Immediate Gratification

Out of the box and into the fire, if I may mix some clichéd metaphors.

Wow! – Miami’s grand, intricate plan is definitely some out-of-the-box thinking: fund progressive and visionary urban projects with money earmarked to fix slum and blight.

And Yikes! The shell-shock of its announcement puts the plan squarely into the fire of public skepticism. No wonder, since we’ve learned to expect (and accept) the glacial pace of progress and political will. Healthy skepticism is appropriate and necessary.

By now, you’ve likely heard about the projects involved in the plan Miami passed this week: a tunnel to the port, museums, streetcars, stadiums, affordable housing, et al. I would argue that some of those should have been funded and completed long ago, but a lack of vision and gutsy leadership has kept this potentially-coolest place on earth from taking its place on a current list of world-class cities. I’d also argue some of the projects on the list that qualify as the private enterprise of the wealthy should not see one dollar of taxpayer money that’s not an interest-bearing loan.

Most of the criticism and concerns of the Miami upgrade start with the words “that’s a lot of money …”

Boy, it sure is. But we can continue slogging along as a coulda been, or decide to make the investment to actually be. Think of projects that could have and would have evolved into components of a world-class urban culture if someone had actually started them decades ago. Baylink, for instance, comes to mind. A trolley loop connecting the urban centers of Miami Beach and the mainland seemed to me a no-brainer. But political whining derailed it.

On this latest visionary plan, public scrutiny is crucial. Your input is crucial. I say, give the leaders we elected thoughts, concerns, opinions, questions, comments, ideas and analysis, then let them lead. The idea that this should be decided in a voter referendum would be a great if everyone who cast a vote would commit to understanding what a CRA is and how it functions, and actually read the details of the plan. Care to guess what voter turnout might be for that one?


3 Responses

  1. “Slogging” ain’t a word.

    But if that’s the writer’s choice to describe the usually expected lackluster interest of Miami’s masses in this latest grande plan for saving Miami’s Midtown corridor w/ visions of tunnels, stadiums, trolleys and museums,I will accept that for argue sake. The Majical City always gets left at the starting gate when it comes to raising itself up by the bootstraps and finally making something grande of itself for locals and, while at it, the rest of the world.. Somehow, here, we just don’t get it….and the visions of greatness and centres any major city centre would be proud of, never materialize here in Miami. This latest plan will fail not just since its being swiftly railroaded by a few select Board members who have not studied it as was their pledge to the electorate, but, because it shall be rife with setbacks, poor plan, dollar overruns and design and ineptitude, before it even gets off the drawing board—such is the way of the planning of things grande in Miami as seen with Carnival Centre, Polly Parrot Jungle Island and that ghost town which is now Miami Arena—we just don’t have that savoire faire, if you will—that sense of planning and design success that the Chicagoes, Saint Louises, Atlantas….have always mastered. Sure, call it lack of guts, vision, fortitude, leadership—all the above and, while at it, how bout calling for new, fresh, honorable leadership for this Godforsaken city which had so many many chances to be ‘great’ but let ’em all pass us by. Sad, very very sad—-Welcome To The Majical City of Miami—–will we ever get it right or never get it right…?

  2. fyi – from American Heritage Dictionary:
    slog (slŏg)
    v., slogged, slog·ging.
    To walk or progress with a slow heavy pace; plod.
    To make (one’s way) with a slow heavy pace against resistance.

  3. Well, it looks like it passed so maybe those of you who are the naysayers and partypoopers and aquafiestas should put on your more positive thinking caps, stop wagging of fingers about all the negatives in the city in which you live….and try to put things in more of a positive spin, that is what I think. I salute city leaders that had the gull and wisdoms to say yes to this and breath some life into this city I have called home for the past 12 years and I love it and me and my friends and posse would not trade the sun, the sea, the sand, the medianoches, the pastelitos, the Lime Sellers on streetcorners, the Nochebeunas, the cervezas, never never would I give that up and now, just think maybe just maybe there will be baseball and right in the heart of the city…..guess theres a God after all, big time, thats what I think.

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