Editor of Miami Today, Michael Lewis says:
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."
4 weeks ago