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Liberty City: Residents feel area “forsaken” and forgotten”

Funds designated for the district not spent to enhance the community

Gigi Tinsley | 9/12/2013, 11:34 a.m.

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Dr. Mae Christian, Liberty City resident

Since the beginning of August, residents in the Liberty City area have called The Times voicing their concerns about shabby appearance of many of the homes, public and private buildings, parks and businesses within their boundaries. [The area called Liberty City territorially begins at approximately 40th street on the south side to 79th street on the north and from 6th avenue  on the east to up to 19th avenue on the west.  Many Miami-Dade County citizens refer to any area between 40th street on the south, 79th street on the north, 7th avenue on the east to 27th on the west as Liberty City-but it isn’t.]

“I believe that something is going on that does not have our [residents of Liberty City] best interest at heart,” Fred Philpot said. “When the Public Works Department is called to come out to our area to make repairs, it takes days and weeks for them to show up. It’s not that way in Coral Gables, Aventura, Brickell and other affluent communities in the County. Are the powers-that-be  trying to let this area totally fall to the gutter so that they  and/or their friends can purchase the properties for pennies on the dollar?”

Dr. Mae Christian, a Liberty City resident who serves on the Model City Community Action Board said, “I feel that the home owners as well as the concerned renters are totally being disrespected, period. Funds allocated for this community has been recaptured and is being allocated for other projects in other districts. That is totally unfair. There’s no political accountability for the way Liberty City is being treated.  Nationally, this city is identified as the most suffering city in America.  Our politicians need to be held more accountable for their actions or lack of,” Christian added.

Mrs. Curry [she asked that her first name not be used] agreed with what the others said. And added, “People are losing the family homes and those who purchase those homes don’t live in this area. They rent the newly purchased homes out to folks who don’t care about keeping up the property. So you see we are getting the sharp end of the stick from both sides. The third negative we have to deal with is the Public Works Dept.”

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Henry Goa, Retired M-DCPS Region Superintendent

Henry Goa, a retired M-DCPS region III superintendent echoed the sentiments of other homeowners and said, “We need the Code Enforcement Department to do their jobs in our community as they do in others. I don’t know how the police officers never see anything wrong in our area besides a shooting. We have numerous abandoned houses that need to be maintained and their yards landscaped. Do what they do in other areas-levy fines against the homeowners. If they don’t pay the taxes, assume control of the properties.”

Marge Baker said, “I moved into this community in 1964 and the area was a nice place to live back then. Now we have drainage problems, lights constantly out on 10th and 12th avenues and some of the worst streets in the County. I have also noticed that lately, a lot of Hispanics have moved into the area and brought with them a lot of chickens. So now, early in the morning, we have to listen to the crowing of roosters.”

Moselle H. Rackard, a retired retail manager and homeowner since 1959 said, “Hopefully, we will be able to get someone in the political arena to help us upgrade this area. Thirty and forty years ago, this was a beautiful community but now we look like a third world country. The homeowners can only do so much. It takes the usage of our tax-dollars to keep an area looking attractive and in this area very few dollars are spent on upkeep. We have too many empty houses, unkept yards, and folk in the Code Enforcement Department, not doing their jobs. We are not going to give our homes away so the next best thing to do is treat us fairly and do what is right for Liberty City.”