ABOUT MEFIGHTING GOVERNMENT WASTEIn my first year as a city commissioner, I focused on good government and fiscal responsibility. Our city must do a better job managing your money in general, and managing and bidding public works projects and construction related services in particular. On too many occasions, the city pays double, triple or quadruple for construction and construction related services. None of this is very sexy, and it doesn’t generate many positive headlines.
Unfortunately, it has, at times, led to a pushback from the city administration that is unaccustomed to even the most rudimentary oversight. And, unfortunately, it also has led to outright political retribution from city contractors, who have fed freely from the easy money trough for too long. Reforming and modernizing the city administration is vital for Miami Beach’s long-term viability and fiscal health. Thankfully, our city is blessed with a host of talented and dedicated residents who want to help ensure our city’s vitality. These volunteer residents have so much to offer in the way of expertise and enthusiasm. They are an incredible talent pool that has gone untapped for too long. Several of these volunteer residents have spent considerable time and effort to help identify areas needing improvement and attention from the city administration.
Our efforts have already paid off — we have saved taxpayers several million dollars on capital improvement projects such as drainage and streetscape improvements. Some of these savings include: $800,000 to $1 million for infrastructure improvements at 6th Street and Lenox Avenue; approximately $800 thousand for upgrades known as the South Pointe Phase II project; and about $500,000 in savings for drainage at 44th Street and Royal Palm Avenue. We also are on track to save nearly $1 million on construction of the new Normandy Shores golf clubhouse.
In the coming year, I will continue to focus on ensuring that your tax dollars are spent wisely. I am prepared to take whatever flak may come my way as a result. It’s your money. It’s your city. You deserve nothing less from me.