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#1 Mel Miller

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 08:41 AM

There has been a significant reduction in the usage of dinnerkey.com as a communication medium by the intended community.
There are approximately 1000 boats in the city owned waters between the two parks and an increasing number in dry storage. Since dinnerkey.com also addresses issues that affect non-boat owning interests, the potential size of the participating contributors should exceed 1000. A review of the last postings on the various discussion topics demonstrates that current usage is in the order of 0.1%, although site visit and anecdotal data indicate site awareness in the order of 50%.
The problem is not lack of interest in the issues. Topics that have produced significant attendance at study public meetings and meetings of the WAB and City Commission now produce very little activity on this site. I suggest that the problem is site perception.
Almost all of the postings are well known views of a very few contributors. Over time, even these contributors have stopped commenting on each other’s postings, so the value of this site as a means of expressing their views has diminished for even these very few.
The continuation of the site is testament to the determination of the administrator, which is not surprising to those of us who have witnessed his crusade on behalf of the anchorage users. However, a little more emphasis on site growth and a little less emphasis on using the site to push certain viewpoints might produce more site visits and active usage.

#2 dinnerkeyadmin

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:44 AM

Mel,

Points well taken. Part of the "problem" on my end is simply that business is good. I'm frequently out of town and have had to exchange some of my "crusading" for income-producing opportunities. Having a child will certainly catalyze some of those priorities.

That said, I've continued to do my work on behalf of the waterfront along with a few others like Andrew Marshall and Michelle Neimeyer who have remained dedicated to a better waterfront through public processes.

There are some who refuse to participate because they see my tactics as "obstructionist." To these folks I can only answer that there are some who feel that Gods and Governments are there to remove the burdens of having to participate, develop independent viewpoints and actively shape the world they live in. If we simply resolve not to question the ominipotent, we don't have to do any work and the messes are always either someone else's fault or the will of some higher power who knows best. Even "good" ideas are a bad idea, in my opinion, if they are developed through circumvention of public input. Disagree? Let's duke it out here on the forums. I'll take my lumps here in public. Loser buys winner a beer.

There are others who won't appear here because they are afraid of political fallout. I actually had members of the waterfront advisory board tell me they wouldn't post because they were afraid of the impact it might have on their jobs. Imagine having a boss who would fire a volunteer to a City Board if they actually expressed their opinion or engaged the public. Maybe they're afraid the commissioner who appointed them doesn't really want their real opinion?

Speaking of the Waterfront Advisory Board, they passed a unanimous resolution to use this site to communicate with the public, and for a while, people were asking questions of them and looking to this site for posted agendas. Wonder what happened to that?

Then we have the Coconut Grove Sailing Club which has a well-meaning Board of Directors who unfortunately have taken the position that it's acceptable for them to have a policy of passive appeasement when it comes to the City commission. They have not availed themselves of the public processes through which they might protest the City's plans to install a mooring field where their current moorings are. It's an admittedly tight situation, but when citizens fear the politcians who supposedly work for them and represent their interests, they grant them absolute power. When the City finally states formally that there will be no new lease, the Club's attorney's will have no documented objections or refusals to hear input with which to fight the case. (By the way, there's still a way to knock this field out, but I'll see if anyone who represents the Club wants to contact me for info, and risk pissing off the City by making a publlic statement of opinion.)

I put this site up as a community service. Sure, I use it to inform people and to state my own positions, but it's not my site. Anyone with an opinion can use this site for any waterfront-related purpose. Whenever the people are ready, they have a place to conduct meetings, vote on ideas, make plans, hold discussions and debates and coordinate gatherings. I can only show the horse the water.

Ultimately, what will happen is the same thing that always happens. Some "secret" City Plan will be revealed because the rates will suddenly change, the property will suddenly belong to someone else, the barge and crane will suddenly appear, the money will go to a few scumbags, or some other vehicle of immediate change will arrive on the scene - probably while a group of activists are working on a "master plan" that encompasses the same facilities that are about to get paved. At that point, people will gather with torches to make a lot of noise and be ignored by the press, and then the matter will fade away. Even those who support mooring fields or fuel docks will win a hollow victory if their favorite projects come to fruition through fascist processes.

I have my own issues with City projects and their processes, but I'm as happy to fight my battles as an individual citizen through the processes promised me in the City Charter and the State and Federal Constitutions. I'd challenge anyone to come up with a compelling reason why I should abdicate those rights in favor of a "City knows best" philosophy, but there are plenty of people who either don't care, have no opinion, are afraid to speak their minds, are shy about speaking in public, are afraid that practicing democracy will get them fired, are technologically challenged or wish to avail themselves of the infinite number of reasons not to be an active participant in democracy.

The absence of City and State agencies on this site (though some are at least passive members who read what's going on) is indicative of the reluctance of Government on many levels to dialogue with their constituent stakeholders. However, it appears that the general public is just as willing to appear apathetic, and while that's unfortunate, it may be a truth worth revealing. It's easy to imagine how a government representative could be frustrated at having to bring public plans in front of a handful of whiners like me sitting in an empty room when it's clear that the overwhelming majority don't care enough to be present. Why hassle with all these public processes for a public who doesn't care?

I won't be so arrogant as to frame my assertions in a context that implies that anyone who doesn't post here doesn't care. There are other venues and other people who act as social and political forward-thinkers through their own methods -and all are to be applauded. However, "what's wrong with this site" (aside from the fact that it now has so much information in it that it's gotten cluttered ) is that not enough people in our community have seen the value of a central meeting place and a good debate. The email telegraph is working away (and I get 59 emails daily about Grove-related agendas), but the dialogue and debate is where the real problems are identified and the real solutions are found. Email doesn't do that.

When the people are ready - either because they're staring at a surprise bulldozer, or because there is enough dialog to develop a critical mass, dinnerkey.com will be there. For now, it's a place to create a library of documents, refusals to provide information, deeds and leases and public opinions. Maybe in 20 years when somebody proposes that all the concrete be dug up and water put back in the Bay, this site will provide a useful of archive of material that will help that happen?

Thanks, Mel for staying on board all this time. Be patient and don't jump ship.

Brick

#3 Mel Miller

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 02:41 PM

Brick
I always enjoy reading the inputs of Andrew and Michelle, but you are clearly the most gifted contributor to this site. In addition, my scorecard rates you as the most effective.
Andrew is good a pointing out the human and institutional failings of city personnel, but I haven't observed any of them to change as a result of this information. Michelle is trying to accomlish change through actiivism, a process that has not enjoyed great success in Miami. You have used a fine mind and an unusual ability to communicate to delay significantly change that I beleve to be inevitable. You task is easier than that chosen by Andrew or Michelle, but that does not diminish the luster of your accomplishmens.

That said, I respectfully note that almost the entirety of your reply deals with your reasons for taking passionate positons rather than with the slow demise of this site. If this site is primarily the place where you and Andrew and Michelle sound off, why would you expect WAB members (other than Jack,who may be as much of a masochist as me), city officials, or relatively uninformed citizens to take on the gifted advocates?

I understand your hope that the next crisis will cause everyone to turn to this site. In my opinion, the probability of that is decreasing. Over the last two decades, there has been a perceived crisis about evey two years. I have participated (sometimes very tangentally) in the solution of about half of these. Each time, the greatest obstacle to reaching a solution was to find a consensus among the affected parties, most of whom had very passionate feelings and not much information. I had hoped that this site would provide a means for reaching a consensus on pending issues, or at least a means for providing balanced information. I am disappointed, but will continue to check in.

Having gently admonished you for advocating, I shall now advocate. The boaters who use the City's waters are a very small minority with very little political weight. Politics is the process used to choose those who will decide in a representative democracy. The elected officials and City employees act rationally, if not always to your liking, and the continued suggestion that they should act othewise is not useful.

There is no great democratic ideal at stake in exactly how many moorings, of exactly what nature, are available immediately east or south of Dinner Key, or what rates are charged for what slips or services, or what color is best for the plastic decking at the marina. These are small issues for the folks elected and hired to deal with the City's many problems, although I reconise their signficant import to us. It is my experience that solutions flow from the mutual recognition of the perception of the problem's import to the parties at dispute, and that claiming a higher moral ground is both wrong and counter productive.

But I love the way you write.
Mel


QUOTE(dinnerkeyadmin @ Jun 14 2006, 02:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mel,

Points well taken. Part of the "problem" on my end is simply that business is good. I'm frequently out of town and have had to exchange some of my "crusading" for income-producing opportunities. Having a child will certainly catalyze some of those priorities.

That said, I've continued to do my work on behalf of the waterfront along with a few others like Andrew Marshall and Michelle Neimeyer who have remained dedicated to a better waterfront through public processes.

There are some who refuse to participate because they see my tactics as "obstructionist." To these folks I can only answer that there are some who feel that Gods and Governments are there to remove the burdens of having to participate, develop independent viewpoints and actively shape the world they live in. If we simply resolve not to question the ominipotent, we don't have to do any work and the messes are always either someone else's fault or the will of some higher power who knows best. Even "good" ideas are a bad idea, in my opinion, if they are developed through circumvention of public input. Disagree? Let's duke it out here on the forums. I'll take my lumps here in public. Loser buys winner a beer.

There are others who won't appear here because they are afraid of political fallout. I actually had members of the waterfront advisory board tell me they wouldn't post because they were afraid of the impact it might have on their jobs. Imagine having a boss who would fire a volunteer to a City Board if they actually expressed their opinion or engaged the public. Maybe they're afraid the commissioner who appointed them doesn't really want their real opinion?

Speaking of the Waterfront Advisory Board, they passed a unanimous resolution to use this site to communicate with the public, and for a while, people were asking questions of them and looking to this site for posted agendas. Wonder what happened to that?

Then we have the Coconut Grove Sailing Club which has a well-meaning Board of Directors who unfortunately have taken the position that it's acceptable for them to have a policy of passive appeasement when it comes to the City commission. They have not availed themselves of the public processes through which they might protest the City's plans to install a mooring field where their current moorings are. It's an admittedly tight situation, but when citizens fear the politcians who supposedly work for them and represent their interests, they grant them absolute power. When the City finally states formally that there will be no new lease, the Club's attorney's will have no documented objections or refusals to hear input with which to fight the case. (By the way, there's still a way to knock this field out, but I'll see if anyone who represents the Club wants to contact me for info, and risk pissing off the City by making a publlic statement of opinion.)

I put this site up as a community service. Sure, I use it to inform people and to state my own positions, but it's not my site. Anyone with an opinion can use this site for any waterfront-related purpose. Whenever the people are ready, they have a place to conduct meetings, vote on ideas, make plans, hold discussions and debates and coordinate gatherings. I can only show the horse the water.

Ultimately, what will happen is the same thing that always happens. Some "secret" City Plan will be revealed because the rates will suddenly change, the property will suddenly belong to someone else, the barge and crane will suddenly appear, the money will go to a few scumbags, or some other vehicle of immediate change will arrive on the scene - probably while a group of activists are working on a "master plan" that encompasses the same facilities that are about to get paved. At that point, people will gather with torches to make a lot of noise and be ignored by the press, and then the matter will fade away. Even those who support mooring fields or fuel docks will win a hollow victory if their favorite projects come to fruition through fascist processes.

I have my own issues with City projects and their processes, but I'm as happy to fight my battles as an individual citizen through the processes promised me in the City Charter and the State and Federal Constitutions. I'd challenge anyone to come up with a compelling reason why I should abdicate those rights in favor of a "City knows best" philosophy, but there are plenty of people who either don't care, have no opinion, are afraid to speak their minds, are shy about speaking in public, are afraid that practicing democracy will get them fired, are technologically challenged or wish to avail themselves of the infinite number of reasons not to be an active participant in democracy.

The absence of City and State agencies on this site (though some are at least passive members who read what's going on) is indicative of the reluctance of Government on many levels to dialogue with their constituent stakeholders. However, it appears that the general public is just as willing to appear apathetic, and while that's unfortunate, it may be a truth worth revealing. It's easy to imagine how a government representative could be frustrated at having to bring public plans in front of a handful of whiners like me sitting in an empty room when it's clear that the overwhelming majority don't care enough to be present. Why hassle with all these public processes for a public who doesn't care?

I won't be so arrogant as to frame my assertions in a context that implies that anyone who doesn't post here doesn't care. There are other venues and other people who act as social and political forward-thinkers through their own methods -and all are to be applauded. However, "what's wrong with this site" (aside from the fact that it now has so much information in it that it's gotten cluttered ) is that not enough people in our community have seen the value of a central meeting place and a good debate. The email telegraph is working away (and I get 59 emails daily about Grove-related agendas), but the dialogue and debate is where the real problems are identified and the real solutions are found. Email doesn't do that.

When the people are ready - either because they're staring at a surprise bulldozer, or because there is enough dialog to develop a critical mass, dinnerkey.com will be there. For now, it's a place to create a library of documents, refusals to provide information, deeds and leases and public opinions. Maybe in 20 years when somebody proposes that all the concrete be dug up and water put back in the Bay, this site will provide a useful of archive of material that will help that happen?

Thanks, Mel for staying on board all this time. Be patient and don't jump ship.

Brick


#4 dinnerkeyadmin

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 09:48 AM

Mel,

Thanks for the kind words and apologies for the late reply. I have great respect for your writing and your powerful focus as well. See my comments below.

QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Jun 25 2006, 03:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I understand your hope that the next crisis will cause everyone to turn to this site. In my opinion, the probability of that is decreasing. Over the last two decades, there has been a perceived crisis about evey two years. I have participated (sometimes very tangentally) in the solution of about half of these. Each time, the greatest obstacle to reaching a solution was to find a consensus among the affected parties, most of whom had very passionate feelings and not much information. I had hoped that this site would provide a means for reaching a consensus on pending issues, or at least a means for providing balanced information. I am disappointed, but will continue to check in.


It's very easy for the people to bitch about Government. However, times have changed. Don't bitch about Government if you can't use a mouse. Don't bitch about Government if you can't make time to participate. Representative democracy is about people and it is the reponsibility of the people to be vigilant and hold their elected representatives to a standard where their wishes are facilitated and their political processes aren't circumvented. There are a handfull of people involved in upholding these ideals. Others have their reasons for not participating or for choosing other venues. However, to some extent, this site is a portrait of the community that it serves. Whatever the outcome of my personal efforts may be, nobody will have to look any further than this site 20 years from now when they wonder "how this could have happened" to such a great waterfront. As an individual citizen, I challenge Government to be fair and I exercise my rights. As the provider of this site, I challenge the community to get involved. Before this site, there was no tool for gathering consensus and debating the issues. Now it's here but nobody uses it. At least we can get past one excuse.

QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Jun 25 2006, 03:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Having gently admonished you for advocating, I shall now advocate. The boaters who use the City's waters are a very small minority with very little political weight. Politics is the process used to choose those who will decide in a representative democracy. The elected officials and City employees act rationally, if not always to your liking, and the continued suggestion that they should act othewise is not useful.


Respectfully, it may be rational to blast ahead with City plans when only a few people actually get involved with those processes. It may be rational to award no-bid contracts and withhold public information when you live in a City whose cookie jar has been raided so often that nobody really cares any more - but it's still wrong and it's still illegal. The fact of the matter is that boaters who live aboard and have no actual mailing address are politically crippled as they can't vote, but it begs the question of whether politicoes have a real right to govern people who have not had an opportunity to choose their representatives. If nothing else, there is an implied obligation to listen to stakeholders and weigh their input. My suggestions that my elected officials should represent people is hardly outrageous. In "the game," you win some and you lose some. I can handle a few losses but I have no tolerance for cheaters. I can handle development and planning that is not "to my liking," but I will not suffer having my rights violated, public information withheld and my guranteed processes denied. My dislikes have a guranteed place in the political process and I will see them overruled but not sidestepped.


QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Jun 25 2006, 03:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is no great democratic ideal at stake in exactly how many moorings, of exactly what nature, are available immediately east or south of Dinner Key, or what rates are charged for what slips or services, or what color is best for the plastic decking at the marina. These are small issues for the folks elected and hired to deal with the City's many problems, although I recognize their signficant import to us. It is my experience that solutions flow from the mutual recognition of the perception of the problem's import to the parties at dispute, and that claiming a higher moral ground is both wrong and counter productive.


Let me not wax philosophical about this. If the City wants to pave the docks with paper mache, install moorings from here to Bimini and charge outrageous prices for them, or build highrises in public parks, I think it's all fine as long as the plans and documents are made public, the requisite procedures for gathering and incorporating public input are adhered to, and the contractors are ultimately selected through some sort of competitive process. Whatever feelings I may have about the issues and whatever differences of opinion I may have from my neighbors are all part of a healthy political process. My feelings about dock color selection and whether or not there should be moorings are not really what I'm fighting for here.

The big picture here is that the City of Miami hides plans from stakeholders and refuses to provide information when those plans get discovered. When stakeholders want to participate, they get cut off.

Sadly, I'm not all that far from the City in how I feel about the anchorage. It needs to be cleaned up and managed as it's a mess and an eyesore. It doesn't fulfill the City's vision of what it could be and it doesn't fulfill my own. However, as part of a planning process, I would like to ask questions about the Deed restrictions that govern public use, and the actual historic use by the public. I would like to engage in a real discussion of how the City came to see this land as extending beyond the 6 foot water depth specified in the Deed. Moreover, I'd like to propose solutions for management, clean-up, maintenance and promotion that I believe would serve the needs of stakeholders, the law and the environment. I'd like to share some ideas about economic development that could bring some big dollars into our community. Then, I'd like to discuss those ideas with people like yourself, Jack King, Andrew Marshall, the community-at-large, and the City.

If the City cared about environmental cleanup, they would have done something long ago that was more effective than whining to FIND about how they need funding because DERM threatened to sue them in 1997 for environmental violations. (This alone should suggest that City is as negligent as the small minority of irresponsible boaters who are ruining the anchorage ).The City sees moorings as an opportunity to put $$$ directly into the General's fund. I'm not opoposed to the City earning money but supposedly, that's why we pay taxes. I believe there's a better path for waterfront / anchorage / mooring field development that will bring mega-$$$ directly into our community.

My gripe is that in order to get ideas heard and considered, I have to throw myself between the elevator doors and stand there with my finger on the button until somebody in City Hall figures out that their hidden agendas are not what's going down that day.

I would suggest that there are actually enormous democratic ideals at stake that transcend the importance of whether we get moorings, an anchorage or a giant, floating Manny Diaz buoy. However, I'm not a lawyer - just a stakeholder with a big mouth. I suspect that this rotten wood goes way deeper than the waterfront, but as a boater who knows the waters here, it makes the most sense for me to start on familar territory by "repairing the docks."

#5 Mel Miller

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 10:49 AM

Brick
No political procss is perfectly clean and no elected or appointed governental official can be aware of every conceivable law, rule or deed that might affct the next decision. You are absolutely correct that you have a right to publish errors, but a casual observer would note that you do so almost exclusively in support of your positions.
This is a problem only to the extent that this website is viewed as your blog, with a very limited readership.
Please consider how much more attention would be paid to your inputs if they were carred on a site that had a thousand contributors, some of whom participated in politics in a number of ways.
In my opinion, the absence of those contributors is due primarily to the fact that there is rarely anything new on the site. Brick will contribute the latest version of the same old same old, and Jack, Andrew, Mel and a few others will rarely offer the latest version of their known positions. Since there is no policy of actively seeking and publishing a balanced rebuttal to each input, potential contributors have a low expectation of reading a stimulating item.
I bring this to your attention because a site that has these technical capabilites should be acomplishing much more.
Mel

QUOTE(dinnerkeyadmin @ Jul 19 2006, 02:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mel,

Thanks for the kind words and apologies for the late reply. I have great respect for your writing and your powerful focus as well. See my comments below.

QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Jun 25 2006, 03:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I understand your hope that the next crisis will cause everyone to turn to this site. In my opinion, the probability of that is decreasing. Over the last two decades, there has been a perceived crisis about evey two years. I have participated (sometimes very tangentally) in the solution of about half of these. Each time, the greatest obstacle to reaching a solution was to find a consensus among the affected parties, most of whom had very passionate feelings and not much information. I had hoped that this site would provide a means for reaching a consensus on pending issues, or at least a means for providing balanced information. I am disappointed, but will continue to check in.


It's very easy for the people to bitch about Government. However, times have changed. Don't bitch about Government if you can't use a mouse. Don't bitch about Government if you can't make time to participate. Representative democracy is about people and it is the reponsibility of the people to be vigilant and hold their elected representatives to a standard where their wishes are facilitated and their political processes aren't circumvented. There are a handfull of people involved in upholding these ideals. Others have their reasons for not participating or for choosing other venues. However, to some extent, this site is a portrait of the community that it serves. Whatever the outcome of my personal efforts may be, nobody will have to look any further than this site 20 years from now when they wonder "how this could have happened" to such a great waterfront. As an individual citizen, I challenge Government to be fair and I exercise my rights. As the provider of this site, I challenge the community to get involved. Before this site, there was no tool for gathering consensus and debating the issues. Now it's here but nobody uses it. At least we can get past one excuse.

QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Jun 25 2006, 03:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Having gently admonished you for advocating, I shall now advocate. The boaters who use the City's waters are a very small minority with very little political weight. Politics is the process used to choose those who will decide in a representative democracy. The elected officials and City employees act rationally, if not always to your liking, and the continued suggestion that they should act othewise is not useful.


Respectfully, it may be rational to blast ahead with City plans when only a few people actually get involved with those processes. It may be rational to award no-bid contracts and withhold public information when you live in a City whose cookie jar has been raided so often that nobody really cares any more - but it's still wrong and it's still illegal. The fact of the matter is that boaters who live aboard and have no actual mailing address are politically crippled as they can't vote, but it begs the question of whether politicoes have a real right to govern people who have not had an opportunity to choose their representatives. If nothing else, there is an implied obligation to listen to stakeholders and weigh their input. My suggestions that my elected officials should represent people is hardly outrageous. In "the game," you win some and you lose some. I can handle a few losses but I have no tolerance for cheaters. I can handle development and planning that is not "to my liking," but I will not suffer having my rights violated, public information withheld and my guranteed processes denied. My dislikes have a guranteed place in the political process and I will see them overruled but not sidestepped.


QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Jun 25 2006, 03:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is no great democratic ideal at stake in exactly how many moorings, of exactly what nature, are available immediately east or south of Dinner Key, or what rates are charged for what slips or services, or what color is best for the plastic decking at the marina. These are small issues for the folks elected and hired to deal with the City's many problems, although I recognize their signficant import to us. It is my experience that solutions flow from the mutual recognition of the perception of the problem's import to the parties at dispute, and that claiming a higher moral ground is both wrong and counter productive.


Let me not wax philosophical about this. If the City wants to pave the docks with paper mache, install moorings from here to Bimini and charge outrageous prices for them, or build highrises in public parks, I think it's all fine as long as the plans and documents are made public, the requisite procedures for gathering and incorporating public input are adhered to, and the contractors are ultimately selected through some sort of competitive process. Whatever feelings I may have about the issues and whatever differences of opinion I may have from my neighbors are all part of a healthy political process. My feelings about dock color selection and whether or not there should be moorings are not really what I'm fighting for here.

The big picture here is that the City of Miami hides plans from stakeholders and refuses to provide information when those plans get discovered. When stakeholders want to participate, they get cut off.

Sadly, I'm not all that far from the City in how I feel about the anchorage. It needs to be cleaned up and managed as it's a mess and an eyesore. It doesn't fulfill the City's vision of what it could be and it doesn't fulfill my own. However, as part of a planning process, I would like to ask questions about the Deed restrictions that govern public use, and the actual historic use by the public. I would like to engage in a real discussion of how the City came to see this land as extending beyond the 6 foot water depth specified in the Deed. Moreover, I'd like to propose solutions for management, clean-up, maintenance and promotion that I believe would serve the needs of stakeholders, the law and the environment. I'd like to share some ideas about economic development that could bring some big dollars into our community. Then, I'd like to discuss those ideas with people like yourself, Jack King, Andrew Marshall, the community-at-large, and the City.

If the City cared about environmental cleanup, they would have done something long ago that was more effective than whining to FIND about how they need funding because DERM threatened to sue them in 1997 for environmental violations. (This alone should suggest that City is as negligent as the small minority of irresponsible boaters who are ruining the anchorage ).The City sees moorings as an opportunity to put $$$ directly into the General's fund. I'm not opoposed to the City earning money but supposedly, that's why we pay taxes. I believe there's a better path for waterfront / anchorage / mooring field development that will bring mega-$$$ directly into our community.

My gripe is that in order to get ideas heard and considered, I have to throw myself between the elevator doors and stand there with my finger on the button until somebody in City Hall figures out that their hidden agendas are not what's going down that day.

I would suggest that there are actually enormous democratic ideals at stake that transcend the importance of whether we get moorings, an anchorage or a giant, floating Manny Diaz buoy. However, I'm not a lawyer - just a stakeholder with a big mouth. I suspect that this rotten wood goes way deeper than the waterfront, but as a boater who knows the waters here, it makes the most sense for me to start on familar territory by "repairing the docks."


#6 dinnerkeyadmin

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 10:17 PM

Y'know Mel, I can't argue with you on this one.

I have hopes the site will come of age, but would be curious to hear any ideas you might come up with for getting people more involved in the discussion.

For now, I'll continue to invest a tiny bit of time to keep this going. I'm going to avail myself of due process and simply document my successes and failures as I exercise my rights. If five or six other people do the same thing, that may be as far as it gets, but whatever happens to our waterfront will be a matter of public record. All the process violations, no-bid contracts, unfulfilled records requests, and circumventions can no longer disappear into the realm of conspiracy theory. If I'm the only one who does this and people want to see this as "my blog," I can't do anything about it.

Let's continue our dialogue, but let's take some of the issues and start working on solutions and perspectives. That's about the only thing I can think of that stands a chance of pulling outside points-of-view onto the forums anyway.

What would you like to fix first?

Dave

#7 Mel Miller

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 08:31 AM

Brick
A few sugestions:
1- ask email users for permission to post emails
2- offer city reps an opportunity to review prior to admin postings and to include their response
3- provide links to city and opposing view sites and seek links from such sites
4- post ads for site on all possible bulletin boards
5- encourage easy site polling on new issues such as the color of the marina dock plans
6- be warm and fuzzy like Jack King or Mel Miller

#8 dinnerkeyadmin

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 03:08 PM

QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Aug 28 2006, 09:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
1- ask email users for permission to post emails


If I understand you correctly, this is a hard one. I try to be ethical about posting email content that I receive that my not be originally intended for public distribution. I even have emails from City officials that are technically public domain but that would simply make for unproductive forum content. While I would hope everyone would engage in professional conduct, I can't really control what people post and have my hands full keeping the herbal viagra sellers off the site.

QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Aug 28 2006, 09:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
2- offer city reps an opportunity to review prior to admin postings and to include their response


I've made verbal and written offers to City officials to have full moderation capabilities for any forum they want on any subject. Government and Agency presence here would be welcome. Also, the City is well aware that they can converse with me without having everything they say spattered all over the forums. I continue to encourage the City to engage in public dialog but I'm afraid the more compelling invitation will come from people other than myself.

QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Aug 28 2006, 09:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
3- provide links to city and opposing view sites and seek links from such sites


I do have a links section. Again, call it laziness on my part, but while I'm willing to post links that people suggest (or anyone can post them in the forums themselves), at some point, the citizens, business community, stakeholder groups, real estate developers, contractors and agencies will have to demonstrate a minimal level of interest in using this tool. I have dug a rather large pit here, filled it with water and led a lot of horses here already at my own expense. I'm here to keep it going but between my family and my paying clients, I have a rather long list already. Let someone research the list of links and I'll make time to post them.

QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Aug 28 2006, 09:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
4- post ads for site on all possible bulletin boards


Some of that's been done and I'm in most of the links sections on other sites. I don't think the problem here is lack of awareness of dinnerkey.com (though I occasionally get calls asking about dockage rates). Actual ads cost money and because I believe this site should be free, unless someone wants to donate an ad budget, we have what we have.

QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Aug 28 2006, 09:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
5- encourage easy site polling on new issues such as the color of the marina dock planks


Sorry to be a curmudgeon here, but anyone is free to start a poll. My job is to maintain the tools. As a member of the community, I'll try to assume some level of leadership in their use, but having seeded the pot with lots of apropos topics, I'd rather this site not be "Brick's Blog."

QUOTE(Mel Miller @ Aug 28 2006, 09:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
6- be warm and fuzzy like Jack King or Mel Miller


Now I'm on the last item and here I am bitching. I shall try to maintain my sarcastic attitude and still encourage others to jump into the fray. I am indeed grateful for role models such as you and Jack.

Cheers,

Brick

#9 Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:07 PM

In the immortal words of Claire Wolfe ("101 Things To Do Till The Revolution"):

QUOTE
America's at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.


Perhaps locals do indeed feel that it's too late to work within the system, and are consequently uninvolved. Or perhaps Miami has evolved so far that it has degenerated into a state of apathy, as explained by British historian Fraser Tyler:

QUOTE
The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations is two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from great courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back again to bondage.


Based on the foregoing analysis, dinnerkey.com's popularity would benefit from the addition of a "Naked Sailing Babes" photo gallery.



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