RESCHEDULED: Secret Meeting? Commission To Hold Sunshine Meeting Regarding Solid Waste, But Residents Not Informed

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
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As previously reported, the City Commission had scheduled a sunshine meeting for August 18th, to discuss solid waste. Following resident response to Gables Insider‘s article, the meeting will be rescheduled to a later date. Mayor Vince Lago asked staff to reschedule the meeting and emphasized the need for the meeting to take place after 5:00PM. Lago had suggested holding it at 5:00PM on the same day as the next scheduled Commission meeting with the support of Commissioner Rhonda Anderson. However, other Commissioners were not in favor of this and scheduling is being worked out. However, one thing is for sure, the meeting will not take place on August 18th, as previously scheduled. Gables Insider will stay on top of this story and report back once a new date and time have been confirmed.

Original Story

On Thursday, August 18th, the City of Coral Gables Commission will hold a sunshine meeting at 1:30PM to discuss solid waste.

Screenshot of the City’s website calendar

However, in this Wednesday’s City newsletter, there was no mention of the meeting. A check of the City’s calendar on the official website also shows no signs of this sunshine meeting nor does the Commission meeting page, which shows “Currently there are no upcoming events.”

Some may say, “well the meeting is next week and they will send out the information then.” This would make sense, however, the City has been blasting out information (on social media and the City’s newsletter) about another community meeting being held on the same day at 6:00PM about Phillips Park.

List of Commission meetings on the City website.

Solid waste has been an extremely controversial issue, which has brought about large resident participation at prior meetings.

The Commission has been considering a change to services, which would remove services provided, while continuing to charge the same high fees we currently pay.

The time of the meeting is one that would make it difficult for resident participation, adding more questions to the process of scheduling and not notifying residents about this important meeting.

Resident Maria C. Cruz sent an email to the Commission questioning why Phillips Park is more important than solid waste, “It just came to my attention that there are TWO Sunshine Meetings scheduled for the same day. It seems to me that one is extremely important because it has been posted on Social Media, eNews, etc. It is about the possible grant  application for Phillips Park improvements. The City wants to hear from the community!!!! It is Thursday, August 18 at 6:00 p.m. at the Police/Fire Headquarters. I guess they would like a large number of interested residents/taxpayers to attend and share their ideas. BUT, there is another SUNSHINE Meeting scheduled for the same day at 1:30 p.m. at Commission Chambers. It is about SOLID WASTE! Obviously not a very important topic for our community.  NO Social Media, No eNEWS. etc. Smaller venue and inconvenient time!!!! I guess the powers at be are not interested in hearing from the residents/taxpayers; after all the present City Administration KNOWS, or think they know what is best for US. C’mon!!!!!!! Does anyone see anything wrong with this? Does anyone care about how WE feel about SOLID WASTE services. and or, fees?”

For those interested in attending, the meeting will be held at the Commission Chambers at Coral Gables City Hall on August 18th at 1:30PM. You can also participate via zoom at:


54 thoughts on “RESCHEDULED: Secret Meeting? Commission To Hold Sunshine Meeting Regarding Solid Waste, But Residents Not Informed

  1. The rescheduling of the solid waste meeting is a welcome step, showing the importance of resident input. Thank you for shedding light on the need for transparency and ensuring all voices are heard in these crucial discussions.

  2. Thank you for shedding light on the lack of transparency in scheduling the solid waste meeting. Residents’ participation and input are crucial, and I hope the City takes this feedback seriously and ensures better communication and promotion for the rescheduled meeting.

  3. Thank you for keeping us informed! It is important for residents to be aware of such meetings and to have the opportunity to participate in their local government.

  4. It is unacceptable that the City did not inform residents of this important meeting. It is a great step forward that the City Commission has decided to reschedule the meeting and ensure that residents have a chance to participate.

  5. I could not improve on what Ro Trebu said about this issue. Leave things as they are, but enforce regulations to make those who feel regulations don’t apply to them pay hefty fines. It is the only language these “the rules don’t apply to me” people understand.

  6. Little Gables’ streets are neat and clean.
    NO disgusting garbage dumps in front of our sweet houses.
    After each and every storm, Little Gables streets were cleaned up long before Coral Gables streets.
    Move to Little Gables!
    And don’t let Coral Gables try to gobble us up again.
    I love our Miami-Dade County services.
    Every driver and employee is professional, very kind, and friendly.

  7. Jim Morales, Now you are telling us to move. What is wrong with you people. If we do not agree with your way of thinking you tell us to move? Coral Gables is full of lush trees and plants, and with them comes plant droppings and cuttings. Where does the leadership propose we do with our clippings? AND my gardener does not take away cuttings, he leaves them in our pit. Are you all going to tell me to now fire him? I have never heard such dictators telling us what to do in my life. We are a community and we need to function as one. If you do not like your pit, then fill it in. I for one need it for the constant tree and plant work we do around our home. The rules say no hard garbage until 6 the night before and that is that. If I have no pit I will be glad to place my clippings on the swale to decompose.

  8. I have lived in the Gables for 58 years. There has always been bulk trash pick up. The rules have changed a bit throughout the years. One rule in more recent years has been that you can’t put out bulk trash besides tree trimmings until after 6pm the day before your bulk pickup is scheduled. A more recent change is that you can not throw out cardboard or plastic bags in the pits at all. If you don’t follow the rules, you are charged a $500 fine. In my area, most of the problem comes from new neighbors who are probably not aware of the regulations. If the City is not making enough money with all of its new construction, they can definitely start issuing fines for those not following the trash pit rules. To the Zackary Blumstead’s of the Gables some of us are Grandfathered in if you don’t like it, you should move, go back to wherever you came from. No one made you move to the Gables and endure trash pits!

  9. We have palm trees on our property which cause a lot of debris every week. That and lawn clippings are all we put in our pile. I spoke with a neighborhood safety person one day about telling a neighbor to break down cardboard and recycle it. She said “oh no, they might shoot me”. What do they have these safety people for anyway?

  10. The trash pits aka “swales” are a massive detraction to the neighborhood. It looks like a glorified trailer park at times driving through and seeing piles of debris/junk/trash in front of so many homes.
    We have yet to encounter any visitor to the area that hasn’t been absolutely dumbfounded by the low brow approach.
    Hide your trash cans buts display your trash!
    It is impossible to suggest there are not cost effective solutions and alternatives to this. The swales are not necessary AT ALL. People are just lazy and too comfortable in their squalor.

  11. Dear Tired of Concrete, I had same problem: bad neighbors & their gardeners who’ll cross the street and dump their stuff in my pit. A camera pointed at the pit, and returning/ dragging the items to the correct address has helped. Code Enforcement officer told me to get a cheap camera at Amazon. The officer’s advice has really helped. Please consider this so you don’t get any fines.

  12. Most of my neighbors have filled in the unsightly trash pits. The one in front of my house is used for disposing of old furniture, the nasty uneaten food of all the construction workers, boxes not broken down, and whatever yard trash on the block that gardeners don’t feel like hauling away. etc. There is no way to tell who is doing the dumping. So the commission wants to fine ME, in addition to the fact that it looks like a slum in front of my house at times. Also, what happened to outsourcing our entire trash service? The “service” has gotten so terrible that there are many complaints. And according to the powers that be at city hall, outsourcing would cost 40% less than the cost of city employees. Where did that go?

  13. To those who want to take away a benefit to the residents of the trash pit:

    It’s been around for more than 30 years. It falls into the category of an elderly ordinance. It’s protected by gardening medicare.

  14. Absolutely not!
    Do I understand that this bad idea means NOWHERE to put grass/ palm fronds 10 feet long, tree trims , etc while commission keeps our fees same and high?
    No way!!! I have lived in my Gables home 24 years-
    Someone is Not being realistic
    Gables is Not Disney it’s a living community with needs to function

  15. Trash pits are a necessity. My gardener, who comes every two weeks, hauls away the debris he creates. But what do I do with the 15′ long palm fronds that often fall, or the leaves that I rake occasionally, or the debris from bushes that I trim, or the large dead leaves from my many monesteros plants that are in my yard, or branches that fall from trees, etc., etc. We have had these pits since I moved to the Gables in 1991 and they definitely serve a purpose and are needed.

  16. A lot of arguing over trash pits is a WASTE a lot of time.

    Focus on the cancer in the City: over-development caused by the little dictator peter iglesias, the dirty City Attorney, miriam ramos, the clown commissioners, etc

  17. The picture says it all. Garbage pits must go!!! If you cannot afford to live here — MOVE! Let’s keep the City Beautiful- beautiful!

  18. Residents, keep pushing back to hold the trash pit meeting at a time we can participate in it!

  19. OOPS! It seems that I spoke too soon. I have been able to confirm that the Sunshine Meeting about Solid Waste scheduled for this Thursday at 1:30 p.m. has been postponed. Yes, it will NOT take place as previously scheduled without any communication to the residents. As of this afternoon there is NO decision as to when it will be. The Mayor and some of the Commissioners have made it very clear that it must be not earlier than 5:00 p.m. Not every Commissioner is willing to have it after a Commission Meeting because it would make it a very LONG day! I am not aware of any of them objecting to having the Morris proposed development heard at the same time that this Sunshine Meeting re-schedule was suggested. What is the difference? Was that item not heard after a Commission Meeting? Aren’t the upcoming Budget Hearings scheduled at the same time? Anyone objecting? Could it be that they expect them to be short and sweet? Do they expect the stakeholders to not ask any questions? Or are they planning to come up with some reason to not have to pay attention? From the day every elected official gets sworn in until their last day in office they should know that some times their official duties will interfere with their family time, plans, and even other political events. If they did not want to be inconvenienced they should not have run for office! It is not too late to resign either!

  20. Zacky boy. You are one rude piece of work. No wonder you hide your identity behind a fictitious name.
    I have lived in the Gables 35 years at only 2 addresses. The concept of the trash pile is a necessity, unfortunately it must be in front of most houses. My lawn man does not have the capability to remove yard waste. I will not pay more, esp as I just wrote out my trash check, thank you very much… not…
    I personally can live with yard waste. We are a city proud of our greenery. What I find offensive are toilets, refrigerators, broken toys. HOWEVER, last time I heard, there is an ordinance saying trash,other than lawn material, can’t go out before 6pm on the night prior to pickup. That enforcement is haphazard at best. When I had my refrigerator replaced, as well as a toilet, I informed the contractors that they were take the old away.
    At one point there was a plan under discussion to put heavy plexiglass (?) circles so there weren’t deep holes. Previous admin and not too practical.
    If all the entitled folks who toss everything, INCLUDING CARD BOARD, would get fined it might start a trend.
    I am a disabled, single senior and manage to find a way to comply. So don’t even try to tell me I should move as my house has gained value. Arrogant little pissants.
    The Gables has changed since I moved here, and with the exception of our excellent first responders I am no longer convinced that when I downsize I’ll stay in the Gables.
    Would all of you fraidy cats please use your own name instead of hiding behind your keyboard cutesie names? Sheesh… own your opinion.

  21. Mrs. Cruz, I’m confused as the city’s website still says 1:30 so I don’t see anywhere it being moved to 5pm.

    You are thanking the mayor- why? He’s the exact reason we aren’t made aware of certain meetings. We all know his stance- he’s against trash piles in sealed as he reminds us, yet at the last meeting claimed we could leave an old refrigerator in our driveway for pickup.

  22. Thanks to Mayor Lago the solid waste discussion is now scheduled for the August 24 Commission Meeting at 5:00 pm time certain! Please share the information!

  23. Unreal. I cannot believe the number of people who defend these pits. It is a disgusting and unsanitary way to handle debris. We live in a country with infrastructure to handle waste and somehow here in Miami, people think it’s still acceptable to dump trash in front of their homes as if they live in a third-world country. Anyone who defends this method is part of the problem. The pits should be paved over and used for street parking to get revenue or even better, install planters on top of them so we have bushes and plants but nowhere for uncivilized people to dump their trash.

  24. For all those commenters/readers that don’t want a trash pit, here’s the link to have your trash pit filled. One filled, your problem is solved. Report dumping if anyone dumps trash in front of your home. Be sure to tell your gardeners to remove your debris (it cannot be put in someone elses pit).

    For the those that want a trash pit, play by the rules: Yard debris and small household items, such as furniture are the only items allowed. If there has been dumping, report it. If it is systemic, perhaps the violators can be caught. Be sure to instruct your lawn services that they are not permitted to dump their trucks in your pit — only your waste.

    City of Coral Gables and Waste Management Employees: Enforce the rules . . .
    Items not accepted:
    No construction material
    No paints
    No hazardous materials such as pesticides, paint, and household chemicals
    Cardboard cannot be placed in a trash pit and can result in a violation of up to $500

    A few $500/violation tickets will change behavior. 😉

  25. Love my garden pit, it is convenient when you are constantly pruning and caring for your bountiful green yards. If removed the gardener will definitely charge double of the already high price we pay here in Coral Gables for services. If you don’t want it, fill it in. For those of us who do, leave it alone.
    In my humble opinion ,this is a premise to pour cement on our swales in order to invade us with bike paths in our residential neighborhoods. Leave the bike paths in city central not in our residential neighborhoods. Follow the $$$$$ folks.
    No more cement on our green Gables!!!

  26. I don’t really care what happens with public dumping, I’m just here to remind everyone that’s what it is – dumping in front of your own home.

    I’ve said it once and I will say it till the day I die, coming from the “filth” of Baltimore, the only people who dump in front of their homes are people who live among garbage. I was astonished when I moved here to see all of the dumping (and swale parking-different story for a different day). It blows my mind that a portion of Coral Gables residents find public dumping a luxury. Somewhere along the way, public dumping was normalized here.

  27. My trash pit is one of the most convenient features of living in the gables. Many gardners don’t have the ability to haul away tree clipings. I have 6 large oaks that require yearly triming to keep them hurricane ready and the trash pits allows us to conveniently do this. The garbage is usually out there fore less than 24 hours. For those that don’t want one just fill and cover it. But for those of us who make good use of it – the city should not unilateraly take it away after 25 years.

  28. Good suggestion Geraldine! I like your thinking. I believe it would be beneficial to form a focus group with residents! Let’s try and find a solution to illegal dumping and increased fees. At the end, we all care about our City, so we all have that in common!

  29. How about having a mulch pile in a back corner of your yard where the clippings and fronds can become precious soil instead

  30. I apologize if I may offend anyone but I grew up here. My parents built my childhood home back in 1967 and they never had any such thing as a trash pit. I personally have never had a trash pit as I find them unsightly. I also do have my landscaper remove all debris and I don’t put furniture or appliances out in the street. I have friends on this thread that want their trash pit and I respect that. For the most part they keep their trash pit neat and it is used for clippings. Where I do see a problem, is that we are also allowing for illegal dumping which is not the residents fault. Coral Gables is simply trying to find a middle ground that would satisfy all residents. Our service will not change. WM will still continue to pick up our trash from our receptacles. What I do believe they would like to do is give us receptacles where one could toss clippings into, instead of placing out in the swale. This would also discourage folks from the surrounding cities dropping off appliances at 3am. Let’s at least listen to suggestions and not dig our heels into the ground. Please keep an open mind.

  31. Zachary Bumstead you sir are a disrespectful unpolished ignoramus. First no one has the right to refer to someone as an old lady, and second, no one should tell us we have to hire a Gardner or move. What kind of a dictator are you? I do not care if my home increased 6 times. Who are you to tell me to move? You are not the type of person we need living in Coral Gables. You need to apologize.

  32. Mr. Bumstead, one of the primary reasons we live in Coral Gables is because it is – by and large – it is a respectful community. But, as with everything, there are outliers.

  33. Zachary Bumstead here I must respond to the old lady who wants to keep the disgusting garbage pits because her husband mows their lawn.Ma’am there is a reason we live in the Gables, because se prize a well maintained community. If you are on a budget – sell your home for the appreciated price gained over 33 years and move – period. If you cannot afford to pay you gotta move away.

  34. I do not mind paying the waste fees I pay as I see the pick up of swale as an added service which I do not mind paying for. How sad to find out about the meeting in this manner and more importantly how convenient meeting would be scheduled at a time that for sure there will be hardly any resident attendance or opportunity to voice their concerns. I am enrolled in all of the City of Coral Gables newsletter, etc. and did not find out via the City. That is so sad as I thought our City cared about their residents. How convenient to suggest for gardeners to haul away debris, therefore, I would have to pay the extra fee they are going to charge, but of course, the waste fees we are paying will not be lowered if this service is taken away. I am so concerned the direction the City of Coral Gables is taking, never thought I would see that here and having lived here all my life. I am beyond dissappointed…

  35. People are being dishonest! What’s unsightly about the trash pits is not the yard debris, but the miscellaneous items / junk and cardboard that people deposit in the pits. Grass, leaves, branches aren’t so ugly. Ban, and more importantly, enforce no cardboard or junk in the pits. City can simply pickup the items and send bill/ fine to property owners, to encourage them to behave. However, city officials want to be popular for votes, etc and let the chaos continue. Despite having a gardener, many residents enjoy yard work & need a place to deposit yard debris. There are also a few residents who do their own yard work to save money & for much needed exercise. This was so common in the Old Gables. Absolutely immoral to aggravate the old timers/ pensioners by removing the pits, because a few metrosexuals who only break a sweat at the gym want to save money.

  36. This issue with waste and trash keeps rearing it’s ugly head every now and then.
    Leave the freaking thing alone. Most residents want the services we have had for decades, i.e., trash collected on the side of the house, and pits for collecting yard waste and miscellaneous items picked up weekly in the swale.
    In addition, the true value of recycling is in doubt plus elderly and disabled residents have a hard time flattening carboard boxes.
    Stop the social engineering, the big brother attitude, the elitist misbehavior and the “we know what is good for you” stupidity. Ilive in the Gables because of what it was, not for what it has become.

  37. To Zachary Blumstead. So glad your self centered world has a gardener who removes your cuttings. I am retired and my husband does our yard. How do you expect us to remove our cuttings? We need our pit…period. We have lived here 33 years and have never had a gardener. Be aware of others before you speak. The leadership in this City is a disgrace and their autocratic leadership will soon be gone. I will not vote for any of you again, including the disappointment Lago. And you all will take the horrible manager and city attorney with you Where is that “push back” group that needs to be the united monkey on the rulers of the Gables backs.

  38. This is clearly an effort to rid the Gables of the weekly debri removal services. Mayor Lago has made no secret that he wants it gone, after all, he pays for his gardeners to remove his lawn waste. What I find so interesting is that the GABLES has had this service for at least 25 years (when I moved in) and before. I’ve found it a wonderful service, but that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is that I moved into this neighbor KNOWING that “trash pits” where part of it. Just like the City being able to dictate what color I paint my house, that I can park my car on any swale so long as it does not block a driveway and so can my neighbors, and, at the time, that I could not have a pick up truck parked in my driveway/swale over night (and on and on). This scheduling and notice is not accidental. For those of you that don’t like or want a trash pit, don’t have one. Noone is stopping you. For those that do, go ahead – just mind the rules including those of you that are using your neighbor’s pit WITHOUT an agreement — STOP. Coral Gables — remind residents of the rules. The other issue that is in the crawl of the City is the cardboard that is being put in trash pits instead of recycling. That’s an enforcement issue — start enforcing and you will see compliance.

  39. My husband does our own yard and uses our own pit. However, a number of our neighbors have closed their pits. Neighbors and non neighbors have come over late at night to dispose of their waste in our pit. Is it fair that these home owners get credit for no trash pile while using ours and we pay the extra fee? There are gardners who do not dispose of debris but rather blow the debris into the streets or blow the debris across the street to the other neighbor’s yard. We have lived in our home for 47 years. This has never been an issue to detract from the beauty or the attractiveness of the Gables. There are other issues that deserve the attention.

  40. I don’t care when the meeting is as long as they do something about waste management. The company that now picks up is a disaster, leaving residue in the street by spilling the waste. Please do something about it!



  42. To Robby above:

    I would attend the meeting, but I have a job and cannot take off in the middle of the day to spend the time at City Hall. Also, why is the meeting not advertised? I agree with you that we should participate and hear what the city has to say. But that is simply not possible for me, as interested as I am in this issue. Why is the meeting not set for 6:00? Why not piggy back this onto the Phillips Park meeting set just 4.5 hours later at a different location? Something smells fishy here, like the city is not interested in our input and deliberately set a meeting without notice or publication at an inconvenient time for taxpayers. If it walks like a duck….

  43. This week’s puppet award goes again to City Hall, Coral Gables, Fl.

    This time it’s for a secret meeting about the trash pit.

    City Hall should put a sign on its front door: WELCOME TO MOSCOW!

  44. The City taxes just about everything, from parking meters, going about town, to permits and taxes on your home.

    Leave the little trash pit alone!

    Spend your time on stopping big over-development!

    Focus on what’s important and not on the garbage.

  45. Here we go again. The fear mongers. The city has a trash pit problem. People don’t follow the rules. It has nothing to do with a resident who cuts his/her/its lawn themselves and have “grass clippings”. The trash pit problem is about the mountains of green matter, the toilets, the boxes, the “throw anything at anytime and cover it with a palm frawn”. It’s gross. It’s not coral gables. We’re a garden city meanwhile we have holes in every block with mounds of landscape material on a daily basis.

    I commend the city for looking at solutions to the growing trash problem not only the pits but houses that have multiple trash cans while others only have one. The city needs a more equitable way to deal with the problem. If you don’t want a trash pit, you should get a credit. If you want one, here’s the price. You want 4 trash cans because you have a large family or home? No problem, here’s how much additional cans costs per year.

    Stop the fear tactics like the Slezniks did a few years back. The city will always have side yard service. Have an open mind and actually attend the meeting. We can do better.

  46. Note to all those that want the gardners to haul the gardening debris, many Coral Gables residents do their own lawn work including me, a woman.
    Fill your own pits closed if you don’t like yours while you mind your own.

  47. Another BIG MISTAKE by the little dictator, peter iglesias; his corrupt lawyer, city attorney miriam ramos; the gullible mayor; and the 4 stooges as commissioners.

    The residents have the FINAL SAY in their government.


  48. Get rid of the trash pits. They are disgusting. And my gardener takes away gardening debris. We live in the Gables because of the strict regulations that keep our city clean and orderly. It appears Baños likes the garbage pits. Well you had my vote and a yard sign last time – thanks for letting me know where you stand on this issue.

  49. I have an idea. Let’s treat each and every Commission meeting as TRASH and maybe then Public Works will haul these clowns away.

  50. One more apparent attempt to take away city services, such as the green matter bulk trash collection from the neighborhood pits, which has been a long time wish of some members of the commission. This meeting should be moved to a time and place when people can actually attend.

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