PB: State of the Village Quick Bites

by SDM

Everyone’s Rich on Friday

Back when SDM was coming up, an employer used to say that we all feel rich on payday. We run off to the bank and then feel poor again on Monday or Tuesday after we pay our bills.

An SDM commenter noted that Mayor Stanczyk made what the commenter described as a highly misleading claim at the State of the Village. The Mayor says at 18:40 that at the end of the last Fiscal Year, Palmetto Bay had around $13 million in the bank.

The commenter said that while this statement is accurate, it doesn’t reveal the scary fact that Palmetto Bay’s budget anticipates that figure to drop to $10.7 million at the end of the next Fiscal Year.

So what does a drop of a little more than $2.3 million represent to Palmetto Bay? At our current millage rate, village property values would have to rise by a fraction under $940 million to replace that money.

The property appraiser pegs total village property values at $3.3 billion. To understand how difficult it will be to grow those values by a third, SDM notes that last year our property values decreased by a little more than half a percent!

SDM Says: Where once Palmetto Bay looked like a penurious miser, it is now starting to look a lot like a day laborer blowing his paycheck on beer and cigarettes on Friday and then wondering why he can’t pay his bills on Tuesday.

The Vision Thing

The Mayor debuted a video on the Franjo Triangle project during the State of the Village speech. SDM must say that watching it made us feel good about Palmetto Bay’s future.

Can you imagine a downtown Palmetto Bay with restaurants, shops and residential housing? Wouldn’t it be cool to spend a Sunday afternoon at an outdoor cafe near the park, especially if the cafe was in bicycle riding distance from our homes?

While we see no way that a downtown project can generate enough to replenish village reserves, certainly SDM will be rooting for the vision to come true.

But…you knew there was a “but” coming, right?

Here’s the problem and it was stated perfectly by one of the people on the video. A guy named Joe Corradino, who is a planner and a member of the Pinecrest council, said two important things about the downtown project:

  • Investors in this kind of project need to know that the “government wants them to be there” and
  • A project like this requires “Vision, Leadership and Effort.” He went on to say that “Palmetto Bay has the vision.”

Did you notice the omission? Corradino doesn’t say the village has the leadership or the effort and SDM is sure he wasn’t meaning to be explicitly critical. We think he is implying that the village better find leadership and effort if it wants the downtown project to succeed.

SDM Says: We agree and we hope the government wants the investors there, but Palmetto Bay is to be found wanting when it comes to leadership both for the Franjo Triangle and the larger community. Like a growing tax roll, nobody can snap her fingers and produce “leadership.”

Kaptain Kreepy’s Kalculations

According to the Miami Herald, “Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk delivered her annual state of the village address Wednesday night to an audience of about 170 people…”

Now look at this text from the village website:

Palmetto Bay’s 25,000-square-foot Municipal Complex houses the Village’s administrative departments, the Policing Unit, and Council Chambers with a 98-person capacity.

SDM Wonders: SDM watched parts of the speech and noted some empty seats in the chamber. So how again did the Mayor speak to almost double the maximum number of people the facility was designed to fit? What’s up with that Kreepy?

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