Moving Miami Beach Forward — Together!

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Dear Neighbors,

We have much going on in our little slice of paradise. I want to highlight some important accomplishments achieved for Miami Beach residents so far in my second year as Commissioner. My office has made it a priority to promote a better quality of life for our residents, improve Ocean Drive, prudently address flooding/sea level rise and make sound financial decisions for our City.

Fifth Street Pedestrian Bridge: This G. O. Bond project was approved by the Commission earlier this year, and I was a strong advocate. Completion is expected for next year, and I am confident it will bring safety and convenience to our residents.

Inspector General Office: Over 60 applications were received and are currently being reviewed by the selection committee. The current plan is to present the finalist at the September Commission Meeting, and for the office to be implemented later this year.

G. O. Bond: The first round of bonds have been issued and our resident oversight committee has reviewed and prioritized the 24 projects that are currently underway. Some of these projects are termed Quick Wins and include the Mid Beach Beachwalk, park improvements (Polo, Collins, Fairway, Crespi, Stillwater and North Shore parks), and enhanced security for public places.

Flooding/Sea Level Rise: Mayor Gelber appointed me the Chair of the Sustainability and Resiliency Committee, and we are working diligently to improve our approach with enhanced community engagement and third-party reviews. While we continue to execute Neighborhood Improvement Projects, we are simultaneously implementing recommendations from the Urban Land Institute’s review which I proudly sponsored.

Unsanctioned Vendors on City Property: I advocated forcefully to clean up malfeasance on public property and am proud to have sponsored this ordinance. Some of these vendors have bad intentions and include “promoters” of troublesome unsanctioned events/parties which adversely impact our community.

Sidewalk Cafes: Taking advantage of or deceiving customers not only makes the City look bad but affects our quality of life. Proper advertising of prices on menus is now a requirement. And I have been particularly focused on other approaches to address these bad apples. Enough is enough!

Miami Beach Senior High: The safety of our children is paramount and in conjunction with the City and PTSA, accident-prone drop off zones are being improved. There is now better visibility, additional signage and reinvigorated MBPD enforcement.

Better Bus Project: The City is a sponsor of the county-wide Transit Alliance which is working to improve our bus routes. Proper public transportation helps riders and reduces cars on the road.

Miami Beach Website: Engagement Toolbox! A big part of having trust in government is transparency and making information easy to access and understand. I am happy to say that working with Miami Beach United and the City, we have added a one-stop shop on the City website to access information most important to residents.

I have tremendous gratitude to my colleagues on the Commission, the City administration, my Commission Aide, Elias Gonzalez, and most importantly my life partner, Laura Dominguez.

Warm wishes to all for a safe and happy summer. Looking forward to the second half of 2019, and please contact us if we may be of service.

Happy Fourth of July,

Mark Samuelian
Miami Beach City Commissioner