Visit Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine's website and you'll see this right at the top of the page:
|Commissioner Wolfson's credo:|
"Swim, pray, eat lots of French fries."
It was just a simple request from the resident, an elderly South Beach woman.
In the email sent last weekend to the Miami Beach City Manager, Mayor and Commissioners, the resident - who lives in a condo near South Pointe Park - wanted to know why there was so much clutter on the beach behind the Continuum Condominium and other buildings.
She voiced legitimate concerns about the crowding of chairs, trash cans, storage structures and traffic on the beach in her neighborhood.
From her email:
The view of the beautiful natural sweep of Miami Beach entering from South Pointe Park is completely obscured now.
Residents and tourists are confined to the foreshore. There is no fence, but this area is clearly defined, its looks like a claim to private ownership.
This spread is designed to deter the public's use of this section of the beach.
My question then is: How is this possible? Is it legal?
Who authorized this takeover of a public beach on a permanent basis?
They are not a concessionaire.. When was this agreement made? Has DRB, Planning, AIPP ever seen this ugly clutter?
|Clutter on the beach behind the Continuum condominium.|
(Click image to enlarge)
A few hours later she received this curt response from Commissioner Jonah Wolfson: "I don't understand your concern. How does this affect you? Sincerely, JONAH M. WOLFSON"
The resident wrote back:
It is of concern to me and this is why.
I live here.That strip is my home beach. I swim and walk on it daily. I enter from South Pointe Park...my back yard I call it.
I experience the destruction of the view,and have to walk through the creeping unsightly piles of clutter that are causing it!
Locals and tourists have to sit and sun by the shoreline closer to the water, like second class citizens now.
The danger of the narrower pathway where concessionaire vehicles drive around as if they were authorized official vehicles is evident.
You have championed the proliferation of all this, for eight years.
All these schemes have created ever greater legal anomalies on OUR public beach.
Offer me an explanation instead of having the temerity to question my credibility.
A search of Google images backs up the resident's claims. Here's one shot that clearly shows beach clutter stretching from behind the Continuum and northward as far as the eye can see.
But here's how Wolfson responded to the resident the following day. Keep in mind, once again, that Mayor Levine says residents are to be treated as "valued customers."
From: Jonah Wolfson
Cc: Cummins, Brett
Sent: Sun, Aug 23, 2015 11:55 am
Subject: re: Public Beach
The explanation is that those folks are having fun and enjoying life and not bothering anyone. You seem to be very crabby and trying to stop others. Maybe there's another way you can spend energy. You gotta. Enjoy your swim, pray, I don't know. But I fail to understand how this really affects you. Anyhow god bless and have a wonderful day.
So how's that "customer service" thing working out, Mayor Levine?
Fun fact: The resident who forwarded the email exchange to me said she received Wolfson's last missive as she was watching last Sunday's "This Week in South Florida with Michael Putney."