Potholes in Miami streets have become an issue for many citizens of Miami, including Ian Drake and Marshall Smith. Drake, General Manager for Vance Ford was looking for a sales campaign idea when, talking with friend Marshall Smith, was inspired to do something about one of most drivers nemesis, the nasty pothole.
What started out as a possible clever idea for a sales campaign has evolved into a grassroots effort to make an improvement to Miami streets, even if it is just a stopgap until the city secures funds to repave the streets.
“Were not trying to tick anybody off or make a statement,” stated Drake. “After talking with a customer last week that was considering purchasing a new car that had concerns about driving that new car on our streets, I really got to thinking “Why don't we try to provide a partial solution to the problem?”
Vance Ford is offering the “Vance Ford Pothole Relief Fund” effort through February 9, 2010. For every new or used car sold, Vance Ford will contribute $100 towards the cost of filling potholes in Miami.
“We are excited about the possibility of contributing to the community through this effort,” stated Drake. “We actually do some business in our repair shop because of damage to cars caused by potholes, but really, when you look at the grand scheme of things, aren't we all better off with better streets? Some of our customers come from outside the community and have to travel our streets. Having to navigate around potholes on our streets doesn't do much good image-wise for the city of Miami. I am concerned about the perception of Miami we are extending to visitors in our community.”
Drake stated he does not consider himself an expert on maintaining streets. “I don't know the first thing about street maintenance. I don't know if we could raise enough to fix all the potholes, but until the city finds a way in the future to finance repairing the streets, maybe this effort can at least alleviate some of our woes.”
“I hope this thing grows legs and gets going,” said Drake. “This could be a decent sales campaign for us, and we can also help the city. I am going down to talk to the banks today about setting up accounts to accept the funds. We should have an option for citizens to contribute as well if they chose. If someone goes into a bank to cash their check, they should be able to choose to contribute the spare change to the account if they want. Hey, every “seventy-three” cents might make a difference!”
One requirement Drake has requested of City Manager Huey Long is that one hundred percent of the funds turned over to the city must be used towards filling potholes, and the work must be done within sixty days.
Drake also feels that in order to have fairness, there probably needs to be a three-person committee to assure that all areas of Miami are represented fairly in the endeavor. “As I stated earlier, I want this to be a plus for Miami. We need to be realistic about this, we probably won't be able to fix every pothole in Miami, we would try to give attention to the most traveled streets first, then go from there. I want one hundred percent transparency as to where these funds go. I am hoping soon after the end of this campaign we will be able to present a check to the City of Miami. I personally hope the check is as much as ten to twelve thousand dollars. We'll just have to see how this goes.”