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Miami’s Christine King wants to rent new district office — at her old day job

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Miami’s Christine King wants to rent new district office — at her old day job

Miami City Commissioner Christine King wants an office in District 5, close to the people who elected her. Real close.

King has proposed renting 1,500 square feet of space for $2,500 a month at the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation — where she had been president and chief executive officer for 10 years before she was elected last November.

Maybe she misses her office there?

Read related: No runoffs in Miami as incumbents and Christine King score big election wins

At least it’s not what she had proposed in April, when the item she had deferred was to rent 6,355 square feet of space for $9,532.50 a month. Apparently, King decided she didn’t need that much of an office and was able to knock $7,000 off the monthly price. Such a deal!

The resolution up at this Thursday’s meeting would authorize a four-year lease agreement between the city and the non-profit MLK Economic Development Corp. with one four-year option (cocky, ain’t she?) and a cap on rent increases at 3% annually. The $2,500 a month comes to about $20 per square foot, which is competitive. Office space in the area rents for between $18 and $26 a square foot, according to a quick online search.

The funds will come out of the commissioner’s district budget, but that’s not the point.

The purpose of the district office is to provide constituency services closer to the residents.

But there are five “neighborhood service centers” in District 5. One in Overtown, one in Little Haiti, one in the Wynwood/Edgewater area one in the Upper East Side and one in Model City, two blocks and a six minute walk from the MLK Economic Development Corp. There’s no space for a commission district office in any one of those? Well then what about the Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency?

And isn’t this lease with her old “boss” sort of a conflict of interests?

Neither King nor her chief of staff, Yvette Harrell, responded to calls, texts and emails. Jessica Wade Pfeffer, a PR person, responded to the email, instead.

“MLKEDC is in the heart of Liberty City,” she wrote. “It made sense to have a D5 office space there in order to be close to the community she and her staff serve.

“The Commissioner knows firsthand how important this is considering she served that community for over 10 years when she was the President & CEO of MLKEDC,” Wade Pfeffer said. “The Commissioner is not an employee of MLKEDC since being elected. Additionally, Commissioner King does not currently have a first or second tier enumerated relationship with MLKEDC.”

That makes it all better?

The commission meeting begins at 9 a.m. Thursday at City Hall and can be viewed online here.

King has a second item before her colleagues: A $2 million grant out of federal COVID relief funds to the Bakehouse Art Complex. Ladra doesn’t know how it is eligible for this COVID recovery money. But the agenda packet states that the city’s ARPA consultant confirmed that repairs and renovations at the Bakehouse — which provides studio residencies, infrastructure, exhibit space and community to promising artists — was eligible.

  

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Former Goldman CEO Warns of Potential Recession: ‘Very, Very High Risk Factor’

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Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein warned the United States could plunge into a recession.

“Do you think we’re headed towards recession?” @margbrennan asks Goldman Sachs Senior Chairman Lloyd Blankfein amid U.S. inflation.

“It’s definitely a risk…If I were a consumer, I’d be prepared for it, but it’s not baked in the cake.” pic.twitter.com/IehxU4wSo6

— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 15, 2022

A transcript is as follows:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think we’re headed towards recession?

LLOYD BLANKFEIN: We’re certainly heading — it’s a very, very high risk factor. There’s a path, a narrow path, but I think the Fed has very powerful tools. It’s hard to finely tune them and hard to see the effects of them quickly enough to alter it. But I think they are responding well. It’s definitely a risk. If I was running a big company I would be very prepared for it. If I was a consumer, I would prepared for it. But it’s not baked in the cake.

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White House Claims Baby Formula Shortage a Top Priority Since February After Joe Biden Claimed Ignorance of Problem

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The White House claimed President Joe Biden’s administration made the baby formula shortage crisis a top priority as early as February, even though the president claimed ignorance of the problem on Thursday.

“This is something he is focusing on very acutely and again I said 24/7 we’ve been working on this since we have learned about this back in February,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during the daily briefing about Biden, calling the issue “one of the presidents top priorities.”

Biden bristled when asked by reporters on Friday if he could have acted sooner to fix the crisis.

“If we had been better mind readers, I guess we could’ve, but we moved as the problem became apparent to us,” Biden said.

The president did not even personally mention the crisis until Friday, despite weeks of reports highlighting the problem.

“I’ll answer the baby formula question because, all of a sudden, it’s on the front page of every newspaper,” Biden grumbled on Friday.

He announced the launch of a new government website to help parents locate baby formula in stores, but it was beset by extremely long hold times and unhelpful information.

Jean-Pierre alluded to a comment from Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Bacerra claiming the Biden administration had been working on the issue since February and even as early as last year in 2021.

CNN: “You are satisfied with the government’s response throughout [the baby formula shortage]?”

HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra: “FDA has kept me apprised of this from LAST YEAR. We have been moving as quickly as we can” pic.twitter.com/5WRZa5chYg

— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 16, 2022

“You’ve heard us talk about this, you’ve heard colleagues talking about what we have done since February,” Jean-Pierre said. “We’ve been working on this 24/7.”

Jean-Pierre refused to offer a timeline for when supplies of baby formula would return to normal.

“What I can say is there are a lot of dates floating around out there,” she said.

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Joe Biden Botches Name of Hero Killed in Buffalo Shooting Aaron Salter Jr.

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President Joe Biden struggled Monday with the correct pronunciation of the name of Aaron Salter Jr., a heroic ex-cop and security guard who died Saturday confronting the Buffalo mass shooting suspect.

“We pay tribute to all law enforcement officers and their families who understand what it takes, what’s at risk, to save and protect all of us,” Biden said. “That includes paying tribute to the Buffalo police officer Aaron Salder — Slater, excuse me — who gave his life trying to save others.”

Biden spoke about Salter during a Public Safety Officer Medals of Valor ceremony at the White House for law enforcement and public safety officials.

Salter was a Buffalo police officer for 30 years before retiring in 2022 and taking a security job at the Tops Friendly Market where the shooting took place.

Salter hit the alleged shooter with at least one round from his pistol, but it was blocked by the alleged shooter’s bulletproof armor. Salter was later shot and killed during the attack.

“You’re the heart and soul and very spine of this country and communities,” Biden continued, praising the public safety officials in the room.

During the ceremony, Biden also botched the name of Rep. Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat congressman from New York.

“Excuse me. You can call me ‘Bidden,’” Biden joked, mispronouncing his own name. “We’ve known each other so long and I still stumbled. I apologize.”

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