Miami City Commissioners reconvened, but are no closer to a deal. Their meeting has devolved into political chaos.
In responding to Commissioner Marc Sarnoff’s proposals to cover extra costs of parking garages and to turn over naming rights and any profits of a team sale to the city and county, Marlins President David Samson said the team would agree to cap the cost of parking garages and lots at $94 million.
As for the other two provisions, he said the team could not agree, but if the commission wanted he would be willing to renegotiate the entire deal. Not just the parking agreement and non-relocation, but the ENTIRE deal.
Samson reminded Sarnoff and the other commissioners that the agreements before the commission were similar to the agreement to build a stadium in principle – known as the Baseball Stadium Agreement – that commissioners approved a year ago.
"We are open to renegotiate the entire agreement," Samson said. "All five agreements."
The commission decided to move forward with a vote on Sarnoff’s motion with the added provisions, which Samson said will result in “no deal.” But the voting ended at one no (Angel Gonzalez) and two yeses (Sarnoff and Tomas Regalado), when commission chairman Joe Sanchez lashed out at Regalado.
“You just voted against the deal,” Sanchez said.
“I’m voting for the residents of Miami, Mr. Chairman,” Regalado said. “Respectfully, it is not about the deal. It’s about the residents of the city of Miami. I believe these terms can be achieved.”
By the way, both Sanchez and Regalado are running for mayor of Miami to replace Mayor Manny Diaz.
Regalado continued: “We want the stadium, these are details that you all didn’t work out, but according to you mr. Manager, you got a lot of things from the county. Well, now is the time to come back to the table.”
All the commissioners sounded like they believed in helping finance a ballpark for the Marlins, but they can’t yet agree how, despite having the framework of a deal for the past year.
City Manager Pete Hernandez suggested another recess to meet with team and county officials. The group has gone to huddle in the city offices.
“I think today is a truly sad day for the county,” Sanchez said. “My colleagues have taken the hopes of many, the people who live in Little Havana.”
Again, stay tuned...