33179 21.8 miles
804 NW 183rd Street 33169 21.0 miles
140 West Flagler Street 33130 9.0 miles
1550 West 84th street 33014 15.6 miles
10930 West Flagler Street 33174 9.9 miles
800 71st street 33141 19.4 miles
313 NW 167 Street 33162 19.9 miles
12935 West Dixie Highway 33161 18.1 miles
8404 NW 103rd Street 33016 13.8 miles
6402 NW 186th Street 33015 19.3 miles
10201 Hammocks Blvd 33196 11.2 miles
11035 NW 27th Avenue 33167 21.2 miles
2517 SW 8th street 33135 6.2 miles
5759 SW 40th street 33155 2.6 miles
3636 NW 36th street 33142 8.8 miles
5747 NW 7th street 33126 5.6 miles

Now, I've gone ahead and marked the county owned tag agency in red, the distinction between this agency and the others is explained in the state's website...
"Private license plate agencies may charge additional fees associated with performing motor vehicle transactions"
Obviously as these are for profit businesses who are in business to make money therefore they'll be charging fees above and beyond whatever the state or county sponsored agencies would charge.  That's all well and good, now the next question that we're left with is why were four separate transactions for the City of South Miami costing nearly two thousand dollars?  Let's see what the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has to say about this...

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Guide for Government Vehicles

Ok, now according to the FDHSMV, it seems like government vehicles are only charged $51 for a license plate (page one class # 97 from here) are exempt from initial registration fees (check #6 on page 7 here) as well as a whole other laundry list of fees and obviously state taxes.  So why were these four transactions so expensive?  More importantly though, why were these transactions conducted with a private tag agency rather than a county tag agency that would have saved the City of South Miami taxpayers the money they spent in fees that the county owned agency wouldn't have charged?  Even stranger, why did the city start doing business with this tag agency just a few months after the owners husband was hired on as the city's police chief?  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Conflict of interest?  

Now, onto something completely unrelated.  Everyone down here sits by and moans about how Dade County gave away the land for the American Airlines Arena, how they screwed over the taxpayer with the Marlins ballpark, etc.  While we're all sitting around waxing poetic about how they should have stopped the free land giveaways and the taxpayer funded boondoggles, the City of Miami is getting ready to give away the Miami Marine Stadium, our friend Al Crespo has done a fantastic job covering this mess, strangely enough, the local media is all but silent on the goings on regarding the giveaway of the City's last waterfront piece of property.  Take a moment and go to Al's site and see what's going on.


  1. Only 2000$ i dont think so corrupt,cop,miami,cubano there is got to be more to find out a lot more

  2. The South Miami city manager is a retired city of Miami cop. Maybe it's just part of the "thin blue line" collegiality.

  3. i have a feeling uuuu yeah that this case is gonna turn into a goood good one

  4. the chief is having a good time oh yeah i cant believe people will even go to that rat spot to get tags come on people there are many better agencys where and old ass lady does not come out threatning pople saying i will tow your car and the cheif of police is the owner of this place ...this place has the worst custumer service ever so it wont impress me if money is the purpoese