Key Biscayne voters said ‘not so fast’ to Charter Amendments

What did our recent Key Biscayne election reveal? First, the mayor and Council victors were those who favored the Charter Amendment revisions, yet those Charter Amendments flamed out in defeat.

I in no way believe the voters were ill informed, sloppy or dumb. Quite the opposite. I believe the voters read the Vision Plan, in detail, all 202 pages, and grasped the full scope of what has been put on the table. They said, "not so fast.’ We need more information. A whole lot more information.

They asked a few questions, such as:

1. What exact item on the Vision Plan are we talking about?

2. Where are the engineering reports?

3. How much is this item going to cost, out the door?

4 What are the ongoing legacy costs of these steps?

5. What are the alternatives, and what would doing nothing look like?

6. Where has this engineering work previously been carried out on a barrier island in the United States? I have not been able to locate one, other than two-story shopping centers in the Galveston area shown in the Vision Plan.

The defeat of most of the Charter Amendments on November 8 was not a mistake, nor were these votes made by an uninformed electorate. The Vision Plan is a bucket list, created by seven hand-selected individuals, written by a consulting firm, and it is in no way cast in stone.

The Vision Plan reminds me of my monthly copy of Architectural Digest. I see a lovely photo of an upholstered sofa. I love it until I look at the price of $30,000. Maybe I do not need it that much. All monetary decisions have an opportunity cost. When we do Project A, what opportunities do we give up?

The electorate on Key Biscayne has clearly decided to ask a lot of questions. They are saying we are going to do a deep dive. Asking questions is always good. Not so fast.

William R. Stiles


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