via @jayhweaver and Michael Sallah
Since last fall, Mayor Myra Taylor stiff-armed anyone who tried to persuade her to admit that Opa-locka’s nearly bankrupt government was in a “state of financial emergency.”
Taylor led the way to fire City Manager Steve Shiver in November after he alerted the governor’s office of Opa-locka’s looming collapse, and then she pushed back efforts by fellow Commissioners Joseph Kelley and Terence Pinder to ask Florida for assistance from the state’s financial experts.
But on Wednesday night, in a role reversal, Taylor took credit for Gov. Rick Scott’s executive order that declared the state would take over the city’s debt-ridden financial operations — with a Scott-appointed board approving all future spending.
“I just got word that the governor issued an order declaring a state of financial emergency in Opa-locka based on our resolution,” Taylor told some 50 people who attended a commission meeting. The commission had voted 4-0 to request that the governor declare the emergency and appoint the oversight board.
But according to sources familiar with events leading up to that vote, the governor’s chief inspector general had given Opa-locka’s city manager an ultimatum: The state will help Opa-locka only if the commission formally asks for it.