PB: COW Meeting Tomorrow Night – Following Flinn

by SDM

It’s always interesting to watch a politician trail in the wake of another, trying desperately to live up to the leader that went before her. Americans become tired quickly of cheap imitations, which is why Vice Presidents who attempt to follow popular Presidents never seem equal to the challenge.

Palmetto Bay has its own version of this succession problem as Mayor Stanczyk flails desperately to appear to be a leader cut from the same bolt of cloth as that which gave us former Mayor Eugene Flinn. Now, don’t get SDM wrong here, Mr. Flinn made many mistakes during his tenure. He voted along with Stanczyk to punish Palmer Trinity. He often ran his meetings with an imperiousness – or at least the appearance of same – such that residents walked away thinking him pompous.

Even given those negative, however, it is undeniable that on balance Flinn’s tenure was a success. The village was stable financially. It worked through innumerable disputes with the county as it became an independent government. Village leaders rallied to Mr. Flinn to invest in parks and many other projects that will benefit the community for years to come. Flinn didn’t do it on his own – folks like Neidhart, Feller, Robinson, Breder and others tweaked the ideas and added their own. But they did so as a relatively unified group.

The Stanczyk example is blatantly opposite. In a pathetic attempt to follow the leader, Stanczyk will hold a COW meeting tomorrow night in an attempt to justify her term in office…measured against the standard Mr. Flinn continues to set. Let SDM explain.

In Mr. Flinn’s post-election blog post titled A holiday wish list for the new Palmetto Bay council, he laid out his wish list – really an agenda for action for the next council. Following are some of the key points he raised:

1.  The status of two fire stations that the original Palmetto Bay village council worked with Federal, State and Local (County Commission and Fire Department) officials.

2.  The status of the implementation of the new permit fee schedule and other recommendations of the Palmetto Bay Building and Permitting Advisory Committee Final Committee Report.

3.  Should Palmetto Bay purchase bayfront land that is currently available?

4.  It is time again for a village-wide strategy session. Goals need to be set. … Pinecrest recently completed a major update to its strategic plan. It is time for Palmetto Bay to do the same.

5.  A public meeting needs to be held on the Franjo Triangle and US1 Island zoning district area.

6.  The future of committees needs to be discussed.

7.  Greater transparency on appointment to village boards and committees.

Now, let’s compare the first COW agenda with Flinn’s agenda:

1.  Status on hiring of new employees including parks, and police, special events programming, and impact with the upcoming hiring of new special events person (Mayor Stanczyk)

2.  Coral Reef Playground equipment (Mayor Stanczyk)

3.  Coral Reef Park Concession stand and concessionaire information including income,hours, and status of contract (Mayor Stanczyk)

4.  Health fair updates (Mayor Stanczyk)

5.  Accountant’s response to financial criticisms and Town Hall Meeting (Mayor Stanczyk)

6.  Sound ordinance regarding Palmetto Bay Village Center (Mayor Stanczyk)

7.  Zoning of parks (Mayor Stanczyk)

8.  Review of zoning designations that affect rebuilding of homes, such as at Paradise Point (legally non-conforming) (Mayor Stanczyk)

9.  Disc golf (Mayor Stanczyk)

10.  Review of possible changes, recommendations to FT & I district and update process (Mayor Stanczyk)

11.  Implementation of the recommendations of the Permitting and Building Committee (Mayor Stanczyk)

12.  Meditation Garden (Mayor Stanczyk)

13.  Fire stations (Mayor Stanczyk)

That’s pretty good, three of thirteen items directly taken from Flinn’s blog. Items 3 and 5 were raised during the campaign by Recall Palmetto Bay and the candidates.

Stanzcyk’s item 1 appears to SDM to be a discussion of the un-requested police officer and another hidden attempt to turn Thalatta Estate into a full-time wedding venue.

Item 2 is a perpetual problem that village residents have been complaining about at every meeting, or at least so it seems to SDM. The issue is that the village installed new equipment at Coral Reef Park tailored for small children and all the toys for older kids have been removed. Village staff blamed the situation partially on the ill-advised moratorium. What goes around comes around.

Item 6 looks like the beginnings of a new controversy to assuage CCOCI and the SOPs. Perhaps Stanczyk wants to make the Palmetto Bay Village Center less attractive for weddings so that she can hold them at Thalatta.

Item 8 will be very interesting given the public hearing that SDM covered in the blog post: Palmetto Bay – Paradise (Point) Lost. The NPO has forced the issue of what to do with nonconforming uses into prominence.

Item 12 came directly from an appeal to the council by former Councilwoman Linda Robinson who was concerned that this lovely little garden in Coral Reef Park has been deteriorating. The garden is in memory of Robinson’s late husband Ken, a village founder.

So, if you’re counting, Mayor Stanczyk has essentially entertaining 75% of the agenda of Flinn, the opposing camp, and other former council members.

SDM Says: Mme. Mayor is either wisely stealing the agenda of the opposition or coming late to the notion that Flinn’s method of hearing all sides really works. SDM will withhold final judgment on whether Stanczyk’s COW agenda is just another cynical ploy or the beginning of a political turn.

The Stanczyk items contain some topics worthy of discussion. What is the issue with “zoning of parks”? Is the village going to attempt to exempt its own properties from the constraints it applies to our property? Perhaps they don’t want to conform to the fencing requirements, or the noise limitations? The king always prefers to make rules for others while not applying them to himself.

And what’s this about disc golf? SDM understands that a disc golf course was installed at Palmetto Bay Village Center. Can Palmetto Bay be trying to eliminate disc golf, too? SDM can’t wait to find out.

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