Your weekly slice of island life.

Hello Key Biscayne!

Have you ever thought about who the person was that made the decision to make Key Biscayne’s aesthetics match the Ocean Club? That person influenced the way we perceive the town, and ourselves within it. I think ‘resort’ is what they call it, with its pink curbs and manicured landscaping.

But that wasn’t the only choice. They could have gone with a look more similar to Key Colony’s, to the Grove’s, to the Gables’, or to Bill Bagg’s. They could have chosen to keep the sidewalks green, or chosen to only go with native plant species.

Imagine if this person had the opportunity to tune the entrance to the Key the same way; instead of the bushy area we might be driving along a long row of royal palms.

I’ve never been a big fan of the look. If we wanted elegant we should have done something more similar to the Gables. Instead we got the cheesy elegance of a Bahamian casino.

Get hyped up for the 60th anniversary of the 4th of July parade! It starts promptly at 11am, same as it has for over half a century. They're also running the homemade contest, where you can win $1500. Entry is always free, so get some friends together and sign up!

(More info)

Promote your own thing.

It's news to me

Times are a-changin’ Imagine you’re in a car that smells like weed, someone calls the cops on you, and you don’t go to jail.

This actually happened last month outside the CVS. Some narc called the cops on some people, and the cops confiscated their medical marijuana. Medical licenses aren’t transferable in Florida, but in good faith the cops accepted their California medical license and let them off. Well, then they pulled them over again a little later just be sure. 😑

(Islander News)

Chopping block We’ve got a new council keen on being thrifty, and this is their first time putting a budget together. Add to that a projected budget deficit and you’ve got a recipe for deep cuts. 🔪

Last week the manager laid off most of the code compliance department, vowing to privatize their duties in the future. Other departments could follow suit. Not even funding of community groups is sacred, as the budget aims to reduce costs across the board.

You guys better get to the 4th of July parade this year, ‘cause at this rate by next year it’s gonna be two guys banging a drum on a skateboard. 🥁

(Key News)

Fishin’ for change A few weeks ago residents of Mashta Island began circulating a petition looking to ban fishing on the Mashta bridge. They complain about the trash some fishermen leave behind, but calls for an outright ban instead of enforcement.

Of course, it totally ignores the fact that fishing on that bridge by key rats young and old has been a thing for ages, so luckily it didn’t get much traction.

Last month someone zealous about it called the cops to report a fisherman at the bridge. Turns out it was a key rat, with a fishing permit. Nice job siccing the cops on your neighbor for doing something completely legal. 🙄

(Islander News)

Emotions in politics

Update: If this reads to you as an attack on the integrity of the council as a whole, it’s not. It’s difficult to speak of motivations when they’re not said out loud. In the future, I’ll attempt to do this differently.

In Florida it’s illegal for elected officials to discuss government business in private. If they want to discuss things outside of the council, they can schedule a “sunshine” meeting, but it must be open to the public. Former Mayor Mayra Peña Lindsay held such a meeting last year with two other council members, and resident Don Elisberg showed up to watch. The former mayor told him he couldn’t attend, because it was a meeting about contract negotiations (the only exception to the private meeting rule, except she was advised to shut down the public meeting and schedule a new one as a private meeting).

Then someone made an anonymous complaint about the meeting to the state ethics board.

The ethics board investigated. It said the former mayor was “contrite” and decided not to press charges. The former mayor spent $35k defending herself.

So who made the complaint? At the time there was a handful of people who were frustrated with Mayor Peña Lindsay. I have my hunch, but because I have no proof and I’m not a moron, I’m not going to write it here and blast it out to hundreds of people. But apparently someone in a popular Whatsapp chat decided to do just that, and laid it on Don Elisberg (not my hunch — way off).

Don shows up at last week’s council meeting, where they’re discussing whether or not to pay back former Mayor Peña Lindsay’s legal bills, and has to go up and defend himself over these accusations. He says if he had filed the complaint, he would have said so.

After that, the council decided to pay back the legal fees, but there was intense debate on the fees being too high. Why did it take so long to pay her back? If you’re acting in your job and get investigated but not prosecuted, shouldn’t your employer pay your legal fees?

Well, yes, but if you’re still frustrated that the former mayor was apologetic with investigators, but claims she did nothing wrong to everyone else, then you might drag your feet a little in getting it done. The fact that the legal fees are so high is the salt in the wound.

Why did I just tell you all this? Because many of the actors in this tale, in the government, around it, and in the chats, are still upset, and still using public policy as a cover for personal feelings. It’s surely going to come to head again later this year. Quit being jerks. As soon as you make it personal you’re not doing public service, you’re just being a selfish ass. 🍑

Calendar

Around Town

Last Week's Sales

Location SQFT Rooms Prev Price
3 Coconut Ln (GB) 4007 6/6 '05 $2.39m $2.24m
700 Harbor 7723 6/7.5 '93 $1.5m $8.66m
792 Ridgewood 2625 4/4 '15 $2.32m $1.92m
CC South 207 1260 2/2 '93 $220k $508k
KC IV ? 1836 3/3 '13 $536k $925k

Finito

Did you like this? If you did, please forward it to your friends and tell them to subscribe at The Tropical Rag.

Read past issues in the archive.

Questions, comments, tips, or to ride on the best parade float 🇺🇸, write to hi@tropicalrag.com.

“Society is never gonna make any progress until we all learn to pretend to like each other.” Quit screwing around. See you next week!

Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

If you liked this, sign up!

The Tropical Rag goes out every Thursday and has all you need to know about the going-ons of Key Biscayne. Sign up below and never miss an issue.

We don't sell your email to anyone. Read our privacy policy.