I was talking to a 60-year-old, retired entrepreneur at a party the other night. Successful guy, very sharp. I asked him what he thinks is next for Florida and he said he did not have much hope for Florida, mostly due to lack of visionary leadership. Then he said something that really struck me. He suggested that Florida is on a course to reset to its old state of being “cheap, sunny, and dumb.”
That really struck me because while we are all talking about the great reset that is going on, I had not thought to ask the question, “What does Florida reset to?” And he may very well be right. At the state level, we are relaxing the rules for developers to encourage even more sprawl to try to kick-start our construction industry again. We are actually lowering impact fees in places. We are lowering protections on the environment. This seems like a reset towards “cheap, sunny, and dumb.” There are powerful forces and attitudes that could very well push Florida back into this reset mode. And that is pretty scary.
While we all generally agree that this reset is needed and welcomed in some cases, we should be careful that we don’t reset back to a point so far back that we actually lose too much of our hard won progress. We all have to ask ourselves and our leadership what the plan and vision is for this reset. Each community is facing this and we act as if the reset is just something that will happen. That is not the case, yet I hear far too little debate as to how we actively shape the reset.