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COMMISSIONER HARDEMON HAS SO MUCH CONCERN FOR HIS CONSTITUENTS AND THEIR ABILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN AN IMPORTANT COMMUNITY MEETING THAT HE’S CHOSEN TO HOLD IT OUTSIDE OF HIS DISTRICT - FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

JANUARY 29, 2016

KEON, WHAT’S UP WITH THIS

Last year, in the aftermath of the anger and frustration created when District 5 Commissioner Keon Hardemon steamrolled the SEOPW CRA  deal to give $90 million in tax increment funds (TIF) funds to the Worldcenter folks, Bishop James Adams of the St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church in the heart of historic Overtown hosted a meeting for folks in the community to come together and discuss what happened, as well as to hear from Commissioner Hardemon as to his reasoning for supporting the giveaway of these TIF Funds.


The meeting did not go well, either for the Commissioner, or for some of the attendees who ended the meeting in a shouting match that came to blows.

It appears, and in fact rumors have come back to me that the Commissioner was, and remains unhappy with Bishop Adams, who pretty much cleaned his clock at that meeting, and whom some feel might become a candidate against Hardemon in 2017.


Therefore, the Commissioner, who could have chosen to hold this latest community meeting at one of several other churches in Overtown or at Camillus House where the SEOPW CRA regularly holds its meetings, seems to have decided that holding this meeting at Trinity Church, which is next door to the downtown Marriott Hotel in District 2, as a way to demonstrate his continued displeasure with the Bishop by going completely outside the District, and to make sure that even less people show up, he’s scheduled the meeting for 5:30 PM, right smack in the middle of rush hour.


While the flyer states that the meeting is to discuss the “community benefits” for the proposed MDM Convention Center Hotel and the Beckham Soccer Stadium, I find it interesting that I’ve attended all the public meetings so far to discuss the soccer stadium and I’ve yet to hear any sizable support expressed by anyone in the Commissioner’s District - especially in Overtown and Spring Garden - where the  stadium will be built.


Yet, if the flyer is correct, then not only is the public benefits request sheet below reflect a wish list for the hotel project, but also for the soccer stadium which would let one conclude that the Commissioner has already decided that he’s in favor of the stadium being built in Overtown.


Again, I find that interesting because I have heard - albeit only as rumors - that the Commissioner has already held at least one meeting to discuss “Community Outreach” support for this stadium deal, and that those identified as being part of the “community outreach” effort are members of his family, who many believe are hired as “community outreach” consultants by anyone looking to do business in the Commissioner’s District as a way to grease the process in their favor.


Would the Commissioner be interested in addressing this rumor?  Inquiring minds want to know whether Auntie Barbara, Uncle Roy, Uncle Billy and Uncle Allen are being hired by any of the developers doing projects in District 5?


Given the past activities of some of the Hardemon clan when it comes to allegations of walking through the door with their hand outstretched and their palms up - Uncle Allen after all is barred from ever lobbying members of the County Commission again because of his past antics -   this rumor isn’t as far fetched as the Commissioner might want us to believe.


It’s Miami, Bitches!