Friday, November 20, 2020

Vice Mayor Marvin Wilmoth and The Quiet Power of Resiliency


The biggest permanent challenge to continuing life on two fragile islands in the middle of Biscayne Bay is resiliency in all its aspects.  

North Bay Village has to repair and replace its infrastructure.  New buildings and homes have to be built for the long haul and older ones hardened against an increasingly unstable climate.  North Bay Village has to stop our contributions of poisonous runoffs to the Bay and our residents need to learn to live with the changes that are happening now from King Tides to more and stronger storms.  

Vice Mayor Marvin Wilmoth has been quietly and methodically working with the North Bay Village Resiliency Task Force to do just that.  The Resliency Task force is headed by a local resident who is also an experienced UN treaty negotiator, and Wilmoth is the political face and advocate for the money and expertise that North Bay Village efforts will require.  

North Bay Village can't fix our local problems alone.   

We are actually very fortunate with our elected representatives.   

Mayor Brent Latham is seemingly everywhere with constituent services and ceaselessly promoting North Bay Village in the South Florida landscape, while Commissioner Julianna Strout has done a terrific job of bringing services and events to our often overlooked city.  Both of these are outsized, extroverted personalities who are able to use logic, benefit and personal charisma to show why North Bay Village is worth the investment and attention and they both get results.  

Vice Mayor Wilmoth is a different sort of influencer.  His many accomplishments don't lend themselves to press releases or short posts  Wilmoth is more of quiet servant mentality who lets his work speak for itself.  

The work Wilmoth has done with external organizations such as the Florida Inland Navigation District,  the Waterfront Access Project has brought benefit to North Bay Village. The Florida Friendly Fertilizer and the Single Plastic ordinances he promoted have been effective in both the short term and laying the foundations for the future.  This work has brought us grants for resiliency improvements and needed expertise from county and state government agencies, while balancing personal property decisions with needed development. 

I hope when the commission meets on Monday, they will keep Marvin Wilmoth as Vice Mayor.  The title matters.   It adds substance and prestige to the work Wilmoth is doing and brings the effective weight of the office to serious conversations.   

Having the Vice Mayor as the voice of resiliency shows that North Bay Village is serious about our biggest challenge of adapting to a new climate.  

We are so much better off than we were two years ago and now is the time to build on that especially with the addition of the experienced Commissioner Chervony and the bright young environmental lawyer Commission Streitfeld to an already powerhouse commission.   

It's an exciting time for North Bay Village.  The Commission has unprecedented opportunities to lead our city through the current crisis and into success.  I'm pretty confident they won't blow it by treating the office of Vice Mayor as an honorary trophy to be passed around and will retain the first Vice Mayor I remember who knows how to leverage the office for the good of the Village.   It does matter.  

Kevin Vericker

November 20, 2020

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