Your weekly slice of island life.

Hello Key Biscayne!

I personally do not live in these horrible KB Whatsapp chats where politics is discussed in the heat of the moment in a little echo chamber, but I get screenshots sent to me constantly of kooks on the island saying ridiculous things.

I don’t care if you think you’re in the ‘good’ chat. I don’t care if you need to set the facts straight. I don’t care if you can’t turn away from a good dumpster fire 🔥. My new attitude is more of the, “oh, you’re still in a Key chat that discusses politics? What’s it like living with an extra chromosome?”

Ok, I promise this will be the last rag with a serious tone for a while. Enjoy.

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.

Good news for people who love bad news

Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: The Village is holding a special council meeting this morning as a result of certain Village computer systems being compromised this week. The exact details haven’t been disclosed, but signs seem to point to a ransomware attack.

The way these usually work is that emails are sent to people at an organization appearing as being from friends or colleagues. They have an attachment that if opened locks all the files on the computer (and if possible all computers on the network) with a password, and you have to pay a ransom to get access to your files again. Law enforcement typically can’t find the perpetrators or unlock the files. A town up in Palm Beach recently had to pay $600k to get their files back. There goes those budget cuts, eh? 💸

(Key News)

Culture beach The City of Miami committed funds this week to open a civil rights museum in the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. The project has been in the making since 2005, and is set to break ground in 2021.

As an islander, your main concern might be the traffic and the use of Virginia Key for more permanent structures. I wouldn’t be too worried, as museums aren’t generally high traffic attractions. The upcoming marina expansion on the other hand…

(Islander News)

Don’t Budge At last week’s budget workshop, Councilmember Ignacio Segurola came out opposed to the role the Key Biscayne Community Foundation has in administering Village programs, saying that the relationship “creates the appearance of impropriety.” It quickly heated up as other council members spoke up to refute the claim, and to chastise the councilman for admittedly broaching the subject without knowing the facts.

(Key News)

It's the motivations, dummy

When Councilmember Segurola spoke against the relationship between the Village and the Key Biscayne Community Foundation at the budget workshop last week, on the surface it was about accountability. Ignoring the fact that Mr. Segurola alleged that the KBCF’s spending is not transparent (it is), what’s wrong with asking that the relationship be examined?

Because it’s almost certainly not about accountability at all. I think Councilmember Ed London, who might be the biggest budget hawk up there, said it best when he commented, “You’re concerned about $500,000 – $600,000 [given to the KBCF] but you haven’t raised a damn thing about the $30 million that we spend that is not transparent to anybody.”

The KBCF is a non-profit that lets people start investment funds while taking care of the overhead, and then helps those people channel that money into charitable causes. They also do the accounting and apply for grants for a bunch of community organizations on the island. For example, the 4th of July Parade Committee saves a ton of cash because the foundation takes care of the accounting and lets it live under its tax-exempt status. In turn, when the Village pitches in money for the parade, it goes through the KBCF.

One thing the foundation does right now is manage the Freebee public transport on behalf of the Village. That’s like half the money they receive right there, and they don’t charge for administration costs. Why doesn’t the Village manage the Freebee itself? I imagine it would cost more. You can debate the benefits of running services in-house versus outsourcing them, but at a time when the Village is looking to privatize more Village services, taking swipes at the KBCF seems disingenuous.

Do you think that these residents calling for accountability (and it’s not just Mr. Segurola) will do an about-face and champion the KBCF if the numbers are crunched and it turns out hiring for-profit companies to manage these things, or taking the services in-house, will cost more? I think it’s highly unlikely, because the motivation for accountability is a ploy to take the KBCF down a notch.

If one wants to discuss if the KBCF has undue influence on the Village’s affairs, that’s a perfectly fine discussion to have. What shouldn’t be done is to try and discredit the foundation with baseless accusations in an attempt to undermine it.

Calendar

It's a ghost town

Last Week's Sales

Location SQFT Rooms Prev Price
Mar Azul 8CS 2841 3/3 '12 $209k $1.15m
299 Harbor 4383 5/4.5 '09 $1.2m $2.8m
Sands 10M 1772 3/3 '03 $649k $1.5m
Oceana 903N 3235 3/4.5 '14 $4.22m $4.74m
315 Palmwood 3300 4/2.5 '10 $1.24m $1.82m
605 Allendale 4102 5/5.5 '10 $970k $3.1m

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