City pool ‘finally’ becomes a reality

After nearly 50 years of stalling, the city of South Miami has finally opened a swimming pool at Murray Park on SW 68th St. This has been nothing short of a miracle, as there have been so many people that stood in the way of it getting done.

Yup, even after the city commission approved the pool in April 1973, yes approved in 1973, the city, its citizens and leaders managed to kill it time and time again. Some of those delays were created in secrecy and others were just right out in the open. One of those pool killers was an elected official who reportedly said “All those people need is a shovel and a hose.” Gee whiz, I said at the time, how much worse can it be?

Before I get on my high horse and talk about all the racial, social and economic discrimination that took place for, oh… so many years, I do want to give credit where credit is due. Although there were lots of people that brought up the idea of putting in a pool, there was a driving force who for nearly five decades saw it through all the twists and turns and through dozens of elected officials.

The current city commission might think that “they” got it done,but they just happened to be in office when it got done.

And yes, I tip my hat, as this commission was able to finally make this dream of a pool come true, but clearly, it was Richard “Dick” Ward that made this pool happen. It was his perseverance, his determination, his sense of justice and of bringing hope and clarity to the young people of South Miami. Dick, as his friends like to call him, but I prefer to call him Mr. Ward, is an unsung hero, who doesn’t want the kudos for making this happen. But, he deserves a public and permanent recognition for the many decades of long effort in bringing a swimming pool to the City of South Miami.

Current mayor, Dr. Phil and his motley crew, made an about face and voted 5-0 against privatizing the public works department.

You may ask, what started the concept to bring in an outside company to pick up the city’s trash? Well, guess what folks? Guess it had something to do with the reported $600,000 a year in savings that the city might have saved. Boy, that’s a big number, not sure where that number comes from, but that seems like an awful lot of money. Now that the city has decided to continue doing its pick ups, maybe it can figure out how to save some of that $600,000.

There still might be time for you to join the FootWorks full marathon training. The program which is for people of all levels of abilities, including walking, will take you step by step through the trials and tribulations, as well as the aches and pains of completing the 26.2 mile jaunt. If you want to do something that will open your eyes to the possibilities in your life, then take the first step by going to <teamfootworks. org>. Have a wonderful journey!

Ran into Frank Maye and Michael Raley as well as a whole bunch of South Miami’s Finest over at the Big Cheese. And sitting in one of the booths was non other than Palmetto Bay Councilmen Patrick Fiore, who just happened to have a copy of the Palmetto Bay News with him. So, of course, I took out my fancy camera and snapped a picture of him, in all his glory and for all to see.

The South Miami Police Department released its Crime Stats and I gotta tell ya, it looks like things are headed in the right direction.

According to the report, Total Part 1 Crimes have dropped from 472 to 337, comparing from January to June 2013 to the same period in 2014.

Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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