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OUR OPINION: Commissioners' cozy relationship with lobbyists, consultants breaks public trust

Some of the unsavory inner workings of how things get done in Miami and Miami-Dade County were detailed in a closed corruption probe of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones and a prosecutor's report with accusations of kickbacks to former Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler.

They point to a need for reforms, but changing laws is only a partial solution. The real need is to change business as usual, which was one of the conclusions of a 1999 Miami-Dade Grand Jury report on the county's contract process. (Go to MiamiHerald.com/Opinion for the report.)

A decade later, too little has changed. And it won't until voters send a strong message to incumbents and elect people willing to cut the symbiotic cord between commissioners and lobbyists. It means citizens must come forward and expose corruption rather than go along to get along. [More]