[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Marlins Stadium Hanging By A Thread

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Marlins Stadium Hanging By A Thread

So let me get this straight. Miami commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones wants the Florida Marlins, Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami to ensure that $500 million in Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) revenue be directed to her districts in Overtown and Liberty City. This comes after she agreed in principle in 2007 and 2008 on the stadium deal.

Spence-Jones supported the stadium in two votes, in 2007 and 2008. But she and others must approve the individual contracts before ground can be broken.

Since her absence two weeks ago, Spence-Jones has been publicly silent on how she would vote, until now.

Of course, the CRA revenues would in large part be generated by the new ballpark. So basically, Spence-Jones wants to hog up what appears to be a disproportinate chunk of money to help her district and her constutuents.

This wouldn't sound as bad as it does (although it would still stink to holy heaven), if the areas in question weren't already under a CRA and receiving revenue streams that would ordinarly be spread across the city and county.

From South Florida Times (make sure to read the entire piece):
The city of Miami’s Community Redevelopment Agency granted Jackson Soul Food nearly $800,000 to renovate the family-owned restaurant and $300,000 to Just Right Barber Shop a few blocks away. Ten other Overtown businesses have received a combined $179,000 from the CRA.
That's fine, but Spence-Jones' latest demand seems like double-dipping. Her area can be argued to be in disproportionate need relative to other areas. That would be accurate. But $500,000,000 worth? And now this after dealing in supposed good faith with the Marlins and the county the past 2 years?

This latest development to kill the current Marlins' stadium plan looks and smells like dirty Miami politics. Spence-Jones, who has been linked to scandals during her first term, is running for reelection later this year.


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