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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ron Nelson's side of the waterfront issue

Ron Nelson, Commissioner Sarnoff's Chief of Staff sent me answers to the questions I asked yesterday, in writing, so I can just copy and paste and have the original email in case there are any questions. I appreciate it. I also apologize for offending him and his wife. I am just trying to get a handle on this story and why this project is so important to a handful of people. I really didn't feel right about posting the story on Saturday. I've been drawn quite far into this debate about the waterfront plan. I've always taken great pride on debating the issues and not getting personal. I will try not to do that anymore, simply because I don't like it.

I still disagree with the project, I feel it is out of place for the waterfront, especially the garage.

Ron did send me responses, to these questions, and he also explained the Sasaki Plan from his viewpoint. He sent that August 2, I did not see it or I did and didn't think it was a response, I don't really remember, but I'll post it tomorrow.

Here are my statements and then Ron's responses in bold below them.

Tom: Is there a reason why Joyce Nelson, Ron Nelson's wife, is holding a meeting at their house in favor of the Waterfront Mall project? It is not a “mall”. What is her interest? 
Ron: Joyce spent 12 years working on the historic designation of the hangers and the master plan. Her husband Ron, of course is Chief of Staff of Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.

Tom: Is this legal?
Ron: Yes it is legal to meet with friends at your own home.

Tom: Is this just a private resident meeting to discuss the subject which supposedly has nothing to do with them, and why? It has as much to do with us as it does any other resident. And why is she so gung ho about it?
Ron: Because, she cares about the Grove and the waterfront. 

Tom: This is throwing up a big red flag. Here is the email she is circulating. I only share it here because a bunch of people who are not thrilled with her meeting and non stop push for the project, sent this to me. Her neighbors and friends are not amused. Keep in mind, I am not part of their email list, I feel that says A LOT, I am on everyone else's email lists, so I get these complaint emails from their neighbors who think there is something strange going on here. 
Ron: This is not an email list. It is an invitation sent to friends.  

Tom: I got a lot of complaints about this. Neighbors may go out of curiosity and obligation, but not because they are in favor of the development. That is exactly what it is about, friends getting together and discussing the issues.
Ron: That is exactly what it is about, friends getting together and discussing the issues.

Tom: With all due respect, I have asked Ron Nelson via email why he is so in favor of the project, is he getting a job there after he leaves Sarnoff's office at the end of the term? Is Joyce getting a store for her jewelry, which is amazing, but still? 
Ron: Thank you for the backhanded compliment. This type of conjecture is uncalled for. I am not getting a job nor is Joyce getting a store. In fact, to answer your question directly, neither one of us is getting anything more than any other resident will get once this project is complete. I repeat: Neither Joyce nor I is getting anything, either now or in the future. 

Tom: He wanted to talk on the phone or in person, I wanted a typed answer that I could copy and paste, as most things I write, Ron tells people that I get incorrect, so copy and paste is the answer I would like. 
Ron: Tom I emailed you a letter that you refused to publish.  Responding to your email just leads to an endless back and forth string of questions and answers. Why not sit and discuss your issues in one sitting? So I can have a written copy to verify the answer. Attached is the original letter I sent you along with your response. Please publish both with the pdf attachment and links. 

Tom: They are more than welcome to email me the answer now. What's with the meeting? Why not leave it all alone unless you have a major interest in the waterfront project?
Ron: Once again Joyce spent 12 years working on waterfront issues such as historic designation of the hangers and probably every Sasaki meeting. I work for the Commissioner and the City of Miami. Both of which are attempting to fulfill the Coconut Grove Waterfront and Spoil Islands Master Plan. We believe this project does that and you disagree. Your personal attack is uncalled for.

Tom: Again I apologize for any personal attacks and also for not publishing the information that was sent to me, on August 2, but I will publish it tomorrow. The readers can debate it. I appreciate Ron's response to Saturday's post. 

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want you all to remember his statement that he is not getting anything now or in the future. I want Marc to make the same statement in writing... not that commissioner ethics has ever been averse to making false statements on the record.

August 27, 2013 11:55 AM  
Anonymous JB said...

Give me strength.

RE Anonymous 11:55 am

So if Ron, applies for a job as manager, maintenance man, CEO, director, janitor whatever at the new complex.

And if the application process is carried out fairly, candidates all interviewed, references checked, qualifications verified and he is the best candidate for the position.

And If his wife, bids for a place to sell her stuff, pays all the necessary fees, taxes has background checks etc and gets a tenancy.

Are you going to accuse the center of unfair practice because Ron said he wasn't getting anything out of this in 2013, probably 2-3 years before the center even opened, was even approved, before the first sod was cut, before the plans were finalized...

This is astounding.

August 27, 2013 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sod? Don't you mean Astro Turf?

August 27, 2013 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear All Avid Readers;

Get off Ron and his dear wife's case;
focus instead on the Project; pros and cons; move forward, strive to improve, make a point or continue to discredit yourselves in front of your fellow citizens.dl

August 27, 2013 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you get into Miami politics but don't want people to comment or take note of how you or your family conduct themselves in reference to political hot topics, you're going to have a bad time.

With all of the political corruption in this town anyone who gets into politics here had better be ready to have themselves, their family and everything they and their family members do in relation to high profile issues, to be put under a microscope.

If you don't want your actions or opinions or the actions or opinions of their family to be noticed then you shouldn't be on a stage. And all those working in the political circles should not only expect this but should also recognize that they are held to a higher ethical standard than your average Joe.

August 28, 2013 8:20 AM  

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