To the Editor:

This election season, it is easy to be disillusioned with the negative ads and misinformation of facts about candidates and parties.  As engaged citizens, it is important to do your homework on ballot initiatives and the promises of various campaigns.

As a volunteer board member with the Miami Parking Authority, we have worked diligently to preserve the stewardship of the parking needs of residents and business owners in the city of Miami. Disappointedly, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado has embarked on a campaign of misinformation to convince voters that he and the City Commission should take over the Miami Parking Authority.  And, no wonder: MPA’s assets – worth some $200 million – provide a convenient means for the mayor to plug the city’s gaping budget holes.  We believe that this move is misguided and against the tenets of Mayor Regalado's public service tenure.

The mayor’s referendum asks voters to “authorize the management, lease or sale of any or all of the parking facilities to a public or private entity.” The end result will be higher parking rates and more frequent fines, in a continuing quest for bigger parking profits. Miami’s urban communities will be particularly hard hit.  Unfortunately, you do not hear these facts from City Hall.

This referendum is about one thing: power and control versus stewardship and accountability. The citizens have entrusted the MPA board as stewards of its parking assets for well over 55 years. During his many years as a commissioner, Mayor Regalado never questioned the Parking Authority’s leadership or performance. Furthermore, he has always battled against government overreaching. Now he’s singing a different tune.

This is not the right time for him to demonstrate his power and control. He already has the authority to question and approve the Authority's budget and to authorize our volunteer service as board members.

Member, Board of Directors
Miami Parking Authority