Captain's Chair - Making History
We often talk about the incredible legacy of the marine industry in South Florida and acclaim its current importance to and impact on our local and statewide economy. It’s satisfying to tell our story to visitors, residents, elected leaders, and other industries in our community and essential to continue to build opportunities for partnerships and collaboration. What’s even better is when someone else shares our narrative with others, which is why it is very exciting to announce that History Fort Lauderdale has selected MIASF to receive the Legacy Business Award and chosen the Denison Family to receive the Pioneer Family Award at its annual event, History Makers, on March 31st.
The History Makers event commends individuals and companies that have made an impact on the growth of the City of Fort Lauderdale and this year marks the first time the marine industry will be honored for its contribution to Fort Lauderdale’s reputation as the Yachting Capital of the World. History Fort Lauderdale has committed to installing a permanent maritime exhibit at its historic museum in downtown Fort Lauderdale and renderings for an all new maritime museum will be revealed at the History Makers event. I sincerely encourage MIASF members to attend in force to accept well-deserved acknowledgment for the decades of prosperity our industry has afforded our collective community. I hope to see you there!
Not all legacies are good ones, however, and the water and sewer infrastructure collapse that has embroiled the City recently is not the fault of the current administration, but is an example of what happens when leaders are not proactive in building capacity increases that align with new development. We applaud the current commitment of the City to answer the need for infrastructure improvements but bemoan the fact that they will be paid for in today’s dollars, as opposed to the prices of years gone by.
Which is why it is imperative that we begin addressing transportation infrastructure now. Almost any project that is in discussion today is 10 years away from completion. Whether it’s our East/West corridors, flyovers for the railroad, or an appropriate sized bridge over the New River, we need visionary elected officials who will make critical, transparent, and accountable decisions on the use of the transportation penny tax, with representation from someone who lives in the City of Fort Lauderdale to serve on the Broward County Commission. While today’s officials may not be responsible for today’s sewer pipe woes, today’s officials will surely be held responsible for tomorrow’s legacy of inaction if they don’t start focusing on transportation infrastructure, like yesterday.