"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
Miami Beach mayor Matti Bower is proud of her 12 years as a Miami Beach commissioner and mayor.
As a part of Miami Beach's leadership for a dozen years, she's had at least 10 years to do something about the crime and chaos that accompany Urban Beach Weekend, (UBW.)
In 2001, the first UBW transformed Miami Beach into - as Miami New Times called it then - "Thug Central."
Hundreds of thousands of celebrants have descended on Miami Beach 10 more times since that first Urban Beach Weekend in 2001.
Defenders of the weekend festivities say that people who attend UBW are no different than any other large group of people who come to Miami Beach.
Computer salesmen, travel agents and boat manufacturers visit Miami Beach for conventions and trade shows at various times throughout the year. UBW participants are no different than those people say defenders of the weekend.
But, since 2001 more than 5,000 UBW attendees have been arrested.
And, despite demands by Miami Beach residents for city hall to do something - anything - about UBW, Mayor Matti Bower says she's powerless.
Last June 6, the Miami Herald's David Smiley reported, "Bower has stressed that the city has little control over an annual festival that is promoted and held without need for city approval, vented that the American Civil Liberties Union “ties our hands” when it comes to strict police enforcement during the weekend, and committed to discuss solutions — later."
You read that right. After 10 years of mayhem, Bower says her hands are tied by the ACLU. But, she's ready to "discuss solutions." Maybe.
Mayoral candidate Steve Berke says he has a plan ready now.
As Mayor of Miami Beach, Steve Berke will be honored to host our servicemen and women and thank them for their commitment to our country by throwing the biggest celebration of our generation at the inaugural VETERANS BEACH WEEKEND.On Nov. 1, Miami Beach residents have a clear choice.
This weekend of festivities would occur during Memorial Day Weekend, and would replace the current "Urban Beach Weekend" that has consistently been the number 1 complaint of Miami Beach residents. Steve has a comprehensive plan to get rid of Urban Beach Weekend within one year, and it includes having a Veterans Parade, an Air and Sea Show, a Military Memorabilia Exhibition at the Miami Beach Convention Center, concerts on the beach, and a host of other events and parties that will remind our honored guests just what they were fighting for whether they served in WWII or Afghanistan, Korea or Iraq, Vietnam or the Gulf.
They can vote for two more years of Matti Bower's indecision and ineptitude.
Or they can vote for someone who has a plan ready now to deal with the problems associated with UBW.
Do Miami Beach residents really want a mayor who gets her marching orders from the ACLU?
Or do they want a mayor who will ensure that Miami Beach will, once again, become a clean and safe place that ALL Miami Beach residents can enjoy 365 days a year?
Miami Beach voters: The ball is in your court.