Miami Commissioner Ken Russell outraged after commission votes to cancel his last meeting

Russell had important projects for commission to vote on next month before he leaves in January

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Commissioner Ken Russell attended what may have been his last public Miami commission meeting on Thursday at City Hall in Coconut Grove, ending his city service after his environmental activism propelled his political career.

Soledad Cedro, a spokesperson for the city, said Russell was in the process of leaving and “technically” resigned on Thursday since he will be skipping the next commission meeting.

But on Friday, Russell told Local 10 News that he was upset that commissioners voted to cancel a city commission meeting on Dec. 8 in order to have a longer holiday break.

He said he believes they did it intentionally, knowing that it was his last meeting before he’s out of office, and that he had important projects that needed to be voted on before he left -- projects involving affordable housing and anti-poverty initiatives for the residents in his district.

Russell believes some of these commissioners pulled the stunt to take a jab at him on his way out after years of quarrels and disagreements.

According to Russell, he did threaten to quit immediately if that meeting isn’t held. He said he didn’t want to be paid taxpayer money if no one was going to be working and voting on anything over the next two months off.

One commissioner did side with Russell -- Commissioner Manolo Reyes, who said it was only fair to have that meeting in December.

Russell told Local 10 News that he won’t quit until he knows for sure whether that meeting is cancelled. He’s calling for a special meeting to undo Thursday’s vote.

Russell is making his full-time transition to the private sector after serving his second term as the commissioner who represented the city’s District two. The Longevity Partners, a London-based consulting firm, hired Russell as the public sector outreach director, The Commercial Observer reported on Nov. 11.

Russell, a Democrat, attempted a run to unseat U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. The party stood behind Rep. Val Demings who lost to Rubio in the midterms.

Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Luis Castro contributed to this report.

About the Authors:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.