This morning Gonzalez let me know by email that some parts of my post were inaccurate, "Your blog is not completely accurate on this one. As is probably usual, people may have left some facts out...," Gonzalez wrote.
Gonzalez asked that I call him. I did. And this afternoon he filled in the blanks during a cordial 15 minute conversation.
Gonzalez confirmed that his car was towed back in January from a parking space on Lenox Avenue between Lincoln Road and 17th Street. Gonzalez admitted that he was parked in front of a yellow curb where parking is prohibited; but stressed that he was not parked near a fire hydrant.
When he returned a few hours later, he learned that his car had been towed.
He told me that he walked the dozen or so blocks to Beach Towing where he withdrew money from an ATM to pay the tow fee. The cashier recognized him and declined to take his money.
But, Gonzalez said he didn't order a review of the city's towing policy until a month later when a dozen or so cars were towed from in front of some homes on the Venetian Isles.
It was after the Venetian Isles incident, Gonzalez said, that he learned that many tows in his city are at the sole discretion of a single parking enforcement officer.
Gonzalez said that was also the case when his car was towed. He said that because of an uneven and murky policy regarding tows on Miami Beach, "What might be a ticket today could be a tow tomorrow."
Gonzalez says that as of a week ago the policy has been revised and now a tow cannot be authorized by a single parking enforcement officer.
"Now," says Gonzalez, "any city-initiated tow must now be approved by a supervisor or dispatcher."
The policy change does not apply to cars parked on private property. You're still on your own if you're having lunch at Lime on Alton Road and decide to grab one of those empty spots in the 7-11 parking lot next door.
Gonzalez also politely pointed out that my observation that he's "done virtually nothing to put the brakes on Miami Beach's two towing companies," in his almost 12 years as city manager, wasn't entirely accurate.
Gonzalez reminded me that he was instrumental in getting a "Towing Bill of Rights" enacted on Miami Beach.
Full disclosure: I apologized to City Manager Gonzalez for some of the inaccuracies in my original post.