I am outraged at the lack of sensitivity of Miami-Dade County administrators toward disenfranchised residents in Surfside. When I took office three years ago as a Surfside commissioner, I told my colleagues and the town manager of my interest in installing bus shelters like those in some surrounding communities built in Surfside. I hate to admit that I still have not been able to have them become a reality.
I have been told that Miami Dade Transit Agency is the responsible agency. I’ve had telephone conversations with Director Ysela Llort, Sally Heyman, our county commissioner and with countless of other individuals always under the guidance of our Town Manager Roger Carlton and our Supervisor of the Public Works Bill Evans, who assures me that he has been checking on this issue on a weekly basis.
If you analyze the situation it really seems incredible. The three bus shelters that we are supposed to get are valued at about $42,000 each, even though I understand that Bal Harbour ordered them for $33,600. If we take into consideration the amount of money we pay Miami-Dade in fees and taxes, this amount is peanuts. Yet I’ve been told that because of an ongoing federal investigation on expenditures, the contractor walked away about a year ago and there is a new company now.
For me to work three years on a project like this and still not have it resolved epitomizes what we face in local communities when we want something to be accomplished and we deal with Miami-Dade authorities.
This might give our residents a better understanding of why some of us are so frustrated. We realize how little we can do after all the time, energy and even personal resources that we put into our responsibilities as elected officials just for having the satisfaction of seeing positive changes in our communities. Yet, our successes are so few and far between.
Marta Olchyk, commissioner, Surfside