Letters to the Editor

Invest in Miami Beach’s future now

One of the hallmarks of a successful and thriving city is one that continually invests in its future.

On Nov. 6, voters will have an amazing opportunity to invest in the future of Miami Beach by approving a $439 million general obligation (G.O.) bond program consisting of parks, recreational and cultural facilities projects totaling $169 million; neighborhoods and infrastructure projects totaling $198 million and police, fire and public safety projects totaling $72 million.

For a year, the Miami Beach Commission vetted close to 200 projects to narrow the G.O. Bond list down to 57 of the most important projects in our community.

We dedicated hundreds of hours to solicit resident feedback by hosting countless town halls, attending neighborhood association meetings and conducting online polls. Our resolve to move forward with the bond program was bolstered by the G.O. Bond Advisory Panel’s unanimous recommendation to place the issue on the ballot. The 11-member panel consisted of community leaders chosen from every corner of the city and served as the voice of their respective neighborhoods.

We recognize we are at a critical juncture where we must band together as a community to maintain and improve Miami Beach’s infrastructure and quality of life. The time for a G.O. Bond is now. Interest rates are at an all-time low, but the cost of borrowing is steadily rising. Credit rating agencies give our city an AA+ rating; however, the agencies have warned all local governments that their ratings are at risk if they do not proactively invest in resilient infrastructure. Now is the right time to raise capital to invest in our future!

Municipal officials are entrusted with a fiduciary duty to fund not only short-term needs but also invest in the long-term future of their cities. Miami Beach has not adopted a bond program since the 1999 G.O. We are long overdue.

Please vote yes to keep our world-class city clean, safe and resilient for the 21st Century. Please visit www.gomb2018.com for a detailed list of projects and upcoming community meetings.

Ricky Arriola,

Miami Beach Commissioner,

Chair of the Finance & Citywide Projects Committee

Karen Rivo, chair of the City of Miami Beach G.O. Bond Advisory Panel