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.
ROY HARRIS, Miami
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?