This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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Our brand is how our city is viewed by residents, visitors and nearby communities. Should our brand be: “Boca, we want to look like Fort Lauderdale and Miami”; “Boca -A Sober House Mecca”; How about “Come to Boca and experience dense neighborhoods, frustrating traffic and no street parking”. It has been repeatedly said we are a World Class City”. What is World Class? And at what price do we become so?
We like to say we are, A City Within A Park. But, we must innately feel, experience and work to fulfill this idea as we grow and mature. We are the only South Florida community able to protect what makes us special. Other locations have lost the ability to make such claims and be equally unique.
What are we doing to nourish, perpetuate and protect our Brand? Last November, 67% of the voting public elected to keep what we have and improve on our Brand by insisting our waterfront parks are for the people. The choice is ours to preserve this City Within A Park we claim to have. Or, we can trash what we have worked so hard to hold on to and become just another high rise, concrete jungle with shoe boxes for dwellings.
Know this, we cannot have it both ways. We must listen to each other and arrive at a compromise pleasing both views while preserving the all-important Brand for Boca Raton. A community view can only be achieved by working together.
A few are changing our Brand’s value, seeking short term profits over long term uniqueness. Protecting our Brand enriches everyone. We have a limited resource only found in Boca Raton. Other Florida cities have missed the opportunity and now scramble to keep what they have and try to add needed green space. If we protect and nourish our commitment to Boca’s Brand, we will make our homes and businesses attractive to others wanting to share what we have and they will pay for it now and in the future.
Some feel development reduces taxes because there are more individuals chipping in. If this is so, why are taxes down the coast higher than ours? The majority of Boca residents believe in a balance, trading off quality of life and what we are willing to pay in taxes. The “density equals reduced taxes” argument does not wash.
Boca is a uniquely special, family centered, resort community benefitting all residents. We need to listen to and work with one another to keep it that way. Now is the time for us to work together while preserving the Boca Brand, A City Within A Park.
In 1837 Chicago, Illinois incorporated with the motto “Urbs in Horto.” Maybe the Boca Raton “world class city” people plan to emulate the centuries-long big-time corruption of Chicago. All the taxes from all the high-rise buildings in Chicago did not stop the State of Illinois from raising income taxes earlier this month by one-third to fund the teachers’ unions. The former Boca Brand has been destroyed during the last decade by various types of greed, ambition, and status-seeking–as you know.