Google Ads help pay the expense of maintaining this site
Click Here for the Neighborhood Transformation Website
May 21, 2006 - Miami Herald
Fair Use Disclaimer
Neighborhood Transformation is a nonprofit,
noncommercial website that, at times, may contain copyrighted material
that have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. It makes such material available in its efforts to advance the
understanding of poverty and low income distressed neighborhoods in
hopes of helping to find solutions for those problems. It believes that
this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as
provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Persons wishing to
use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of their own that
go beyond 'fair use' must first obtain permission from the copyright
Anti-blight czar keeps coy before vote
BY TIM HENDERSON
Meeting city residents ahead of a North Miami City Council vote on
hiring him to oversee redevelopment, Tony Crapp was cautious about
stating an agenda for easing the city's blight and poverty.
Asked by a real estate investor for his goals this year, Crapp gave
''I'll have to take a close look and really assess the plan,'' Crapp
said. ``Give me 30 days to assess and I'll be able to tell you.''
He added later, ``We can't over-promise and over-plan. That's been part
of the problem here.''
Wednesday's meeting with the city's redevelopment advisory committee
was a prelude to this week's vote on his hiring at a redevelopment
meeting at City Hall. The meeting of Community Redevelopment Agency
Board, which is made up of the City Council members, is scheduled for
5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Only four of the committee's 12 members showed up for the hastily
called meeting, but even so, it was a tough crowd.
At its last official meeting May 4, the committee voted unanimously to
express ''extreme disappointment'' about the City Council's failure to
extend outgoing director Frank Schnidman's contract, and called for a
national search for a replacement.
Those who did attend Wednesday's meeting alternated between expressing
concerns about the abrupt move to hire Crapp and praise for his
''Tony is one of the most well-known people in the area. In fact I
can't think of many people in the city who don't know him,'' said Bill
Valentine of the chamber of commerce.
``What a lot of people are saying, and I'm not saying this is going to
happen, is that this could be the start of an good-old-boy system in
Crapp was expansive about his personal life, talking about a childhood
in Liberty City and Allapattah, academic success at Harvard University
and Princeton, followed by a series of administrative jobs with
He showed no appetite to lower his request for a $195,000 salary, which
is $30,000 more than the highest-paid redevelopment director in the
area, according to a survey conducted in March by the city of Delray
''I have a job. I will continue to do that job if this doesn't work
out,'' Crapp said when asked about concerns about his salary expressed
by some City Council members.
Now a director of economic redevelopment for Miami-Dade County, Crapp
has said his salary combined with scheduled raises is near $190,000.
''He'll be doing a hell of a lot better than me,'' said City of Miami
redevelopment director Frank Rollason, who make about $140,000 to
administer three agencies with a combined $25 million budget and a
''Tony does know what he's doing. He knows how things work at County
Hall,'' Rollason said.
'If they feel like, `hey, we have no idea what to do,' he could say,
'this is what I cost and I'm worth it.' ''
At a May 9 meeting, the council asked redevelopment attorney Steven
Zelkowitz to renegotiate pay and other controversial areas of Crapp's
Some in the city have also expressed concern that Crapp could shift the
redevelopment focus from helping needy residents to building impressive
public works, like the planned Olympic Training Center and public
library that were resisted by outgoing director Frank Schnidman.
In an interview, Crapp said he would keep the focus on decent housing
as originally envisioned in the plan to use taxes from Biscayne
Landing's luxury housing.
''I think that's where most of the money is going to go,'' Crapp said.
``It has to be rehabbing and fixing up people's homes.''