By Anne Michael-Anthony
On Wednesday March 6th, it had been a tense meeting to say the least. One where Vice Mayor Ruiz challenged the Mayor and the Manager on whether elected officials, specifically the Mayor, should be part of the negotiations in issues and matters where the City Manager was the appointed official by the Council. Vice Mayor Ruiz argued that the Council appoints and votes on the Manager negotiating agreements on behalf of the City, not other elected officials. The issue came to light when City Manager, Joe Carollo, mentioned that Mayor Boria was present during negotiating meetings on a current property purchase on behalf of the City.
Per the City Charter, the Manager is authorized to “execute contracts, deeds and other documents on behalf of the City as authorized by the Council.” Vice Mayor Ruiz brought to light a possible conflict of interest had the Mayor been present and more so a part of the negotiation proceedings of any contracts. The topic was addressed, concerns and questions answered or so it seemed.
The council addressed the concerns of the Vice Mayor and it all seemed to be resolved. The Vice Mayor excused herself shortly after due to prior commitment and the meeting continued without her presence.
Then, during the final few minutes of the Special Council Meeting held this Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at Doral City Hall, Mayor Luigi Boria throws a curve ball and asks the council to have Vice Mayor Sandra Ruiz removed as Vice Mayor of the City of Doral.
“I feel very uncomfortable with Vice Mayor Ruiz, “says Mayor Boria and turns to the City Attorney and asks , “Do you think we can call to remove the Vice Mayor before she finishes her term?” Jaws dropand a stunned council composed itself. Absent was the Vice Mayor herself who had excused herself earlier due to a prior commitment.
Before the City Attorney could reply, Councilwoman Christi Fraga respectfully addresses the Mayor and asks that the Vice Mayor be present during such a request from the Mayor. Councilwoman Fraga voices her concerns and states, “Vice Mayor Ruiz should be present to defend herself.” Mayor Boria agrees and the meeting is adjourned.
However, it is illogical to think that Boria is uncomfortable with Ruiz, when was he who proposed the current position of Ruiz.! Why?
The mood at Doral City Hall is evident. There is no love lost between the Mayor and the Vice Mayor. One can only wait and see what will happen at the next Council Meeting when this topic is addressed further by the Council.