We supported Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez in the hope that the quality of life would get better in the city. In addition to improving basic services, we also expected a leader with vision who could steer this city to a bright future with sustainable and rational development.
The proposed secret sweetheart deal to build a soccer stadium/entertainment complex on public land (Melreese golf course) embodies a deal that stinks like rotten fish: billionaires asking for welfare; using an open public green space for private development; dubious accounting on the benefits to the city; 99-year leases below market value; more congestion and traffic and many more reasons why this project should never have the support of anyone with a goal of a better Miami.
This same soccer group attempted to grab public land first near the Port of Miami, then in Overtown and now again at Melreese. While we all would love to have professional sports teams play in Miami, they must find their own sites, build them with no public money and run these businesses as private enterprises. Unless the MLS soccer franchise is willing to have the public as true ownership partners (and ditto for the Marlins, the Heat and the Dolphins), then no public money or land should ever be given to these types of organizations.
As a small business owner, I do not receive such privileged deals from the city, nor do I expect anything in return other than competent government.
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We urge the Miami Herald to not support this backroom deal that is shrouded in secrecy for good reason: it is not in the public interest and benefits a small minority of investors who are seeking to destroy some of the last open spaces still left in this city.
Jeffrey R. Mass,