Friday, March 20, 2009

"North Miami Parks Should Be Cited By Code Enforcement!" Says Monkette

Monkette and I, and a whole bunch of other people, used to come here and watch the pelicans begging for a handout, the seagulls and terns catching pilchards and sardine while mackeral, jacks and even big tarpon would be chasing the baitfish. Many years ago, during the 50's and 60's, this was Helker's Yacht basin next to the Broad Causeway. A drift boat by the name of Lady Lou, a few charter boats, and and three or four private boats used to dock here. There were rowboats for rent, a gravel launching ramp, gas pumps, a bait shack that also sold cold sodas and hot coffee. One-eyed Jack ran that operation. Eventually George Helker decided the time had come to move on and the cty came by some grant money to create more parks.

Mike Rozos was parks and recreation for the city and within a few short years we had a beautiful set of public parks throughout North Miami. One of them was the former Helker's Yacht basin and they built a board walk the length of it, a nice place where people could fish. They even took a bunch of rocks and made a little reef maybe one hundred feet offshore to atract snapper and grunts and grouper. Mike Rozos eventually moved on to a job elsewhere, Lou Schick became the department director, and managed to hold the fort, but he too moved on.

Whether it wass mismanagement or a parsimonious city council, things were allowed to deteriorate. The fishing pier was closed, falling apart from lack of maintainance. A chain link fence with a locked gate greeted you when you aproached the pier. What reall pisses me off though? The overgrown weeds, the broken wood that was once the pier railing scattered on the ground behind the fence along with a collection bof broken bottles and beer cans mixed in with the weeds and rotting boards, no effort at all to keep things tidy. If my yard looked like that Code enforcement would fine me into bankruptcy.

Without a doubt it saved the city some money, but it was by depriving kids and retirees alike their place to fish. Could that be the source of the money that the mayor and council tapped to give themselves the generous retirement benefits, obscene raise, and a medical plan fit for a king? Even Monkette wonders that. She's planning on working on some council campaigns for the city's May elections, campaigns to get some new caring people into office, people working for the citizens of North Miami, not people just lining there own pockets. Go for it, Monkette! You did a great job running Mayor Kevin Burns' campaign two years ago. Too bad the city charter won't let him run for a third consecutive term.

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