PB: Welcome Aboard the Village of Palmetto Bay

by SDM

SDM watched in amazement the Village Council meeting last night as the Shores at Palmetto Bay, LLC lawsuit came to rest on a three to two vote with the remaining Amigas in the minority.

In fact, it was Marathon Man Tim Schaffer who held firm and voted to dispose of the lawsuit after facing the most petty nonsense from the usual village gadflies.

The arguments against settling the lawsuit at their well-rehearsed core amount to the following: “The developer should not have sued the village. Instead, he should have re-applied after he received a site-specific charter. We get nothing out of this settlement.”

Let’s just be real for a minute and dispose of the lie that “a site-specific” charter is required by the code:

Sec. 9-53. – Required information.

All public charter school facilities shall submit the following information to the village’s department of community development for review by the department and for consideration at a public hearing:

(a) Written information:

(14) A copy of the charter approved by the Miami-Dade County Public School Board.

According to the village attorney at the original hearing, the applicant satisfied all the criteria to hear the application. Mayor Stanczyk wanted to halt the application so she manufactured the alleged violation of the village code. Stanczyk’s hyper-political actions caused the lawsuit because she was forcing Shores – against the advice of her legal counsel – to follow a procedure that state law prohibits.

More importantly, does any rational, breathing person believe the village would have approved the Shores application had the developer merely re-applied and not sued? Of course not. The gadflies fail to mention that their plan all along was to wage a war of attrition against Shores. See Palmetto Bay Chutzpa Award dated March 26, 2013:

Mr. Templer also made sure to point out that he didn’t want to see soccer fields at Palmetto Bay park and that the existing green space should be maintained, which inspired his chutzpa: Templer said that to add more ball fields with lights, the village could go ahead and purchase 5 acres to the west of the park!

SDM Codebreaker: There are two five-acre tracts to the west of Palmetto Bay park and both are in private hands. One is owned by Miami Children’s Hospital and the other is owned by Palmetto Bay’s second-most-famous litigant-partner, Shores at Palmetto Bay. The Shores property was set to be developed into a charter school and commercial complex until Mayor Stanczyk and her cronies decided to kill off the project without a proper hearing. Thus, Mr. Templer is echoing a nutty idea – pushed originally by super-gadfly Marsha Matson – where Palmetto Bay shuts down the Shores project and then buys the property at a hefty discount.

Mr. Templer, who also happens to be the spouse of a sitting council member, testified last night against the settlement, which given his ulterior motive seems perfectly logical to SDM. What surprised SDM was when Templer began berating the applicant for having the temerity to sue the village. Mayor Stanczyk reined Templer in, but she didn’t apply the decorum rule to him:

All speakers must address their remarks to the mayor, speak in a dignified and courteous manner, and avoid admonishing individual members of the public, council and representatives of the village. Should a member of the audience become unruly or behave in an improper manner that is prejudicial to the dignified conduct of the meeting, the mayor shall have the power to require the person to leave the meeting and to be accompanied, if necessary, by a police officer. In the event the audience becomes unruly the mayor may either recess or adjourn the meeting. (Emphasis added by SDM.)

To paraphrase Pirates of the Caribbean, the decorum statement is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Village of Palmetto Bay!

At the end of the day, the village elders (Dubois, Fiore, and Schaffer) overruled the Amigas, terminated the Shores litigation, and gave tax payers a break on future legal bills. SDM Says thank you for your leadership.

SDM Says to the Amigas Stanczyk and Lindsay: shame on you! Your re-election hopes should not be more important than what’s good for the village.  Perhaps it’s time for the serious people in this village to make you walk the plank, figuratively speaking of course.

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