PB: Palmer – How did we get here?
You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
You may find yourself in another part of the world
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife
You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?
A byproduct of SDM’s obsessive review of the Palmer Trinity documents is that SDM can now pinpoint the precise moment Palmetto Bay taxpayers were dragged into now-Councilwoman Joan Lindsay’s vendetta. Following is the transcript of the moment Mayor Shelley Stanczyk (then a Councilwoman) threw the village into the whirlwind:
COUNCIL MEMBER STANCZYK: Yeah and I’m having a little trouble again. The original student number that was listed as a recommendation was 1150, and I would like to reduce it to 900, staged incrementally over the entire term of the project. I’d like to make that as a motion.
MAYOR FLINN: That’s a tough one. I mean, I don’t know how we can just arbitrarily do that, but–
COUNCIL MEMBER STANCZYK: Well, 1150 was an arbitrary number.
MAYOR FLINN: Well, 1150 is what they voluntarily dropped to, but–
COUNCIL MEMBER STANCZYK: Well–
MAYOR FLINN: But, anyway, is there a second for that?
VICE MAYOR P ARISER: I’ll second it.
MAYOR FLINN: All right, it’s been seconded. Any discussions on it?
COUNCIL MEMBER FELLER: Read the motion.
MAYOR FLINN: Reduce to 900 students.
COUNCIL MEMBER FELLER: In discussion by – - I had gotten a number, by state number or by density or some numbers. Theoretically, what is the maximum the school would be allowed to by the total acreage? Is there such a thing, Eve?
MS. BOUTSIS: Under the special exception process, they have to meet certain numbers. The answer is over 2,000.
COUNCIL MEMBER FELLER: It’s over 2,000.
MAYOR FLINN: I think it was 2100 at one point. All right all in favor indicate by saying aye.
COUNCIL MEMBERS: Aye.
MAYOR FLINN: Any opposed?
COUNCIL MEMBER FELLER: Nay.
COUNCIL MEMBER TENDRICH: Nay.
MAYOR FLINN: Three/two. All right next item.
(Emphasis added by SDM.)
Two sitting Palmetto Bay politicians caved into the pressure from Joan Lindsay’s Concerned Citizens of Old Cutler, Inc. (CCOCI): Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and Vice Mayor Brian Pariser. Pariser is up for re-election in November, so when he comes knocking on your door asking for your vote, perhaps you should ask him some questions:
- Since you are a lawyer Brian, weren’t you concerned that the 900 student cap was arbitrary?
- You do know that one of the questions courts ask is whether the village’s decision is arbitrary and capricious, right?
- And, you do know that courts often strike down zoning decisions if they find the constraints placed on the property are arbitrary and not based on competent, substantial evidence?
- And you were listening when the village attorney stated that based on her interpretation of the special exception process that Palmer was entitled to more than TWO THOUSAND students???
- Given all of these facts, why did you second and vote in favor of this inexcusable motion?
- When this case started to go south, did you use your business and legal experience to urge your colleagues to settle the lawsuit?
- Have you done anything to urge your colleagues to settle the other lawsuits pending against the village?
- Why should a village resident vote for you when you don’t seem to care about wasting money on legal fees and costs?
SDM Says: When Councilman Howard Tendrich comes to your door and asks for your vote, shake his hand and say thank you for really protecting our neighborhoods.
You may ask yourself, am I right, am I wrong?
You may say to yourself, my god, what have I done?
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was…
Once in a lifetime, Talking Heads, 1981.