I have been on vacation from work for the last two weeks. We have not gone anywhere far just to the museums, to the beaches for walks and fishing and some camping. We came to the conclusion that it would cost a small fortune to drive somewhere with the gas prices so high. We did plan on a short road trip but providence intervened. We went to Thrifty Car Rental to rent a car for several days but now the company has a new policy were they run a credit check. Well, to make a long story shorter we were denied since our credit score is under 720.
That reset our plans. Well the first place we decided to go was to the Parrot Jungle. Then we got hit with the price. $27.95 for adults and $22.95 for children. So the cost for a family of 5 cost $125.00 plus parking! Compare that to the MetroZoo which cost us just around $45.00 or the Museum of Discovery and Science in Ft. Lauderdale which cost around $40.00 and that includes an IMAX theatre movie.
I bring this up not to complain but to question exactly what is being done with hard earned tax dollars and how they are being invested. Today I get this email from Steve Hagan saying that the City of Miami was paying 80% of the loan given to P.J. It reads:
Before Miami rushes into paying 80% of the defaulted loan on Parrot Jungle, I would like to know what person actually signed the contract with HUD and wasn’t the Levin organization suppose to be creating something like 400 or more new jobs? Where are the jobs? What did the tax payers get on this deal? Isn’t there supposed to be program income from this subsidized project coming back to the city and or county on top of loan repayments? We need a full audit.
Both the city and County need to take a big deep breath before we move ahead on any more projects which involve our precious public land or tax dollars and that includes tabling the idea of Museum Park which was cooked up behind closed doors by City Commissioners, two of which are no longer at the dais and which does not ion any manner address the input of 300 charette participants.
After the entire Housing Authority Theft Ring was exposed maybe the time has come that every organization that receives tax dollars allocated by the Commission should come under scrutiny.
And so this brings me back to the Parrot Jungle. Who do they think is going to pay that much money to visit? Somewhere along the line there must be too many “middle men” or high placed theives getting a cut of that admisssion price. And why is it so high? They are using public land, using public tax dollars but they price the average family out of the establishment. Whether by design or by providence this establishment can not survive by overpricing its product. In the long run it’s the market that will decide- not black budget blank checks written by the Miami Commiss.
On another note:====================================================================>
(Amended) Meeting Announcement
Miami-Dade County Housing Policies and Programs
The South Florida Community Development Coalition is sponsoring two public meetings regarding Miami-Dade County’s affordable housing policies and programs.
Note: THE DATE FOR THE SOUTH DADE MEETING HAS CHANGED – (see below)
George Burgess, the County Manager, will be in attendance at both meetings. Also in attendance will be Cynthia Curry the Interim Director of the Miami-Dade Housing Agency (MDHA) and other senior MDHA members. The two meetings are as follows:
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 at 7 pm
Joseph Caleb Center
5400 NW 22nd Avenue
Thursday, August 17, 2006 at 7 pm
South Dade Government Center
Meeting Room – 2nd floor
10710 SW 211 Street
The purpose of the meetings is to give citizens an opportunity ask questions and to provide input on the County’s housing policy and the implementation of its affordable housing programs. All aspects of the County’s policies are open for discussion. Everyone wishing to speak will be given an opportunity. Written comments will be welcomed and accepted and given to Ms. Curry.