Mayor Mike Davey
“Their transportation plan fell apart from the get go when they had to get people off and that’s what we were worried about…it was a disaster. They made changes but for us I think our staff did an incredible job, the manager and the chiefs did an excellent job of being ready and having assets in place and ready for any situation. I don’t think we ever saw a reduction of service but that’s because we had everybody on and over $50,000 dollars in overtime costs incurred.
Virginia Key is not the right place for Ultra it can’t handle that many people it shouldn’t be there. They need a better place with better access for Key Biscayne. It was a negative…the cost of public safety personnel on stand by and residents had to make changes in their lives. For some people with small businesses that had to get on and off the key it was a problem.
Anecdotally the restaurants weren’t chuck full and that’s a problem. The state and county parks were at fifty percent of capacity and Sunday even less and that has a direct effect on the village. They pay money in town and tax payers have a right to access their parks and they couldn’t because of a for profit event.
The kids at the yacht club had a sailing program that was cancelled over the weekend because of concerns about safety. Nothing against Ultra, the concert goers were good people who wanted to enjoy their music, we aren’t anti-Ultra. We are just not in favor of Ultra on Virginia Key.
On April 9th we will sit up on the dais and come to an understanding on how to proceed.”
Vice Mayor Allison McCormick
“While I wait for the promised information regarding metrics around traffic delays and the environmental impacts, I do have a few initial thoughts.
First, I am so proud of our Village - proud of the Manager, the Chiefs, all of our public safety team and staff for their unbelievable dedication and hard work, and proud of all of our residents and small businesses for confronting these challenges with a great attitude.
Second, while I was glad to see Miami Mayor Suarez's comments that Ultra on Virginia Key in 2020 is not a done deal without major changes, I was equally as disappointed to read on-line that Ultra's media director already has confirmed a return to the same location next year.
I'd like to think that everyone is operating in good faith and that no decisions have been made, but we can't just wait to see. Frankly, it's time for us to go to work...”
Councilmember Brett Moss
“It seemed like a ghost town. I will be very interested to see how the businesses did…one gas station said that business was down and I’m guessing folks didn’t go to the parks like they usually do. I did see a lot of videos and pictures of the chaos that was happening on the tip and into the key...U turns on the grass, people crossing the causeway from one side to the other in between cars.
I think this proved the point that this is not the venue for an event this size, it just can’t be controlled. I don’t know how you move that number of people safely and orderly off Virginia Key. It doesn’t make any sense.
I’m hoping the county and city of Miami see that this was a failure and this location cannot hold an event of this size. They need to find a better place for it. Even the people who attended were upset about walking back late at night to their hotel...with very little clothes on.
It all comes down to its just too big and they can’t handle this type of crowd in this place. I went to a lot of music festivals when I was in college and they were always done on farms, an old air force base…where (concertgoers) would sleep in their tents or in the back of the car and they were happy about it. But when you are forcing them to move like that every day…and the tree that caught on fire, it’s just not the best place for it.
It doesn’t make sense and what happened was embarrassing. The transportation plan should not have been approved, it was a failed MOT.
We (council) are going to be working on this, we have to look at our next options and make sure they (city) will come to their senses and figure this out.”
Councilmember Luis Lauredo
“Massive disruption for three days in the lives of citizens of Brickell, Key Biscayne, and working families from all over Miami who could not enjoy their public beaches on the weekend…it is outrageous.
And all to facilitate private promoters to make enormous profits.
Good public policy puts people first, not profits for a few.
Ultra does not belong in peaceful Virginia Key. We will work hard to make this the one and only time.”
Councilmember Katie Petros
“I was here all weekend and I think it’s a little early to know what the stakeholders in the event felt about it…the city of Miami and Dade County. From a village standpoint the noise did not seem to be an issue.
Traffic the first day seemed to not be a problem …the problems came from the closing every night, then blocking off roads which impacted our residents. I think we don’t know the environmental impacts.
I was surprised how well the sound was mitigated. It did not travel while it was going on. I had no problem Saturday and Sunday early day travel. A lot of people left or chose not to travel in and out.
I still have a strong belief it would definitely be better if it was placed elsewhere but we have to wait and see how the impact was felt elsewhere. Also our village administration worked around the clock…they were front and center during the whole thing.
It as a tremendous burden for the people that work in the village and I appreciate the effort they put in on their end.”
Councilmember Ignacio Segurola
“I had to leave Key Biscayne because if we didn’t leave my son wouldn’t have made it to his prom in Doral so we were gone for the weekend and got back Sunday.
I think I’ve been pretty clear and consistent w my opinion, Ultra does not belong on Virginia Key.
I am sure the city and Ultra will try to put the best spin possible on how things played out but it is clear that it was a total disaster. Thank God no one was killed or seriously hurt…that we know of as yet.
But there is no way to pass off what happened as a success. In my mind if there was ever any doubt what the limit of an event on Virginia Key was, this one surpassed it.
My whole plan of action into the future is going to be to engage the city and county, Ultra and any other vendor interested in having an event at Virginia Key. There will be limits and parameters that have to be met otherwise we need to do anything we can to stop it.”
Councilmember Ed London