News: Retired Hotelier With Connections Appointed to North Bay Village Commission Seat

For a brief moment the nameplate of former North Bay Village Commissioner Frank Rodriguez adorned the dais to the meeting that would select its replacement.

City Manager Dennis Kelly caught the oversight and gently put the nameplate out of view, and the Commission went on to choose experience and a lifetime of “connections” to join them on the dais.

Retired Hotelier Stuart Blumberg was appointed Treasure Island Commissioner at the February commission meeting.

Much was made of Blumberg’s experience in the local, county, and state level. In his 54 years in the hospitality industry Blumberg has seemingly cultivated a long track record of dealing with the who’s who of power in his attempts to advance the local hotel and tourism industry.

“It’s all about relationships,” said Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps as she endorsed him. “It’s all about who you know.“

Vice-Mayor Eddie Lim was “very impressed” with Blumberg’s long resume which includes being the President and Founder of the Greater Miami and The Beaches Hotel Association, as well as an adjunct professor in the School of Hospitality at Florida International University.

Blumberg is also currently the Chairman of the Miami Beach Convention Center Advisory Board. His intimate dealings with the Miami Beach government was also a plus for Mayor Leon-Kreps as the village seeks to work with Miami Beach on a slate of issues. Among them include an intercity agreement that would allow NBV children to use an MB community center.

“We are trying to grow and get out there and be put on the map.” the mayor said. “He knows people that we don’t know, and can help us reach and obtain some of our goals.”

Blumberg jokes that he has been around the block so much that he has become ‘dizzy,’

“Where ever I can I’ll offer my expertise and open doors for this village , it’s manager , or it’s commissioners,” Blumberg later told the press. “That’s what I do best.”

Lim came out of the box making a motion to appoint Blumberg before the dais had the opportunity to discuss the applicants. He withdrew it so the commission could enter discussion.

The only serious opposition Blumberg faced from the field of five was applicant Doris A. Acosta, an energetic and involved resident favored by Commissioner Richard Chervony. While the others had impressive resume’s and were thanked by the commission for their interest- only Acosta and Blumberg received consideration.

Reinaldo Trujillo, a former commissioner and well known political figure, was also an applicant for the empty seat but did not show up to the meeting. All three present commissioners had a favorable if not glowing take on what Trujillo could bring to the dais with his experience and involvement with the city.

Trujillo told the SunPost he could not make the meeting because a close friend of his had recently suffered a motorcycle accident, and he was attending to his friend.

“My family and friends come first,” Trujillo told the SunPost.

Chervony dared his fellow commissioners to convince him to change his vote to Blumberg. Because Commissioner Paul Vogel missed his second consecutive commission meeting, and with the Rodriquez resignation- the vote had to be unanimous to select a replacement.

When it was clear his fellow commissioners would not change to Acosta, Chervony agreed to support Blumberg. The vote was 3-0, and Blumberg was sworn in.

As the commission took on it’s normal slate of business, Blumberg excused himself from the dais as he said he was not properly prepared to give an informed vote.

“Some of those votes were easy,” he told the press later. “But you don’t want to get off on the wrong foot. My experience over the years has been to take the high road.”

Blumberg mentioned several times that he wants to work to improve the “quality of life” in the village, and make it “a comfortable place to live.”

Some of the aesthetics in the city needs attention. “I think its drab,” he said of the landscape. “It needs more color.”

He finds it ‘absurd’ that signs can’t be seen at night, or that trees are down.

“I wanna find out who takes care of that, and how it can get corrected.”

Blumberg would not comment on where he stood on the proposed strip club project that might come in front of the commission.

“I have no knowledge of that, so I can’t make any comment,” he said.

Now until the next meeting Blumberg will do his homework.

“I will work in the next 30 days and come back with some suggestions,” he said.

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