PB: Rebutting Sycophancy

by SDM

Lots of interesting Palmetto Bay news today so this post is a little longer than usual. First, Palmetto Bay resident Eric Tullberg criticized the village council for transferring over $1 million from the reserve fund. See Mr. Tullberg’s letter here.

Then, former Mayor Eugene Flinn published an analysis on his blog showing that the village council intends to transfer more than $3 million from the carefully husbanded reserve fund.

SDM would expect, given these facts, that most village residents would be asking serious questions of village leaders. Alas, some village residents prefer sycophancy to critical thought. Witness village resident Anthony Gorman’s take on the Recall  [SDM snarky comments in brackets]:

Ten years ago, residents voted to incorporate the village of Palmetto Bay. Many positive changes have occurred, including improved quality of life, the sixth-lowest tax rate in Miami-Dade County, a AA bond rating and a $9 million reserve fund.

[SDM hates to be the bearer of bad tidings, but the true reserve number will be closer to $8.5 million if the Three Amigos get their way, which represents about a 25% reduction from 2011’s reserve high water mark of just under $11.5 million! Question for you Mr. Gorman: How long can the reserve last if the village drains it at a rate of 25% per year?]

However, it is election time and a new, politically motivated committee is creating an ugly atmosphere.

[And the folks at Concerned Citizens of Old Cutler and Save Our Palmetto Bay are blameless for instigating the irrational and discriminatory fear of Palmer? People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.]

The Recall Palmetto Bay 2012 effort is not only counterproductive, but could cost residents approximately $60,000 or more. Ironically, the alleged motivation for the recall is the village spending money to defend itself, yet this group thinks it reasonable to burden residents with $60,000 in recall procedure expenditures.

[So let SDM get this straight: Recall supporters are wrong to spend $60,000 while the anti-Palmer jihad has already cost the village $600,000 and counting in a losing effort? Perhaps what you really mean is that in retrospect – based on a cost-benefit analysis – Palmetto Bay should have recalled the Three Amigos a year ago! And, a word about the village “defending itself”: Palmetto Bay is the bad guy here – there, SDM said it. Palmer is the victim that went to court to protect itself.)

While seeking to place blame squarely on current council members, legal cost relative to Palmer Trinity’s expansion began in 2006 with a different Village Council. The current council voted only once to appeal a court’s decision on Palmer Trinity’s expansion.

[As SDM has reported ad nauseam, Palmer filed its application in 2006. A couple of years later, the village council made up of Mayor Flinn, Vice Mayor Pariser, Councilwoman (now Mayor) Stanczyk, Councilman Tendrich and Councilman Feller took up a motion by Stanczyk. Her motion limited Palmer’s enrollment to 900 students even though the staff recommended the compromise enrollment of 1150 and there was no competent substantial evidence in the record to support the 900 number. This blatantly political maneuver, which Vice Mayor Pariser seconded, was the council’s attempt to assuage Palmer’s greedy neighbors. Councilman Tendrich courageously voted against the motion, which ultimately blew up in Stanczk’s and Pariser’s faces. Note to Mr. Gorman: Two of the Three Amigos were directly responsible for the Palmer debacle. Blame rests where blame belongs.]

How do the three recall committee members justify burdening residents with an expensive recall? We have a mechanism in place to replace council members. If we don’t approve of their performance, we can replace them with our vote.

[Again, SDM apologizes for being the skunk at the garden party, but in addition to our right to vote folks in or out of office every two years, Palmetto Bay’s founding mothers and fathers gave us the right of recall. (See Art. II, Sec. 2.7, VPB Charter.) SDM is no big fan of recall, but this council’s behavior justifies the action. For example, this council majority continues to push for discriminatory legislation directly threatening village churches, schools, daycare centers and others. They compound their malfeasance by proposing to deplete village reserves by 25% in ONE YEAR. Recall is not a remedy to be undertaken lightly, but the Three Amigos’ behavior demonstates that it exists in the charter for a reason.]

Isn’t the real reason for the recall to help get their candidates elected so that they will have three votes on the council in order to support their development-oriented agenda and try to defeat the neighborhood protection ordinances?

[SDM notices your use of the plural “ordinances” – very telling. You see, SDM has been paying close attention to the NPO, which was once sold as a single ordinance. Yesterday, however, the village publicly noticed no fewer than EIGHT ordinances that will implement the litigation-inducing “neighborhood protection” ordinance(s). You are very, very well-informed, sir…hmmmm….]

SDM Says: Mr Gorman, there are many people in the village who support Palmer, support churches and private schools – and, who support private property rights. Your sycophantic aspersions will not deter us from protecting the few from the tyranny of the many.

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