MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – In a town hall meeting about what to do with Urban Beach Weekend, Miami Beach Mayor Mattie Bower told residents, “it’s something that will probably continue.”
This past Memorial Day, police were involved in a now infamous shoot-out, where one man ended up dead. But all of the Urban Beach events, according to the mayor, are a major source of revenue.
“We also get the good thing, which is the money to add to the resort tax, to add to our budget,” said Bower.
But resident after resident told CBS4 News that the city can’t afford the image of crime and chaos.
“As I listened to her, it was about money, and not about standard of living,” said resident Bret Beach.
Beach and his brother William Beach, have lived in Miami Beach nearly their entire lives. Neither one stays in town during Urban Beach Weekend.
“I’m a healthy guy and I grab my family, and I leave,” said William Beach.
While they think the Urban Beach Weekend should be eliminated, some residents say no.
“Getting rid of it, I don’t think is wise. I think enforcing the laws and just making it more of an upscale experience,” said resident Nicole Shelley.
One group wants to replace the Urban Beach events with Memorial Day festivities, remembering our heroes. That’s a plan many at the town hall meeting applauded.
But the mood among some residents changed when the question and answer portion of the meeting began.
“They won’t even let us speak,” said one resident named Scott.
Residents were only allowed to ask questions in writing.
“It’s a joke! It’s a joke! If you don’t want to listen to us, don’t ask me to come because I just wasted an hour and a half of my time,” said Scott.
No change was made at the meeting, but the city will now look at all of its options.
The city of Miami Beach does not sponsor any of the Urban Beach Weekend events.