Letter to the Editor
It was 13 months ago, on Nov. 8, 2016, we witnessed as 72.24 percent of the voters in the City of South Miami clearly told our mayor and city commission that they wanted a new city hall and police station. The voters made it clear they recognized that using the value of this underutilized and outdated property was the way to realize much-needed city amenities.
If the value of the city hall property was more than what it would take to build a new city hall and police station then there could be significant monetary benefits realized by the taxpayers. With proper utilization, taxpayers might reap additional ad valorem tax revenue of $800,000-plus a year (which will likely grow).
The city did its part and put out multiple RFPs. As a result, six qualified proposals were submitted to the city which gave a value of around $24 million – more than enough to build a new city hall and police station.
A second RFP was released asking interested entities to propose a public-private partnership to see if that route would be better for the city. That effort reaped four legitimate responses.
The city manager, inexplicably and to this day without any explanation, withdrew the RFPs and cancelled the entire process.
So what happened? Why has this process stalled?
Other than constantly questioning by Commissioner Liebman of the other commissioners and city staff, there has been no response for the taxpayers and voters. Not even within the city staff has had the decency to explain to the electorate why their wishes have not been acted on.
There appears to be a disconnect between the city and its electorate. With elections in a month, maybe this is a time for change.