Miami Dade County Community Forum
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
We'd be far better off if governments grappled with vital problems and didn't create new ones by sticking fingers where they've no business meddling.
Cases in point are Miami's call to retool a well-oiled Miami Parking Authority, Miami-Dade's bid to be entrepreneur in an untested boxing arena and county officials' push to stage a new Coconut Grove Playhouse.
The parking authority feeds millions each year into city coffers. But the city has put on the Nov. 2 ballot a vote to hand authority jobs, real estate and revenues to elected officials to toy with.
Boxing is dying, but the county sports commission seeks to run a franchise in an untried global league. Prior to any vote or signed contract, a press release made it a done deal.
Outside suitors woo the playhouse, closed four years, but the county wants to grab its home, build a much smaller theater under county control and then hand the whole thing to a small independent theater producer.
Each misbegotten issue could enmesh taxpayers in tangles that don't imperil us now. In business argot, they have very strong downsides and weak upsides.
And while, unlike the others, a strong independent playhouse could help the community, governments have no business stepping into any of these bogs hiding pits of quicksand.
The issues are complex, perhaps befuddling for elected officials, but principles are clear:
Principle One: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Principle Two: If it's too badly broken, don't get bogged down in it.
Principle Three: Leave projects requiring expertise to experts.
The parking authority falls under Principle One. It chugs along smoothly, planning and developing parking under a board and budget approved by the city commission."
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Commissioner Carlos A. Gimenez will appear on HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 10 p.m. to discuss about his stance against the Florida Marlins Stadium deal and the controversy about the Marlins’ finances in documents released by Deadspin.com this past August.
A clip of the show can be seen at this link and the show will rebroadcast throughout November.
Check with your cable service provider to find the appropriate channel broadcasting HBO. For more information, please contact Commissioner Gimenez’s office at 305-669-4003.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Public Information vs Visual Pollution: The Value of Signage and Public Media in Miami Dade
The invite will be coming soon but hold the date: November 17th.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Former City of Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre makes a point in favor of Amendment 4.
Co-Presidents of UEL, Sonia Succar Ferre and Fran Bohnsack take a moment for a photo op.
County Commission Katy Sorenson spoke against Amendment 4 and Former City of Miami City Manager spoke for it.
Above: Helen Ferre moderated the Panel. Below: Former Miami Beach Mayor, Neisen Kasdin at the podium speaking against Amendment 4.
UEL Board Member Enid Pinkney and Charlayne Thompkins listen to an audience member asking a question. UEL Board Member Erika Brigman center.
UEL member Beatrix Baldan questions the speakers about the Amendment.
The audience listening to the discussion.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
1. AMENDMENT 4 (HOMETOWN DEMOCRACY) IS TOO FAR-REACHING.
Here's how the Miami Herald summarized the opponents' argument the other day: "...the amendment amounts to an indiscriminate blast that, by leaving often technically complex decisions to the unpredictability of the ballot box, could make matters worse by inhibiting smart planning while stifling development in a state heavily dependent on it for jobs."
It's a classic scare tactic, evoking lost jobs and recession. But the truth is, overdevelopment is what has made the Great Recession even GREATER in Florida. And that happened under the current rules, not under Amendment 4. What we see today is mostly bad planning, and overbuilding has left us with an economy very vulnerable to downturns. None of that can be blamed on Amendment 4—which hasn't passed yet.
2. THESE DECISIONS SHOULD BE LEFT TO ELECTED OFFICIALS, WHOM WE CAN VOTE OUT OF OFFICE IF THEY DO A POOR JOB.
Some people have swallowed the argument that elected officials should be entrusted with these Comp Plan decisions. Of course, we all know that local democracy is in a coma, induced by truckloads of developer money. County Commission incumbents have turned away challengers 56 times in a row--despite the commission's craven record on land use decisions.
If you count Katy Sorenson's win over sexual abuser Larry Hawkins 16 years ago, and if Jean Monestime is finally able to turn out bought-and-paid-for Commissioner Dorrin Rolle, the score will improve to 56 to 2. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of our democratic process. Elections have not given Florida's voters a shred of confidence in their ability to steer development in this state. That's why the Amendment 4 petition effort was supported so strongly.
3. THE RESULTING BALLOT MEASURES WILL BE NUMEROUS AND COMPLICATED.
This is a complete exaggeration. Complex administrative decisions will never get to the voters. If there is a ruling that minor technical matters have to go to a vote, The Developer Lobby will pull the strings on their legislative marionettes, and the statewide Comp Plan rules will be adjusted. Bank on it!
Please pass the word: YES on 4.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
If you have never been to a UEL dinner, or the Rusty Pelican, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Monday, October 18, 2010
The film on Carl Fisher was excellent and Dr. Gregory Bush, lead a great follow up discussion with questions from the audience.
Politicians buy elections. Developers buy politicians. It's an old story in South Florida politics. But this political season gives us a chance to make BIG CHANGES in the state constitution, and even give the boot to some of those corrupt politicos. Listen305 gives YOU a chance to talk it over this week.
We'll start with a primer from Dr. Paul George, on the history of political corruption in the 305. Did immigrants make it worse? Are we improving at all? Reform has been tried before: did it do any good? What do YOU think? And are you ready to CHANGE your mind?
There are THREE WAYS to listen to Listen305:
1. Listen Live to Listen305 Monday night at 7, on The Biz 880 AM Radio.
2. Stream the show live at 880TheBiz.com, at 7 on Monday.
3. Listen to the podcast recording the day after at http://Listen305.com. You can even listen now to last week's show, at the same site: http://Listen305.com.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Is Florida Hometown Democracy (Amendment #4) The Best Answer for Growth Management?
Speakers: Katy Sorenson, Neisen Kasdin, Maurice Ferre, Frank Rollason
Moderator: Helen Ferre
RUSTY PELICAN on Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia Key
6 pm: Cocktail Meet-up, Dinner 6:30: $25.00
program only: 7 pm - FREE