Advertising in Parks? Do we want it?

This week we learned that some Miami-Dade county commissioners want to change the county charter so that they can sell advertising in county parks. They have scheduled a meeting to consider this on August 26 at 11:00 a.m.

The UEL thinks that Parks are an important part of Miami-Dade County not only because they provide areas for recreation, but because they are places where residents can escape the pressures of urban life and find some peace. A vibrant, well-supported parks department is a vital part of our community.

Should we open our parks up for advertising in order to raise revenue? Parks are exactly the kinds of amenities that should be supported by the whole community (through property taxes) because we all benefit from their existence. A $20 addition to annual property tax per household would completely make up for the budget deficit in park maintenance. Changing the charter to allow advertising would be a short-term way to raise revenue, but with long-term negative consequences.

The UEL opposes any proposals that would litter our parks with advertising. During the great depression, our government responded by building more parks and creating jobs. We think it does not make any sense now — during our own economic downturn — to lease our parks away to advertisers.

Readers, what do you think?

P.S. Dan Paul, who recently passed away, was the father of Amendment 7 in the County Charter, it was called “The Dan Paul Amendment.” This is the Amendment that will be threatened on August 26th. The charter change would not only change policy in County Parks, it would change policy for most City parks as well.

We are proud to say that Dan Paul was a longtime member of the Urban Environment League Board of Advisors.

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Eye on Miami wrote about this same subject: I thought I would share an exchange with a reader by the blogger:

    Sig said…

    I guess you would rather we pay heavy admission and parking fees than put up a sign at the park. That way parks can keep out the riff raff and be the exclusive territory of the rich.

    August 16, 2010
    Delete
    Blogger Geniusofdespair said…

    Sig: You are not a sheep, repeat that to yourself. Don't let them dictate your choices to you.

    No. Parks are one of the fundamental services that the government should supply to its citizens. We paid for the land, we pay taxes for the upkeep. A nominal entrance fee of a couple of dollars I can live with. But, you should think long term Sig. Look at other cities, like New York and Atlanta. No ads. Once you start something it keeps snowballing. This would be a bad precedent to start. I have been fighting to keep development out of parks for 15 years. This isn't the first assault. Parks are one of the only places people can bond with nature. Putting advertising in them would only defeat their purpose. One small sign will turn into 3 or 4 or…more.

    It is not always an either or decision. You have to stand up and say: NOT ONE OR THE OTHER. Stop being a sheep and letting them box you in to choices you shouldn't have to make. Don't lecture me, tell the commissioners neither choice is good for you. Here is an idea, each of the commissioners will have a lot of money after their campaigns, why don't they donate them to the park's department instead of funding the people who put them in office. Why should the LBA get money when parks are underfunded. Why should Seijas be funded to travel to Warsaw, when we can't provide people with cheap park entrance fees? Don't be a putz.

    August 16, 2010

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