After all of that buildup last week, the Miami-Dade County Commission punted on Friday:
The Florida Marlins encountered another curveball Friday in their bid for a new ballpark.
City commissioners met for 7 1/2 hours without reaching a final decision on a plan to build a 37,000-seat stadium near downtown. They agreed to take up the issue again March 12.
The Miami-Dade County Commission was on deck to consider the proposal but never met. The Marlins had hoped for final approval of plans calling for a stadium projected to open in 2012 and cost $515 million, with the public paying $361 million.
City commissioners voted 2-2 on the plan, with one member absent and three votes required for approval. They were on the verge of adjournment, which likely would have killed the deal, but after a recess agreed to resume discussions next month.
“We are not angry. We are not bitter,” Marlins president David Samson said. “We are trying to figure out the best way to have a deal that makes sense for the city, county and team, and we’ll continue to work toward that.”
How on Earth is someone allowed to be absent for a vote with as much public interest as this one? I can’t help but wonder if it was all orchestrated somehow. Like they either want to kill or pass the deal quietly somehow, the former via the adjournment tack mentioned in the above quote or the latter via a series of delays designed to dissipate the heat somehow.
But hey, I get to rant about all of this again prior to March 12th, which is nice.
UPDATE: I’m told that the missing Commissioner was out on maternity leave. Since kids > ballparks, I guess that’s acceptable. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be off fielding hate mail from every mother on the planet for the remainder of the day.