Privatization of the Rickenbacker Causeway is an admission of failure

Some say convincing a majority on the Board of County Commission that Key Biscayne (perceived) wealthy elitist should be given a public cash cow for their private driveway is going to be tough.

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Just a difficult is to expect the Board of County Commissioners to be overly empathic to subsidizing low tolls for the same wealthy residents, but in reality, the P3 process is the same, gifting a revenue producing public resource to well-connected group of wealthy investors with the only universal certainty being tolls will rise dramatically for everyone.

Taking a larger view, privatization of the Rickenbacker Causeway is an admission of failure on the part of our government and the resulting private toll is a regressive tax on the thousands of largely service industry workers which depend on the causeway and the hundreds of thousands of visitors which come here regularly for the unique recreational opportunities, not to mention paid for mostly by a core group of daily commuters

The causeway is public infrastructure and carries everyone rich and poor on and off the key, the same way sewer systems are public infrastructure carrying everyone's waste. As Commissioner Raquel Regalado likes to point out in her famous sewer-for-all presentations, the public should not have to pay a premium for access to its infrastructure.

Lastly the inevitable “development” of the scenic causeway will ruin the very thing which makes it scenic. Is there a public outcry for a bike-tourist-bathroom-information-souvenir Zshop on Hobie beach?

Once the vista is gone it’s gone forever. And even if this generation of politicians manages to hold this generation of the Z-developers in check there is no telling what 80 years holds. Leopards don't change their spots.

Profit and tax revenue are always a far more powerful force than private stewardship of the public vistas

Remember: It was only after developers tore down the iconic New Yorker hotel on south beach was the preservation movement born. Will it only be after Rickenbacker is lost to private hands will we realize the Miami-Dade bastardized version of a P3 process sucks?

And don't get me started on the Parks as the oversight board, the only reason they are project managers for this mess is they do what they are told and will leverage the public's good will towards Parks to promote whatever foolishness the county comes up (with like private basketball arenas and baseball stadiums)

This process has turned into a loose cannon.

#killzplan now…

Charles Collins


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