COCONUT GROVE, FLA. (WSVN) - - Tensions escalated during a Miami City Commission meeting at city hall in Coconut Grove while commissioners and the mayor discussed the proposed stadium site of the city’s Major League Soccer team.
During the Thursday meeting, Commissioner Joe Carollo and Mayor Francis Suarez began arguing after Carollo asked for a stadium proposal be brought forward for a vote.
Carollo said he wanted the stadium proposal up for vote by the end of October, but Suarez, a proponent of the stadium, said Carollo’s wish is unrealistic.
“The commission themselves, which set an arbitrary deadline, they set other impediments,” Suarez said.
Suarez added that he took issue during the meeting where the focus seemed to be on insults instead of issues.
“Let me call you Lord Mayor, so you get even happier,” Carollo said to Suarez during the meeting.
“Listen, be respectful,” Suarez responded.
“I am being respectful,” Carollo replied.
“No, you’re not being respectful,” Suarez said. “Be respectful!”
Meanwhile, the Inter Miami CF franchise, co-owned by David Beckham, is looking to build a $1 billion, 25,000 seat stadium and retail complex known as Miami Freedom Park. The group is hoping to lease the Melreese golf course property for 99 years, which is Miami’s only city-owned golf course.
“When you call someone, ‘Lord Mayor,’ and you start being disrespectful, I don’t think there’s any place for that in our government,” Suarez said.
Carollo, who spoke to reporters Friday, is defending hsi mayor moniker.
“He got all flustered,” Carollo said. “He seemed upset, and in light, I said, ‘Well, so you won’t get upset at me, I’ll call you Lord Mayor if that’s OK,’ and he blew up.”
Suarez said an end of October vote approving or denying the lease is something the city may not be ready for.
“There are a bunch of reasons, but at the end of the day, the main reason is that we are obligated to bring the best deal forward to our residents, and it’s simply not ready,” Suarez said.
Inter Miami officially begins play during the 2020 MLS season. The team will be playing at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale until their Miami stadium is built and ready.
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