The Miami City Commission on March 27 is indeed where folks need to be present and speak up. Something is seriously flawed when a resource of this kind cannot be saved for future generations. This compromising of our natural and historic resources did not come about because the majority of the community wished it to be so. The community spoke clearly and publicly at the HEPB meeting, before a panel of experts in a standard legal process.
To attempt to circumvent and suppress the HEPB’s decision by a closed-door mediation session with only selected participants with no real constituted authority to negotiate away parts of the archaeological site (“a non-renewable resource” in the most literal sense), with no Native American representation or involvement in that process (much less approval of it) cannot be given the same credit or credibility as the HEPB process.
For the Internet and the news media to buzz with headlines of “Settlement Reached” only compounds the error further, perhaps in hopes that, like the “Big Lie” theory, if something is shouted long enough and loud enough it becomes truth in the minds of the people.
We ALL, the developers included, owe ourselves more and better than that. We might simply ask a simple question: Which will be the more valuable legacy to our future generations: Yet another “upscale” hotel, movie theater, and retail complex that has destroyed much of an archaeological site, or the site preserved intact and in situ, with the complex built intelligently and respectfully around it?
The legacy we pass on is not just the final product (which is almost incidental), but even more importantly the ability and willingness to make wise and caring decisions that are driven by values and principles more reasoned than just “the bottom line at the end of the day” for a few of us.