Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Now that we know... More on the Survey

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Journals

The Miami Herald writes today about the Barry University Survey presented at last week's Special Commission Meeting.   There is a lot of conversation about the survey and what it means.  The article does a reasonable job of describing the contents but its description of the commission reaction is a little puzzling.  Commissioner Gonzalez has this to say “We can’t right past wrongs in the blink of an eye,”  which is totally true but he has had two years to at least bring the major issues forward for discussion - cleanliness, speeding, Harbor Island parking, flood control, and crime watch - and each time these have been brought up by other commissioners or residents, Gonzalez has done precisely nothing.  Never held a workshop, stayed silent at  the Harbor Island Parking Workshop, nary a peep about flood control and he has done nothing to promote crime watch.  

Mayor Kreps expressed relief that the survey was finally done and now she knows what the residents want.  Good for her.  She's been there four years now and every time a resident has said anything about dirty streets, speed violations, the Harbor Island parking situation, our rotted out sewers and public safety, she has dismissed the residents as "negative."  But now there's a survey so, hey, a survey.  

Don't get me wrong.  I think the Barry students did a good job on the survey and there was nothing that surprised me in the results.  There was nothing that surprised the commission in the results either.  They heard it all before and did nothing.  

Two days before the survey was published, the commission sat in regular session.  I challenged them then to think about the upcoming survey and what it might say.  I focused on two points, questions that were not on the survey.  

  1. The commission spent an unbudgeted $49,000 to hold their meeting in the smaller, supposedly more comfortable site at 1666 JFK Causeway.  I asked if they thought that North Bay Village residents preferred to spend the money on this move, rather than funding the PAL, supporting Crime Watch and even doing the much needed Parking Study on Harbor Island, none of which has happened.  The silence was deafening. 
  2. The commission approved a $52,500 expenditure from the Parks Fund for Kimberley Horne to do a design to link the Bay Walk across and under the East Bridge.   I questioned why a design for a Bay Walk that does not exist and is not planned was being funded for a design that will not be executed.  That same money could have been used to fund the urgently needed renovation of the feces laden, flea ridden Tot Lot on Treasure Island.  I didn't know it was possible to add to the silence but they did as they voted to fund the study. 
 The survey was good but don't forget, Mayor Kreps has four years when she could have been talking about these things and pushing them through, Vice Mayor Lim the same, while Commissioners Gonzalez and Duvall have two years.  How did these subjects never come up?  The only one who has raised these subjects is Commissioner Chervony and he is pointedly ignored.  

The commission should not need a survey to know that a clean playground matters.  Commissioner Gonzalez is right.  The problems won't be solved in the blink of an eye or apparently a full election cycle.  They'll only be solved when the commission stops talking to itself and starts doing.  

Kevin Vericker
May 20, 2014

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/19/4124874/north-bay-village-completes-survey.html#storylink=cp

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