Thursday, June 21, 2018

When It Comes To Highways and Development: A Clear Case Of Fraud And Political Malpractice ... by gimleteye

Here is what I would say to residents of Kendall crying about commuting time and the helplessness of families strained by disastrous transit: many of the same county commissioners who decided yesterday to adopt Mayor Gimenez' plan to add more lanes into former Everglades wetlands are the SAME OFFICIALS who benefited from and profited, politically and economically, from the advancement of suburban sprawl that created traffic nightmares in the first place.

This fact is underrepresented in local media accounts. Call it: the power of advertisers. At any rate, consider the following from yesterday's Miami Herald report on the 9-2 vote and the comment by county commissioner Joe Martinez:

"... Martinez, who represents West Kendall, called the extension a matter of fairness for the western suburbs who pay the county's half-percent transportation tax but have no transit options beyond the Miami-Dade bus system.

"They have been paying the half cent, at almost $400 per household per year," Martinez said. "And received nothing for it ... except traffic gridlock."

Why, so much gridlock? Because of zoning decisions by electeds like Martinez himself. You don't have to look further than this Eye On Miami report from 2007 (!) when I had the stomach to pay closer attention to the fraud and political malpractice than I have, today. We keep this record and archive, for moments exactly like this.

Lastly, readers should understand that not-so-long ago, citizens had recourse to challenge political malpractice by local county government. There were provisions in state law, created by bipartisan consensus in the 1980's, that empowered citizen challenges to bad decisions that ran counter to sound economics and public safety and the environment.

A series of Republican administrations in Tallahassee, triggered by Gov. Jeb Bush, and culminating in the two terms of Gov. Rick Scott is primarily responsible for undercutting the ability of citizens to use state courts to fight bad land use decisions. Democrats in the state legislature sat on their hands, too, because of the money race. And now we have a Congressional majority supporting the anti-regulatory agenda of a chaotic president. So: no state authority. No federal authority. (Except when it comes to protecting the rights of polluters and the invasion of privacy.)

Gimenez is dead-wrong on his logic for expanding SR 836, and somewhere in the recess of his soul he knows it. Gimenez, once upon a time, could articulate the argument as well as anyone on the commission. But there is power to be accumulated and money to be made in the meanwhile and a political machine to feed.

Only voters can change this equation, if they are informed.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

if you work downtown and moved to Kendall you’re an idiot who should have known better. Any way you cut it (other than rail) that commute is going to be an hour+ in rush hour. Don’t wreck more of the Everglades for a bunch of short sighted idiots thinking they’ll get to work 10 minutes faster.

Anonymous said...

Martinez is incredibly incompetent. Residents of West Kendall pay sales tax which supposedly goes towards funding transit in the county and its municipalities. West Kendall isn't a municipality so they don't get any transit dollars specifically allocated to them like Coral Gables. Somehow that's Coral Gables' fault?

In any case, his solution is to have residents of West Kendall continue to pay the same "unfair" sales tax and have them pay TOLLS to use a congested highway. And somehow he wants these people to believe he's crusading for them. He only cares about increasing development on the "West Side" and handing over another half-billion dollar project to MCM or Fulano Enterprises.

I just don't understand how county residents can continue to elect such incompentent people who offer no solutions and only make matters worse.

Anonymous said...

Gimenez is bad. His arguments are so 1970's.