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Vote ‘yes’ for a new and improved Miami Gardens

Oliver Gilbert | 4/3/2014, 9 a.m.

As we move our community forward we must find a way to substantially reduce crime and create a city where residents and visitors, business owners and business patrons feel safe. We can do that by investing in opportunities for our children and restating our commitment to public safety.

THE PLAN

The City Council is presenting voters with the City’s first General Obligation Bond (GOB). The bond will allow us to redevelop the City’s parks to provide activities beyond athletics, by including facilities that focus on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, hospitality, art, and entertainment; as well as sports offerings that are not traditionally offered in predominantly minority communities like dance, boxing, martial arts, and gymnastics. We will also have a dedicated Senior Center, so that our seniors are never displaced in an effort to provide opportunities for our children.

To augment our police force, we will invest in technology that allows law enforcement to have an expanded presence throughout the city. This will include law enforcement surveillance cameras being deployed throughout the city.

THE PURPOSE

We are investing in opportunities for our children on parks so that we can give our children activities to participate in so that they can stay out of trouble. Idle hands really are the devils play thing; so let’s occupy their hands with telescopes and computers. Let’s occupy their time with things that will help them build a future and sculpt a life.

We are investing in technology and surveillance cameras because never again should a criminal drive on our streets with the purpose of visiting evil upon us, safe in the notion that they won’t be caught. They need to know that we are watching. We will catch them and they will go away. This technology has helped decrease violent crime in other places and it will help here.

THE PRICE

The general obligation bond is for $60 million. That’s $46.28 per year for the average Miami Gardens homeowner; that’s less than a dollar a week; less than .13 cents a day. That’s less than a cup of coffee and candy bar; a gallon of gas or a video game. And it is most certainly cheaper to treasure humanity than the cost of burying our babies and incarcerating our future.

THE PROCESS

Ballots will be mailed to every registered voter in Miami Gardens on April 1. I’m asking that you vote yes and return your ballot. No postage is necessary; just drop it in the mail.

The difficult task of moving a community forward has often fallen to other people, this time the task is ours and we won’t fail. The trying times that we experience will not be our history. Our history will be how we endure and overcome them. we will move forward.

Oliver Gilbert is Mayor of The City of Miami Gardens