Monday, June 29, 2009

Blunder on the Beach

Things Are Not Always What they Appear To Be.
This fisherman has been befriended by a great white that follows him around like a puppy hungry for love.

It pains swampthing to post regarding the Surfside Community Center issue. I have lived in Surfside for 18 years, like most residents, an inadvertent transplant. Being just a few blocks from the ocean has been a central theme of our lifestyle. Having a community center was a big selling point for buying a house in this town. The community center and pool was where familiar and new neighbors gathered; our kids learned to swim there, our aged told stories at the library, we had schmaltzy holiday events, we went there to vote. The facility was like your favorite old swimsuit, a bit out of fashion but it fit well somewhat worn with charm and history. It was a well kept secret destination for Canadians tourists and locals.

To their credit and our support, the current commission of deciders got into office the hard way, they campaigned as activist citizens doing the heady lifting. They were and still are concerned neighbors. But for some inexplicable reason they made a big strategic mistake. Once in, they quickly condemned the community center and soon after demolished the old place... ready for the kicker?... before securing the funds to build a new one.

Like most folk in 2006 , they saw the gop/bush/cheney/wallst. years of credit excess and thought it would last forever. Few back then were interested in the naysayers warnings about the predatory culture train-wreck approaching. This current world economic disaster is so big that they just did not see it coming... are they still in denial?

A Date with the Wrecking Ball....

It took just a few days to level the thing and haul the rubble away. What was the hurry? People were like, wait a minute! but it was too late. With calm indignation, I wrote about this some time ago.

Everyone misses the old place something awful. By the time a new facility is funded and built, my daughter will be off to college and any direct benefits or perks will have been in vain. I will guess other resident taxpayers are also not so benevolent as to plop down a big chunk of change for a luxurious clubhouse for the sake of the future of Surfside.

This from the Herald soapbox:
There must be some belt-tightening and rearranging of our budget, while at the same time acknowledging the need for a community center.

Too Little, Too Late.

More soapbox dribble:

It is surely agreed, Surfside residents would be ecstatic to see a beautifully designed community center replace a vacant lot where once stood our bulldozed previous center.

At the Crossroads of Finance and Finesse.

It is easy to look forward if you don't look back to see just how we got to this empty lot. To the credit of the Mayor, borrowing the big funds needed is now in the hands of the residents who will likely vote down the multi-million Bond Issue, the commission will wash their hands of it in salt water. Putting aside all the posturing and politicing of the past few years, it is disappointing that we will probably be without a central social meeting place for the foreseeable future. So much for "progress".



  1. "Strategic mistake" or DEVIOUS INTENT? Many folks got snookered by Burkett and Company and their endless Charade. Ask yourself what happened to the $15 million surplus they inherited. How much did they blow on nonsense? Name one thing that has improved in Surfside over the past three years.

    Nonaram on Abbott

  2. the old guard resisted but now commission meetings are on tv.

  3. The question I have is how to trust them now when they have erred and lied (yes lied) so much in their decisions of the past three years? Their prime agenda seems to be to continue to smear the old guard. Who cares? The old guard is gone!

    Frowning on Froude

  4. The old guard still lives here but lack the steam to get bothered.

    Why did Higginbotham leave?

    Is the community center site a parking lot for construction workers up the beach?

  5. Blumstein was on to Higginbotham who I suspect left in December worried about Blumstein becomming mayor. Higgie was a great "Yes sir, no sir, I don't know sir" tool for CB et al. In the end, very little got done.

    Nonaram on Abbott

  6. To get the ball rolling they needed a catalyst in order to demolish the old Community Center and force the residents into approving a new Center that fulfilled the main fantasy of their Charrette --- or, so they thought. The catalyst: 1) a small child to allegedly get a 'low voltage' electrical shock in the pool. 2) Show that a pool pump installed was not for pool use (now, that was a difficult one to remedy!) and 3)Use an electrician that also works for the Mayor to determine pool should be closed. And, WA-LA pool closed Center Demolished.
    Thus making it very difficult to vote a resounding NO to anything this Commission recommends,,,especially the Bond Issue!

  7. Check out Surfside's Mayor comments in Sun July 12 Neighbors. His only aim is a no vote and a trashing of his commission. Politics at its worse in a small town.

  8. You want to keep saying nonsense about "the old guard" when you fail to become the new guard? You fail to thank the old guard for making this a great place to live but you say nothing about how the people in office today have destroyed more than a Community Center - they have destroyed a community!!!!!!

  9. RE: they have destroyed a community!!!!!! (not simply a Community Center)
    Exactly! And, sadly so.

  10. I wonder how most Surfsiders feel about Burkett's deal to issue low interest rate mortgages to certain home owners as a reward for campaigning for him in the 2006 election? He bailed them out of foreclosure at a time they could have gotten toptick on their homes. Oh and they don't even pay taxes! Sounds downright corrupt and discriminatory to me and yet most Surfsiders turn their head.

    Why bitch about national, state or even county politics when you can't even be bothered lifting an eyebrow to Surfside?

  11. While we residents may disagree about whether or not the 'old' Community Center should have been demolished or renovated, I sincerely believe however, that those residents in favor of demolishing it would never have voted to demo it HAD THEY KNOWN that concrete, comprehensive and resident approved plans - architectural and financial,etc. - to replace it really did NOT exist - as was the case.
    But, let's not forget...most decisions made by this group are hardly well thought through.