The readers’ forum

Bringing proactive leadership to Miami Beach

 

In recommending my opponent the Herald shows it doesn’t understand the unique challenges that Miami Beach faces today.

Inexplicably, the editorial board chose to ignore its own assigned reporter’s account of the circumstances that occurred at a debate last week. As stated by Christina Veiga on TV last Friday evening, the Hispanic audience members at the debate were not offended by my remarks about changing our city government’s lazy culture. It was Commissioner Michael Gongora’s remarks towards the audience that offended and caused their angry reaction.

While the Herald wants voters to believe that the status quo is a positive example of city hall, I do not. The embarrassing headlines about corruption in the police department and scandals within the building department are examples of why we need to change how the city operates. We must address the chronic street flooding that makes traveling down Alton Road following heavy rain almost mission impossible. In 1999 the city’s pension systems had a budget surplus. The unfunded liability for city pensions is $572 million dollars this year. That expense is projected to be over $1 billion dollars by 2018. This year’s city so-called reform was a typical election year political stunt and Band-Aid.

Regarding the convention center, I have taken the time to listen to residents and businesses and the recurring message is that the city’s plan to upgrade the convention center is flawed on many levels. We can get it done right, but that starts with being honest with the voters. I support responsible upgrades to create a marquee venue that attracts new visitors and generates revenue for taxpayers. But reflective of the Third DCA ruling, Gongora’s actions have been a part of the problem, not the solution, and a disservice to taxpayers.

I am running for mayor so we can fix what’s wrong, focus on what’s right and bring proactive leadership to city hall.

Philip Levine, Miami Beach

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