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.