[Hpn] PERSPECTIVES THAT APPEAR TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST POOR & HOMELESS
Sat, 8 Jan 2005 19:59:41 -0500
NORTH BAY VILLAGE AND MIAMI BEACH
RESIDENTS TAKE THE LEAD FOR CHANGE
Residents in each city have banded together to send their respective city
officials a message. In Miami Beach, officials are listening. In North Bay
Village, officials should pay heed.
Since 2002, four North Bay Village leaders, including a mayor, have been
arrested or removed from office because of offenses, including bribery and
felony misconduct. Residents are incensed. They have every right to be.
Members of the Friends of North Bay Village insist that government officials
do better. The new group plans to act as a watchdog, monitoring officials'
actions and encouraging residents to get involved.
The Friends are starting out on the right foot: Robert Meyers, executive
director of the county's Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, was the
group's first guest speaker. The choice of an ethics expert says the Friends
are serious about keeping government responsive and honest.
In Miami Beach, a group of activists says that a stroll along the city's
boardwalk no longer is a pleasant experience. For the past year, Save the
Boardwalk -- The Committee of 100 has pushed the city to improve conditions
along the elevated walkway, which runs from 21st to 47th streets along the
Next week, the group will meet with several city agencies. Among the
complaints: broken lights, nonfunctioning emergency call boxes, homeless
loiterers and drug dealers. All of these problems are a threat to public
The Boardwalk is a popular destination for residents and visitors. It should
be patrolled and protected as vigorously as other public spaces on the