PB: State of the Village Update

by SDM

What happens when you throw a party and nobody comes?

Well, just ask our fancy Mayor Shelley Stanczyk. (Did you miss the wine and cheese cocktail party she threw for herself on your dime?)

SDM tuned in (volume off – you don’t pay me enough to actually listen to the speech) just to see what kind of crow showed up. From SDM’s seat somewhere in the burbs of Palmetto Bay, the chamber looked pretty desolate.

The first row on the left (from the camera’s perspective) was nearly filled with village staff.  The first row to the right was empty, but had blank pages taped to them. Perhaps Mrs. Stanczyk was expecting some VIPs? Senators? Congressman? Pinecrest’s dog catcher? :)

The rest of the chamber had vacant seats in most rows and only a few folks standing in the back. The turnout seemed a far cry from the standing-room-only crowds that attended these speeches under the previous administration.

Once upon a time, politicians and others of the hoi polloi came to Palmetto Bay to see and be seen. Apparently not anymore.

But how can one be terribly inspired by a speech titled “Charting a New Course”?

Attention trite cliche department: Kaptain Kreepy has been rummaging through your drawers.

SDM could not agree more that Palmetto Bay needs to turn in a new direction, but we attribute the village’s current course as largely influenced by the Mayor herself. She’s been on the job for three years now, right? Or is it still George Bush’s fault?

And what should make us believe that Mrs. Stanczyk has what it takes to chart a new course anyway? SDM is not convinced she can muster three votes for her initiatives. Anyone want to challenge us on this score?

Look, we know many of you think we are too hard on this mayor. The accusation rings true, even to SDM’s jaded ears. But we can’t accept a political leader like this and expect our village to flourish.

Let SDM cite a recent example. Village staff bravely took on the challenge of master planning the Franjo Triangle, which begs the question: why did a staff person have to take the lead on such a critical project? Isn’t this why we have a mayor, to lead the community?

The downside of having staff lead such a critical planning process is manifold. First, the staff can’t promise to push the plan through the council, so any investor watching the process has to wait and see if a leader will emerge to champion the idea.

Second, staff can get carried away with their own agenda. The Franjo project’s objectives are not rational. Commercial development cannot produce revenue sufficient to justify draining our reserves. The numbers don’t work and a savvy political person would have seen this and steered the administration away from using the Triangle as a justification for blindly spending millions of dollars.

We could go on and on, but you get the point. Being Mayor of a small village demands a certain skill set. Because the mayor has only one vote, she must rally her colleagues on the council by making a coherent argument for her policies.

She must use her gavel like a scalpel so that her agenda stays on track without alienating colleagues with bullying speeches and tirades. The truth is Palmetto Bay is missing a person of this caliber in the mayor’s seat.

Thus, the state of this village is one of confusion and chaos and the vast majority of the Village People are paying zero attention to it. (SDM’s neighbors roll their eyes when the topic of village government comes up and SDM can’t blame them.)

SDM Says: Sometimes a ship needs a new captain to chart a new course…usually right after a mutiny.

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