Re the Jan. 13 story Unfinished and out of cash, museum turns to Dade, on finding more funding to complete of the Frost science museum: Many of the online comments reflect the “We told you so” sentiment. This scenario repeats in Miami-Dade County because 1) elected leaders do not properly consider available facts and 2) public financing is far too often relied upon without fully seeking private funds and accountability.
After 30 years in the city of Miami, I now live in suburban Atlanta. No matter where we live, we have to thank individuals and companies for their private contributions that fund buildings and parks, their operation and the good works of charitable organizations.
Miami institutions with buildings (except parks) have their share of private support, but I think that the level of giving is far less than other cities.
As a green-park advocate I cannot understand how Miami leaders, both private and public, have allowed such valuable pieces of land on the bay, such as Parcel B and Museum Park, to sit idle for so long, ignoring the public demands to landscape them, which would cost less than 5 percent of museum costs.
I have visited many cities, some not even that great, but they have wonderful public parks. Great features in these parks are named after companies like Microsoft, Canon, IBM, Ford — and often these companies do not even have a presence in that city!
Be it the completion of the science museum or of Museum Park or other public spaces in the county, elected leaders need to get their act together on deciding what to finance with public funds.
To truly build community in Miami, more in the private sector need to step up with dollars, which would bring private accountability. It also means those contributors will need to seek out funds from the Fortune 500 firms who do business in Miami but may not have a presence there.
Steve Hagen, Atlanta