Three Dumb Ways the City of Miami Is Trying to Avoid Bankruptcy: Red-Light Cameras, Billboards, and Sarnoff's Little Sacrifice
|Sarnoff will work without pay for an entire month|
Today the city commission will take its final vote on whether to allow sky-high electronic billboards to pop up in downtown. The two mega-LED billboards would sit atop a proposed parking garage built by developer Marc Siffin. All in all, they'll be about 50 stories high, or as tall as the building across the street (which should be great for the property value of those Venetia Condominiums, because who doesn't want to look out their window and see unavoidable, blaring advertising?). The garage and two vertical billboards will sit behind the Boulevard Shops on Biscayne Boulevard, across NE 14th Street from the Arsht Center's Knight Concert Hall. The revenues would generate millions of dollars for Siffin and his proposed retail development.
Then there are red-light cameras. They're already annoying drivers in Miami Beach and parts of Broward, and they'll soon come to Miami. The city has been talking about jumping on the trend since 2008, and a police spokeswoman tells the Miami Herald they should be up and running by the end of the year. They could generate millions of dollars for the city, but there's some concern that Miami's relatively poor citizens could take the brunt of the annoying fees.
Then, of course, there's Commissioner Marc Sarnoff's latest publicity stunt. He'll work for free. Not for an entire year, or the rest of his term, mind you, but for just the month of August. That'll save the city about $5,000, or a whopping 0.00005 percent of the budget hole. Way to take one for the team, big guy. Of course, the ability to get to crow about your sacrifice during your next election should be priceless.