Commissioner Michael Grieco What’s Been Happening
“It is not more bigness that should be our goal. We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to…the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility…and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives and their children’s future.”
It is with a heavy heart that I send this update, as we all have those who have died in Orlando on our minds and in our hearts. Keeping matters germane to our city, I hope that one of the things that emerges from this tragedy is perspective. Since my election in 2013 I have seen many take public discourse to a level it does not need to go, and after times like these I look forward to a future that holds more constructive dialogue and less divisive rhetoric. I believe that local government has a duty to bring people together and I will continue strive for consensus where it can be found. Below are some updates from the last few months….
Taking Back Control
of our Beaches
I assume by now you have seen my viral rant from Floatopia (if not, here is the video, viewed now over 700,000 times). The resulting outrage has paved the way for us to pass legislation that will provide the tools to protect our beaches and our residents’ quality of life. In addition to empowering the city manager to control crowds and behavior during unsanctioned high-impact events, I also sponsored legislation that will control the quality of the actual sand we use in the future. Lastly, with Memorial Day still a recent memory, I remind you that next year our city will be programming the weekend by hosting a military Air and Sea Show. My recent Op Ed regarding MDW can be read HERE.
North Beach Master Plan
After years of empty talk from leaders claiming to prioritize North Beach, the future of the northern third of our city is starting to take shape with the help of extensive public outreach and input. The photo links to the recent Herald article and the draft of the full plan can be found HERE.
Budget Season 2016
Since my election to the Commission, I have consistently and successfully advocated for the reduction of taxes both years while we expand services citywide. With another banner year of property value increases in 2016, I will again be pushing for a millage reduction while further trimming bureaucracy and focusing tax dollars where they belong. The pic links to my 2014 Op Ed on this issue and last year’s Herald coverage is HERE.
Keeping our Miami Beach Kids Safe(r)
As I do every year, even before politics, I presented to Miami Beach High Seniors the day before prom. The topic: impaired driving. During my 6+ years as a prosecutor I met with more grieving families than I could stomach, but no cases affected me more than the DUI Manslaughter cases, especially when there was a young victim. I value the ability to share these stories and maybe motivate one more kid to not drink/smoke and drive.
Illegal Short-Term Rentals
Prohibited STRs, primarily fueled by the proliferation of AirBnB listings, have obvious negative impacts on residential quality of life, tourism and safety. With huge deterrent and punitive measures already in place, the time has come to increase enforcement and supplement investigative strategies. Commissioner Michael Grieco office recently sponsored a budget item that will fund a task force specifically geared towards this battle. The pic links to a recent Local 10 piece on our efforts.
LGBTQ Pride 2016
With another record turnout and a relentless schedule culminating in the parade of all parades, this year’s Pride week again stood out as one of the defining events of the year in Miami Beach. While we now celebrate the universal right to marry, we obviously still have a great deal of work ahead of us. Whether it be workplace discrimination, the inability to donate blood or violent hatred, I stand with my brothers and sisters.
Our First Open “Mike” Night
In our first installment of our traveling Town Hall, we focused our energies on Mid-Beach. From Dade Blvd to 63rd Street, the center of our city faces unique traffic and quality of life issues. From Collins Park to La Gorce, we heard from dozens of residents, many of whom were new faces to the process. South and North Beach meetings in the fall…
After much protracted debate, the proposed height increase in Sunset Harbour (top rendering) was withdrawn, as myself and Commissioner Rosen-Gonzalez maintained our opposition to this arguable spot zoning. The bottom photo, which is the current proposal at the Miami Beach Marina, may still earn my support when more resident input and impacts are considered and vetted.
Reaffirming City Policy
Some may remember the healthy public debate that occurred some months back on the consulate issue. With the discussion sometimes heated, sometimes personal, I am happy that my colleagues and I have seen past the rhetoric and compartmentalized the matter. Link to Herald article is Here, and my speech is linked to the pic.
I could not be more proud to have spearheaded this potential lifesaving project. PulsePoint is a mobile application that allows the user to receive notifications when a cardiac arrest is occurring within 1/2 a mile, enabling them to assist even before fire-rescue can get there. I encourage everyone to download and use it, as it also allows the user to actively monitor all MBFR calls for service. You can download PulsePoint here and the pic links to coverage of the launch.
As we do every month, we danced and laughed with our elders. Mostly Mother’s Day events this spring, but last week Commissioner Michael Grieco was surprised with a small gift from my neighbors across the street in Rebecca Towers. One of the best parts of this gig is when some of our most vulnerable residents treat me like family. The feeling is mutual.
Every year I accept as many invitations as I can from our school feeder pattern to talk to students about being an attorney and a Commissioner. This year was no exception, as I was also lucky enough to have my son be a part of the crowd.
Paddling for a Cause
So I get a call on a Friday, right after completing interviews about short-term rentals, and it’s City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell advising me that I will be stand-up paddle boarding in a relay race with his colleagues Francis Suarez and Frank Carollo the following day. Two problems: 1) he didn’t actually ask, just kind of told me and 2) I’d never paddle boarded before. He’s just lucky it was for a good cause because I hate losing and I did not know Billy Corben was emceeing.
Commissioner Michael Grieco I admit that the first time this idea was pitched to me I was optimistically skeptical, but both times have been great successes. The concept of shutting down a road from vehicles in a city with traffic congestion may seem counter-intuitive, but our transportation priorities start with pedestrians and bicycles and celebrating the non-motorized is certainly something I wish to continue (maybe 2x a year).