PB: Time to vote is a time to mislead

by SDM

The mail carrier delivered to SDM central the absentee ballots that SDM and the family will use as instruments of change. If you haven’t received yours yet get ready because SDM believes this is the longest ballot ever.

SDM’s ballot is SIX pages, front and back! There are state constitutional amendments, county charter amendments, village charter amendments along with races at all levels of government.  For those of you who plan on early voting or going to the polls on election day, you may want to pack a lunch.

Of course, when an election comes around right along with it comes a bunch of slimy, questionable claims made by shady groups affiliated with the candidates. For example, a Kendall political committee sent out a mailer that claimed “[Senator] Gwen Margolis supported cutting over $700 billion from Medicare.”

For support, the mailer referenced Senate Bill 2, which passed in the 2011 legislative session. SDM looked up the bill and it says nothing about this subject. In fact, the cut to Medicare was made by Congress as part of Obamacare. Margolis serves in the Florida Senate, not in Congress.

SDM doesn’t support Sen. Margolis – she’s far too much of a free spender for SDM’s tastes. Yet, when someone sends SDM a mailer that is a blatant lie, SDM is tempted to vote for the victim if only to teach the other scumbag a lesson.

In Palmetto Bay, we have our own version of blatantly misleading the public. Click on the soapbox section of the Miami Herald neighbors and look at the letter from Jeanne Bunten for an example. Bunten claims the following “facts” support the re-election of  current Vice Mayor Brian Pariser [SDM comments in brackets]:

• Litigation has been ongoing for four years because Palmer continues to amend their lawsuit with outrageous claims.

[How dumb do these people think we are? First, according to the village attorney, there are at least two if not more lawsuits between Palmer and the village. Second, to the extent that the lawsuit(s) initiated by Palmer were amended, every attorney knows that amendments occur all the time. Third, the attempt to transfer responsibility for the lawsuits to the victim is pathetic and cynical. As SDM has said repeatedly, the village is the bad guy here; the village is the power player attempting to force a property owner to submit to its illegal demands.]

• Litigation costs are about $600,000 for four years – approximately $6 per resident per year. Is this too much to protect the residential character of our village?

[Clearly, they think we're pretty dumb. First, the village lost the case so the village was not "protected" in that sense. Second and more obviously, the village's character is improved by the construction of quality schools and like facilities. So, the answer is yes, it's too much and it was a waste.]

• Palmer Trinity is moving forward with their development order.

[Of course they are! After SIX years of absurd delays, the court ordered the intransigent village to obey the law. You sound like a guy who beats his wife asking for credit because he drove her to the hospital. The damage is done.]

• The village is working towards a settlement agreement. There is no case law to support the school’s multi-million dollar damage claims.

[First, how do you know the village is working towards a settlement? SDM is aware of no such announcement from Palmetto Bay officials in this regard. Has a member of the council leaked a portion of its attorney-client session to you? Second, SDM doubts there is no case law on a civil rights claim, but let's assume you are right for argument's sake. The reason we have courts is to interpret the law (i.e., make case law). If this case is really one of "first impression" then that fact does not mean the courts won't find for the plaintiff.]

• At the July 19, 2011, Palmer Trinity zoning hearing, the Village Council voted unanimously to strike the 900 student number as ordered by the Court.

[SDM has addressed this foolishness already, but let's go through it one more time for the record. The court sent the matter back to the village to render the 900 cap ineffectual. The village tried to get cute and decided to delete the 900 figure from the resolution. When the appeals court saw this absurd action, it ordered the village to adopt a cap of 1,150 students. One of the judges called the village's behavior with respect to Palmer to be "an exercise in superfluousness and futility." Click here for more on this aspect of the disinformation campaign.]

• There has been one appeal by the Village Council in the last two years based on facts presented by village attorney.

[This fact has exactly zero bearing on anything. When a property owner wants to build, she must request permission from the village. If the village fails to grant permission, it must do so legally. The only time the village would have to appeal anything is if a court decided that the village acted illegally, which is what happened with Palmer. Unlike the SOPs, SDM is not proud of the fact that the village acted illegally.]

• The recent appellate court order to award attorney fees and costs to Palmer was reversed on Sept. 18 in a unanimous decision.

• The courts have denied all motions made by PT for attorney fees. That means the court has ruled the one appeal made by the village was not frivolous.

[SDM covered this issue extensively in PB: Understanding Palmetto Bay’s Win. From that post: "SDM understands that the trial court and, perhaps, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit’s Appeals Panel may still order the village to pay Palmer’s legal fees and costs incurred when Palmer appealed the village’s development approval." It is interesting that Ms. Bunten knows so much about the lawsuit given the fact that the Three Amigos refuse to tell the public anything about them.]

• The Village Council must support the 2005 Village Comprehensive Master Plan that was created by a former council. The top goal of the future land use element of that plan is to provide “quality neighborhood protection.”

[True, but no one drafting that language would have dared to think that the village needed to be "protected" from churches, schools and day care centers. Councilwoman Lindsay has taken reasonable language, twisted its meaning, and then trained it like a machine gun on innocent property owners.]

• Village staff has written modifications to eight existing ordinances to provide protections already afforded to county residents in the unincorporated area, but not Palmetto Bay.

[SDM supported incorporation to get out from under the county code. Now, the SOPs want to take us backward into the abyss that is Miami-Dade County government. Are you all ready to adopt the rest of the ordinances the commission has passed over the years? Or, do we just cherry pick the stuff one or two of us like? As SDM reported in PB: Stanczyk calls a resident a liar; Lindsay’s disgrace, both the county and village codes have changed such that some village churches, schools and day care centers could not rebuild after a hurricane or fire. SDM thinks the village should fix our code to avoid this result. The SOPs want to enshrine this disaster in our code forever.]

SDM Says: Election season always coincides with the Halloween season for good reason: what often appears scary on the surface is really not, while what appears benign can be truly frightening.

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