I was asked about a month ago, by the Fort Lauderdale Magazine, to write a bit about what “New Year’s Resolutions” I thought our City should take on in 2014, and here is what I submitted….. The article comes out in their January 2014 issue …..
…. Let me know if you agree or disagree! … thanks, … Tim
….. I think it would be a healthy exercise for Fort Lauderdale to
make some New Year’s resolutions. We are an exceptional city for sure,
with real possibilities, but some things need tending to.
Our challenges, (or root problem) may be that our city was not very well
planned out from the get-go. We began as a tropical winter destination,
and no one stayed here past March except for the Seminoles and a few other hardy souls!
Then came air conditioning, and the frenzy for year round living took
hold fast. We grew from about 14,000 people in the early ’50’s, to
nearly 200,000 today. The boundaries that used to stop at Searstown, are
now many miles away – out in Palm Air! While we can thank our lucky
stars that we are not Des Moines, or Detroit, we can do more about :
. the beach –
We are constantly bickering about the beach, it’s time to stop!
…… Are the greedy developers controlling the beholden politicians, or are
the whiny beach residents ungrateful that they live in paradise, and
don’t want any new neighbors? The city needs to make sure the beach is a
fun, lively place for all citizens of Fort Lauderdale, and the tourists.
And it needs to attract lots of new residents, but don’t let the
developers build just anything, make the new hi-rises contribute to a
. crime –
……. Some of our neighborhoods have no crime and some are inundated!
….We need our own Apollo Project, for
safer neighborhoods thru-out! Get those troubled areas up to snuff.
Control the traffic going in and out of them, use cameras, citizen
patrols, alarms, repeat offender programs, community policing, whatever it takes, but try something new, the status quo is intolerable.
. downtown –
…… It looked like we were almost getting there, but the downtown has slid backwards somewhat since the economy soured. The Riverfront is
a shame. The elected leaders have to put their heads down and get that
Riverfront back up and running! Use as many carrots and sticks with the
property owners that you can muster!
And while they’re at it, the land by City Hall, that we all own, has sat
there looking worse and worse, year after year.. Knock the junk down,
see what we can put in its’ place! More people downtown will bring more
restaurants, entertainment, culture, and that important – Je ne sais
. history –
…… Some cities save all of their old buildings for posterity. That’s not
what we need here, but there are some important old structures in our
city that are worth saving.
The Bryant Homes and the
Shippey House are making progress, but let’s make this year the year
where the leaders identify the rest of the important historical
structures, and put a plan in place to save those important parts of our
past. The days of waiting until a developer starts a demo plan to start
screeching needs to end!
. Sistrunk Blvd. –
……. Now that we’ve set aside the few naysayers that want to hide our
historically black part of town, let’s bring it totally out of the
shadows. The area has lots of possibilities to make it a more functional
part of Fort Lauderdale! I’m ready to buy some tickets to BB King at
the new House of Blues on Sistrunk, and drink some wine that goes with that traditional soul food afterwards.
What do you say?