A political truism reminds us that, “It is much easier to campaign than to govern.” Politicians accept this and realize that the words used while campaigning remain with them once elected.
Politicians should be truthful, they should take credit when deserved and give credit to others when warranted. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine should accept this truth. He is entitled to his own opinions, but not to his own facts regarding flooding.
By no means can we declare victory as the mayor has done in ads aired by the disgraced PAC, Relentless for Progress. Running for reelection, he wants you to believe that nothing had been done to address flooding until he was elected and that the problems have since been fixed.
The flooding we experienced these past weeks are proof that we are far from done. Notwithstanding spilling pollutants into the bay or preferred contractors being awarded millions of dollars in no-bid contracts, Miami Beach flooded again, worse than ever in some areas.
I credit Levine for continuing the projects begun long ago. From North Beach to South Pointe you can see the improvements that have been completed. The Planned Progress program dates back to the early 2000s and was developed by Jorge Gonzalez, then city manager at the time.
Construction was purposely phased to make sure the transportation grid would not grind to a halt. Nonetheless, significant and successful improvements have been completed throughout and the overwhelming majority of residents have seen improved drainage, water, sewer, sidewalks, lighting and beautification in their neighborhoods.
The mayor should more appropriately acknowledge the efforts he inherited upon entering office. It is true that some improvements were completed under his watch, but it is also true that all were begun before he entered office.
Matti Herrera Bower,
former mayor, Miami Beach