Letters to the Editor

Wake up Miami Beach commission! Resiliency matters

While the Editorial Boards of three local newspaper, including the Miami Herald were writing the latest entry to their sea-level rise joint project, “Wake up, South Florida! Speak up on sea-level rise,” the Miami Beach Commission voted to pause the city’s resilient infrastructure rollout.

New water and sewer mains, critical stormwater pumps and generators, and elevated roads in the works for the last two years may not be realized for another six years, as a critical deadline to start before a pending Florida Department of Transportation project was ignored.

Miami Beach’s 80-year-old systems are failing. Water pressure is inadequate. Residents experience unsanitary sewer back-ups. Low-elevation roads are degrading.

Miami Beach spends $1 million yearly on temporary pumps to control flooding. And yet last week the commission delayed a project to make the La Gorce area more resilient to sea-level rise and provide critical water and sewer upgrades. While some residents experience regular flooding, their neighbors derailed the project because they don’t have flooding in their own homes.

Apparently, it’s every homeowner for himself. Community be damned.

The Miami Beach commission has apparently lost the nerve to tell people what they need to know over what they want to hear.

Individual interests are triumphing over the greater good.

Even more alarming was the subsequent narrow-margin 4-3 vote to continue with the city’s new infrastructure at all.

I say “Wake up, Miami Beach!” Your property values swing in the breeze while the city commission wavers on resiliency.

John Elizabeth Alemán,

Miami Beach Commissioner

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