[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: NIMBY-ism

Saturday, September 15, 2007


There's a lot I like about South Florida, which makes me somewhat of a rare bird 'round these parts. That's the problem, we have way too many people who just plainly and simply don't like living in South Florida, yet find a way to stay here for years on end.

A side effect of this epidemic of malcontentedness is something that I'll refer to as NIMBY-ism. NIMBY stands for "Not in My Backyard", and represents those who go out of their way to resist change in the community just for the heck of it.

Transit Miami, one of my favorite local blogs, has waged a continuous war against this sadly South Florida mentality. Transportation issues is one of the areas in which many of our esteemed residents can't agree on. We agree that transportation and congestion is a problem, but too many people seem to care enough about it just to complain.

There's the crux of the problem. It's perfectly fine to complain as long as you have some solutions in mind. It's NOT perfectly fine to complain and complain and complain like so many South Floridians do and do absolutely NOTHING about it. At that point, it's just mere whining.

Transit Miami complains, THEN offers solutions. That's what we should be doing as a community. What a novel concept!

Another case in point which clearly illustrates this frustrating South Florida NIMBY mentality: the proposed Marlins baseball stadium issue. Here's a letter to the editor in today's Herald:

No to a stadium

How many times must residents say No to a baseball stadium while Mayors Manny Diaz and Carlos Alvarez insist on using public money to build it? The Marlins are not popular, the stands are empty at games.

I see so much misery in Miami, many people can barely make ends meet. Diaz has always been power hungry -- look at how he is destroying Miami with overdevelopment. He should finance the stadium out of his personal fortune and not from taxpayers' pockets.


Mr. Harris, here are a few things you might want to consider:

Exactly how many times have residents been asked to decide on a baseball stadium? That's right, zero. Unless you have some special connections to Mayors Diaz and Alvarez, your first statement is false.

But it's his next statement that's often used as the main reason the stadium shouldn't be built. There are so many poor people in Miami that need help, so why would we dare to use "our" money to build a stadium for the rich. Common perception with many false assumptions. First, let's not mix the needs of the poor with the stadium issue. Funding for these issues come from two totally separate pots. We can and should be doing more to help the poor, that's why there's so many programs currently in place to help these folks. The money for a stadium would come largely from a bed tax that tourists pay for every night they stay at a hotel in our community. Tourists flock to South Florida, stay in hotels, pay some ridiculous amount of tourist tax tacked on to room charges. That's essentially where the stadium money would come from. That money CAN'T be used for anything not related to entertainment or tourism-related things. Remember the Performing Arts Center? The money for that project came from the same CDT pool of money.

Lastly, for Mr. Harris to say that Mayor Diaz should pay for the stadium with his own money is laughable if not embarrassing to fellow Miami residents.

Again, Mr. Harris' comments are a classic example of South Florida NIMBY-ism at work. Let's resist building a stadium in order to keep Major League Baseball in South Florida just because there are lots of poor people walking around. Most of all, don't mess with my money (even though it really isn't). Last time I checked, there are plenty of poor people in every major U.S. city, yet they've managed to build stadiums for baseball that undoubtedly add to the value of a community, not to mention create jobs (however many or few those might be).

South Florida's boatload of malcontents will only serve to sink this area into a huge hole if enough people with even a shred of civic pride don't stand up and make their voices and solutions heard. Transit Miami is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise depressing landscape of whining and complaining.

What are you going to do about this, my fellow South Florida readers?


Blogger Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal said...

Thanks Robert. Very Kind words. We're trying our best to cause some legitimate change but it's difficult when the voice of reason is in the minority...

8:08 PM, September 15, 2007  
Blogger theCardinal said...

This is hard for me. As a classical liberal I am opposed to building the stadium with public funds, not because of the poor but because the government has no business doing so. I don't care for welfare for the poor but the rich don't deserve it either. By the rich I don't mean fans but owners.

Anyone notice that Wayne Huizenga, who screamed poverty and begged for a stadium when he had the Fish, plunked down $350 million not only without blinking, but actually bragging about how much he is spending? 350 mil would have been a good start to at least a private/public partnership.

That being said I want a stadium because I am a fan. I hate the site and would have preferred that city and county leaders would have gotten off their duffs and built it on the river when they had the chance. I certainly won't cry if they finally get this done.

7:23 PM, September 16, 2007  
Blogger Habla said...

How about the Marlins are a private enterprise and if they want a stadium they can build it their own damn selves. I can't stand this cheap-ass ownership group of the Marlins. Constantly bitching about attendance and revenue, yet always failing to take any of the blame themselves. If they dislike the Miami market so much, they can feel free to get out.

11:06 AM, September 17, 2007  
Blogger Sherry said...

If the Marlins are going to continue to play here in South Florida, they need a proper stadium. The baseball teams hundreds of miles NORTH of here have domes, the only humane type of stadium in such hot climates. At the Marlins games, they even reserve the shaded seats for first aid. Without a dome, baseball games in South Florida are equivalent to sitting in a frying pan, and too many do not realize how the hot weather affects them at the Stadium. Those who do, do not go, thus the poor attendance. I myself would get season tickets with a proper Stadium for the South Florida heat.

7:20 AM, September 27, 2007  

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