A proposal to have the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust pay for roaming toilets downtown has devolved into pot-shots and suggestions of cronyism between the Trust's chairman and a member of Miami's Downtown Development Authority.
On Tuesday, DDA board member Jose Goyanes sent an email urging the Trust to pay for a pilot program to implement the $100,000 toilets. Trust Chairman Ron Book responded that the program was a "downtown" issue and should be funded by the DDA, causing Goyanes to accuse Book of turning a blind eye to Miami's homeless problems.
"Mr. Book maybe after running the Trust like a third world dictator for the last 18 years you have forgotten to read your mission statement," he wrote.
Goyanes also emailed the Trust's new executive director Tuesday to ask about whether it was known at the time she was hired that her sister is a lobbyist in Book's firm. Book, in an earlier email, essentially accused Goyanes of being a patsy.
The spat is the latest in a long-simmering feud between the publicly funded agencies over homeless programs downtown. Book said he's being attacked because he is sticking to the Trust's housing-first model.
"What I’m not going to do is divert money from programs that work for pie-in-the-sky things that don’t," he said.