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HERE ARE THE REASONS WHY CARLOS GIMENEZ’S LATEST CRA SCHEME MAKES LITTLE SENSE

JANUARY 24, 2016

For a while now, a growing number of folks in our community have been expressing concerns about the misuse of the OMNI and SEOPW CRA’s by the Chairmen of these agencies, who have viewed the hundreds of millions of dollars in Tax Increment Funds (TIF) they’ve doled out to their pals and political contributors as little more than their personal slush funds to do with as they want.


Leading the efforts to put a halt to this misuse and outright abuse of these practices has been Professor Frank Schnidman, one of the foremost experts on the role of CRA’s in the country.  Schnidman, who teaches redevelopment and economic development courses at the Florida Atlantic University School of Urban and Regional Planning is the John M. DeGrove Eminent Scholar in Growth Management and Development as well as serving as the Director of the School’s Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES), has wide-ranging experience on the operation of CRA’s, having himself been the Executive Director of a CRA has provided him with an extensive knowledge of how these agencies should operate, and it has been this knowledge that has not endeared him to some politicians who have viewed his ability to provide detailed legal analysis of what they are doing wrong or illegally.


In response to reviewing the January 14th Memorandum that Miami Dade-County Mayor Carlos Gimenez sent to the Chairman of the County Commission, Schnidman prepared his own memo to newly elected Miami City Commissioner and new Chairman of the OMNI CRA, which detailed with specificity a number of the issues that challenges and questions the legal basis for what Gimenez would have the City of Miami and the OMNI and SEOPW CRA’s agree to do to comply with Gimenez’s goals.


This is a straight-forward and detailed analysis that I think everyone who has any interest in understanding what is at stake with the efforts of Carlos Gimenez to force the City and the CRAs to bend to his political will in order that he can use taxpayers dollars in an effort to bailout some of his very rich political pals and campaign contributors.

FAU PROFESSOR - AND CRA EXPERT - FRANK SCHNIDMAN PROVIDES A DETAILED EXPLANATION OF WHY WHAT CARLOS GIMENEZ WANTS THE COUNTY COMMISSION TO APPROVE AND THE OMNI AND CRA TO IMPLEMENT RAISES QUESTIONS OF LEGALITY