On October 7, 2014 the city commissioners of South Miami along with the Mayor (Dr. Philip Stoddard) voted to split Florida in two by a 3:2 vote; North and South Florida. This would make – if by approval from Congress and a popular vote – South Florida the 51st State in the Union.
Now why would they do that, I wondered? So I called the Mayor of South Miami to find out. Turns out, there are several good reasons; none the least of which is South Florida is being ignored by Tallahassee.
But in my conversation with Mayor Stoddard, it wasn’t just about being ignored; it’s about taking charge on local and State levels; because solutions to South Florida’s ‘Sea Level Rise’ problem will not be addressed by the State. I asked Mayor Stoddard if he plans to establish a relocation fund. His answer was to establish a ‘Decommission Fund’.
“One of the standard responses to sea level encroachment is the ‘rolling easement’, in which developed lands are gradually given back to the natural systems as they become less suitable for habitation. Society benefits from not having blight, and from having a functional estuary. But who pays to decommission the flooded properties? It should be the Feds or State, but that won’t happen with our current federal and state governments, so local government needs to start amassing funds to take care of the job ourselves.”
And again, I asked why the split? The Mayor was quite forthcoming; he stated two main reasons, both economic and impending sea level rise. In his own words:
“The fact that South Florida gets back about 80 cents on the dollar. And the fact that North Florida does not regard sea level or climate as serious issues worthy of investment.” The Mayor also pointed out that our teachers are underpaid and we need that money to go into the resources South Florida must have in order to address our local problem – specifically, SEA LEVEL RISE.
So, I have to agree with Mayor Stoddard. If South Florida was to split from North Florida, we’d be able to address this careening disaster more effectively in that the effort would be local and by the very people it affects. More to those facts, Mayor Stoddard also pointed out that we are – in essence subsidizing the North half of the State, and we shouldn’t have to do that given the problems we have down here.
So, in a nutshell we are going down, guys and gals; just when it becomes problematic is figured to be anywhere from 16 – 25 years and before the end of this Century – quite probably – the majority of the state.
Miami South Beach is already experiencing flooding during Kings Tide; without storm surge. Massive efforts to re-plumb and update the sewer and pumping station systems are already underway. It may indeed be just a band-aid, but it’s all we have at the moment.
So, it may be foolish to look to Tallahassee for answers or even help. But one fact is certain, South Miami Mayor Stoddard and the Council Members take this very seriously. You should too.
If you missed the link at the top, here again is the link to resolution 203-14-14297, Stay dry, guys and gals.