Written by Miami Today on February 11, 2010
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DEPOSITORY DECISION: After soliciting financial institutions more than two years ago, Miami-Dade has finally selected banks to handle county and clerk of courts accounts. Commissioners gave initial approval in committee Tuesday to select City National Bank and TD Bank to provide banking services to the clerk and Wachovia to handle the county’s general account. Both City National and Wachovia handle accounts now, along with OneUnited and SunTrust.
BASEBALL TIES: In voting on the banks, Carlos Gimenez reminded commissioners that Wachovia provided an up-to $100 million letter of credit to cover variable rate bonds sold as part of the financing for a Marlins stadium "as long as we kept them as our bank." But members of the committee charged with evaluating the competing financial institutions "were not aware" of the ties to the Marlins deal, Deputy Finance Director Graciela Cespedes said. Also, she said they voted on Wachovia a year before and have been negotiating since. Still, Mr. Gimenez voted no and said he plans to talk to the inspector general, who Ms. Cespedes said had a staffer present for negotiations.
TIDE TURNING: As directed by elected leaders, Miami attorneys have filed notice with the courts that the city will stop fighting back against three 2007 rulings dealing with the Miami River. The city has long pushed for more development flexibility on what has traditionally been a working waterfront. The rulings said the city flouted its own comprehensive plan in approving land-use changes for large, riverfront residential developments. Newly elected Mayor Tomás Regalado has made it clear he hopes to shift focus from residences back to marine businesses.
DISCUSSION DELAYED: Though Miami commissioners asked for a public discussion on broad Miami River policy today (2/11), it looks like it’s not happening. Issues will be discussed as promised, City Attorney Julie Bru told the Miami River Marine Group’s attorney Andrew Dickman via e-mail. The Planning Department is picking the date, she said, but "most likely Feb. 25."
BREAKING BAD TOURS: Cable television network AMC kicked off Saturday (2/6) in Miami Beach a national mobile RV tour to promote the third season of Emmy-winning series Breaking Bad. Co-sponsored by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and DirecTV, the tour is bringing the "Breaking Bad" Screening Lab, a branded, 53-foot-long bio-diesel truck, on a six-week nationwide tour with stops due in Dallas, Albuquerque, NM; Denver and Los Angeles. The Breaking Bad Screening Lab leverages the medium of a live experience so spectators can encounter the series face-to-face.