The Beginning of the End

After a challenging and tragic 2020, I truly believe we have entered the beginning of the end of the devastating pandemic. I am proud of our Miami Beach residents who have been caring and resilient during the most trying of times. We can’t let our guards down now and should continue to be vigilant in practicing social distancing and wearing masks while vaccination advances.

The coming year will bring exciting changes to Miami Beach, including the reimagining of our entertainment district in South Beach. Arts and cultural activities will be expanded to more areas than ever before.  Public safety will remain a top priority, and we will continue working with the Miami Beach Police Department on increasing presence and enforcement to ensure the security of our residents and visitors alike. Moreover, the new CRA will bring exciting prospects for North Beach. Finally, I will continue to advocate for a sustainable resiliency program where our entire community is better positioned to address flooding/ sea-level-rise.

Wishing each and every one of our residents good health and prosperity in 2021!

Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings 2

Yours in service,

Mark Samuelian

Miami Beach Exploring Way To Help Residents Cover Cost Of Floodproofing Their Properties

Other cities and states offer help for residents trying to adapt to climate change in the form of loans or federal cash, but Miami Beach’s proposal would stand alone in offering city money to homeowners as a grant.

“I believe this is a major step forward for our overall resilience program,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who sponsored the resolution. “We want to see this happen in our community. It’s right for our residents and it’s also in the long-term interest of the city.”

“I do think this is an element of what this is about,” Samuelian said. “As the city is rightfully trying to protect the city’s public right of way, we need to make sure that nothing we’re doing is adversely affecting property owners.”

December 20, 2020 | CBS Miami | Miami Beach Exploring Way To Help Residents Cover Cost Of Floodproofing Their Properties

Miami Beach Continues to Wrestle with its South Beach Entertainment District

In a special meeting to discuss proposals to fix what Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber calls the “anything goes” atmosphere in the City’s South Beach Entertainment District, Commissioner Mark Samuelian summed up the discussion with the word “frustrating.” After praising the City’s Police Department for its work and efforts to increase enforcement, all of the Commissioners expressed a desire to step it up.

Commissioner Mark Samuelian said he agrees with the enforcement push, but he said the area needs more. Referencing the entire package of what Gelber calls “carrots and sticks” – measures that include development incentives, repealing the noise exemption, tying alcohol and entertainment licenses to Conditional Use Permits, and increased penalties for bad operators, Samuelian said, “As I think about the problem, my approach to the solution… is all of the above. I think we need to use all of the tools. I don’t think it’s just an enforcement issue. I don’t it’s just a noise issue. I think we need every tool, and the risk is not doing enough.”

He emphasized the “challenges” with police visibility, noting resident observations as well as his own. “We need to raise the game in terms of visibility” but he underscored a comment the Police Chief made about the impact on other neighborhoods when resources are diverted to the MXE and the movement of crime out of the Entertainment District into nearby areas as a result of increased enforcement in the MXE. Clements said MBPD has seen increased problems on Collins Avenue recently.

Samuelian said he was happy to hear the Administration was giving consideration to not renewing sidewalk café permits at the end of the year for bad operators. Reiterating that the permits are “a privilege, not a right,” he said, “It seems like we just have a hard time reining in this bad behavior despite the legislation that we’ve put forward” in the past few years. “I really hope we can do a better job reining in these bad operators and not giving them the opportunity to make money on the public right of way.”

December 5, 2020 | RE:Miami Beach | Miami Beach Continues to Wrestle with its South Beach Entertainment District