South Dade Matters

Looking at the World South of Miami: Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami and Miami-Dade County.

Tag: Brian Pariser

PB: Today, We May Heal

When SDM started this blog in July, 2011, the issue that drove us to write was the travesty that was (and is) the way Palmetto Bay treated Palmer Trinity.

What we’ve learned in the past 3+ years is that the Palmer fiasco was a symptom of a more insidious disease: Stanczykitis.

Never heard of it?

According to SDM’s medi-pol dictionary, Stanczykitis (sometimes confused with its close cousin, Pastorella Syndrome, which is more of a psychosis) is defined as follows:

A fatal disease where paranoia and malaprops drive disgruntled retirees and near-retirees into political madness; indicators include weird ordinances seeking to muzzle Sparky, wild about-faces on issues critical to the health and welfare of the Village People, and a general malaise and government drift.

The cure for Stancykitis is a purge, generally performed by voters but occasionally by political serendipity.

When we first ventured on this quest to rid village politics of this debilitating disease, we felt like the only path to sanity was by replacing the elected officials we kindly referred to as the Three Amigos.

In 2012, SDM urged voters to oust former Vice Mayor Brian Pariser by voting in John Dubois…one amigo down, which left Councilwoman Joan Lindsay and Mme. Mayor.

In a bit of a surprise in 2012, we supported re-election of Howard Tendrich and were saddened when he lost.

We were pleasantly surprised – and those suffering from Pastorella Syndrome much dismayed – that Tendrich’s successor, Tim “Marathon Man” Schaffer, turned out to be an independent and reasonable voice. Thus, serendipity gave an unexpected win to the good guys.

Today, we have the chance to clean out the wound in the mayor’s office by voting in Eugene Flinn. We also have a bonus opportunity to give the current majority a strong and diverse membership by electing Larissa Siegel Lara.

We certainly hope those of you who care about and pay attention to Palmetto Bay’s drifting government will help us cure Stanczykitis once and for all. Pastorella Syndrome is not so easily eradicated…so SDM will remain vigilant.

PB: Guest Post By David Singer – Shady Sessions

All anyone needs to know…..

If you are still looking for a reason to unseat Mayor Shelley Stanczyk, look no further than the Palmer Trinity Shade Session (available on the Village Website) dated January 7th, 2012. I spent last Saturday reading this particular transcript in an attempt to comprehend how and why the Village decided to appeal to the Third District Court of Appeals, and found a Mayor who was not acting in the best interest of her constituents but acting solely on ineptitude and vengeance.

The players attending the Shade Session included Ron Williams (Village Manager), Eve Boutsis (former Village Attorney), Howard Tendrich ( former Council Member), Brian Pariser (former Vice Mayor), Joan Lindsay (Council Member), Patrick Fiore (Council Member), Raoul Cantero (former Florida Supreme Court Justice) of White & Case and of course Mayor Stanczyk.

The first ten pages start out with legal speak on how they lost the last round of appeals and discussing the Motion to Enforce the Mandate that permitted Palmer Trinity to enroll 1150 students. This is nothing new for anyone who has lived in Palmetto Bay and has followed the litigation.

The interesting and devastating portion of the transcript starts on page 11, where the group discusses the chance of victory in the Third DCA if the Village appeals the lower Courts ruling once again. Raoul Cantero was asked the chances of winning. His response was “I would definitely say under 50 percent, probably around 30 percent”. In addition, he said that if the Village appealed Palmer Trinity would “request attorney fees again”.
The 30% chance of winning figure was mentioned throughout the meeting and discussed at least a half-dozen times by Ron Williams, Patrick Fiore and Howard Tendrich.

There are also numerous pages discussing the fact that in the small likelihood (under 30%) of the Village winning the appeal to the Third District Court, a another Village hearing would be required and the likelihood the Court would rule Joan Lindsay and Mayor Stanczyk would be required to recuse themselves from voting on the enrollment issue.

If you read between the lines, former Village Attorney Eve Boutsis, Judge Raoul Cantero and Village Manager Ron Williams attempted on numerous occasions to stop the madness and end the appeals. All including Council Members Patrick Fiore and Howard Tendrich had their legitimate reasons as quoted below.

Eve Boutsis – “There is a good chance that we can get the same panel and that the Third District opinion really crucifies us. I want to put that on the table out there because it’s a risk”.

Eve Boutsis – “The only reason I raise the panel at all is because their opinion didn’t go into that, their written opinion did not go into that at all. And their opinion crucifies us, period. The opinion itself crucifies us.

Ron Williams – “Mayor, you have to admit though, when all of us were here, so that everybody’s memory is clear, the Justice asked whether or not we would consider a counteroffer and we wouldn’t even consider a counteroffer, as all of us recall, and I am sure the record is clear.”

Ron Williams – “I think the Judge put it clearly, we have both been entrenched. Not to be repetitive as some of us are here, we didn’t even consider their last offer. I think if we had countered, at least….”

Raoul Cantero – “I think there is a 30 percent chance it will be minimal.”

One of the more interesting quotes of warning came from Raoul Cantero who stated “Even worse, worse case scenario, we get an opinion affirming what the Circuit Court did and slamming the Village for what it did and saying, of course you knew what you were supposed to do, it was obvious what you were supposed to do and you deliberately disobeyed an order of the Circuit Court, and that’s going to get published in the reporters that stay there longer than all of us will be alive.” As history has shown, this is exactly what happened.

In the end neither Mayor Shelly Stanczyk, Brian Pariser, nor Joan Lindsay took the advice and/or listened to Eve Boutsis, Raoul Cantero, Ron Williams, Patrick Fiore or Howard Tendrich when they voted to pursue another appeal. Once again, as we all know this foolish appeal resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees paid by the Village and Eve Boutsis losing her job as Village Attorney.

This transcript is a direct indictment against those who voted for the appeal. Toward the end of the transcript you can understand Mayor Stanczyk’s mentality when she states, “That’s fine Howard, the point was to protect you two guys” when she realized that neither Patrick nor Howard would drink the poison punch she was serving. This is a lesson the whole Village has had to learn while Mayor Stanczyk has been in office. Let’s stop drinking what she’s serving!

David Singer

PB: England’s Fightin’ Words

The Miami Herald published online a Soapbox letter from village mayor candidate Peter England. Most of you will see it in your Sunday paper, but SDM thinks you may want to preview it here:

Your June 8 story concerning the site of a new fire station in Palmetto Bay suggests that I might be unhappy with this outcome. Since my mayoral campaign identified the acute lack of Fire/Rescue coverage on the east side of our village as the greatest single public safety concern in Palmetto Bay, how could I be anything but pleased with the proposed 14200 Old Cutler Rd. location?
The issue my campaign raised was the lack of attention being given to this critical issue by the Palmetto Bay Village Council. At no time, either during a council meeting or council workshop, was this issue discussed, in spite of the fact that the Palmetto Bay Village Voice raised the concern at every council meeting.

During the presentation by the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department at the June 2 council meeting, the council received the same new information as I about this new alternative site. They were there as spectators, not leaders. I commend Miami-Dade Fire Rescue for their diligence on this issue, and will continue to demand not one but two new fire stations as a central theme in my mayoral campaign. Only two stations will provide complete coverage of the entire village.

By drawing attention to this crucial issue, my mayoral campaign has finally gotten the council to focus on this public safety issue after 11 years of neglect. Now that they have recognized the importance of this issue, It’s time for the Village Council to step up and get involved.

Peter England, Palmetto Bay

(Emphasis added by SDM.)

Eleven years? Hmmm… Let’s see, who was leading the village during the past eleven years? Answer:

Mayor: Eugene Flinn (2002-2010); Shelley Stanczyk (2010-Present).

Vice Mayor: Linda Robinson (2002-2008); Brian Pariser (2008-2012);John Dubois (2012-Present)

District 1: Ed Feller (2002-2010); Patrick Fiore (2010-Present)

District 2: Paul Neidhart (2002-2010) Howard Tendrich (2008-2012); Tim Schaffer (2012-Present)

District 3: John Breder (2002-2006); Shelley Stanczyk (2006-2010); Joan Lindsay (2010- Present)

You’ve covered a lot of territory there, Mr. England…pretty much every elected official to have set his or her backside on a Palmetto Bay taxpayer-funded chair. Not to mention Village Manager Ron Williams and his predecessors.

SDM Wonders: Are you all going take this lying down?


Guest Post by David Singer: His take on the chaos at Palmetto Bay

Below is David Singer’s view on the Village Council meeting last night. SDM is still reviewing the tape.

It never ends….

After sitting through the circus of May’s Village of Palmetto Bay Council meeting Monday Night, an important fact was disclosed which once again provides insight into Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and Councilwoman Joan Lindsay’s ethics.

It was revealed by the Village Attorney that Village taxpayers will be responsible for the lawsuit filed by Palmer Trinity for Twelve Million Dollars. In addition, once two counts of the lawsuit covered by Palmetto Bay’s insurance policy are dismissed, the eleven remaining counts will have to be defended solely by the Village since the League of Cities which has been co-defending the Village will stop its representation. The Village and taxpayers will thereafter be responsible for 100% of the associated legal fees, judgment and damages from taxpayer’s coffers.

For the past two and a half years both Mayor Stanczyk and Councilwoman Lindsay have publicly denied this was the truth. They have denied that Village funds were at risk during their public and personal war with Palmer Trinity. The special interest group Concerned Citizens of Old Cutler, Inc (CCOCI), of which Joan Lindsay was president, has pushed and pushed this litigation to go forward long after a positive outcome for the Village seemed likely.

When Mr. DuBois ran against Councilwoman Lindsay for District 3 in 2010 he outed her anti-Palmer agenda. Mr. DuBois pointed out that years earlier Lindsay personally funded litigation to fight the school before taking control of the Council with Mayor Stanczyk and eventually Councilman Pariser to use the Village as a battering ram against the school. If fighting Palmer Trinity was her sole purpose for running for office she should not have run. At a bare minimum, based on her private activities and her inability to be impartial or properly represent her district, Councilwoman Joan Lindsay should have recused herself from deliberation and voting on all issues relating to Palmer.

As stated by Patrick Fiore at the Council meeting, the Palmer litigation could have been concluded years ago without financial liability to the Village or any snags over lighting, which is the current sticking point. If either the Mayor or Councilwoman would have just voted to approve the original site plan which had requested no light poles we would not be where we are today. They are ultimately 100% responsible for this fiasco.

So here we are approximately two years later, a million dollars spent in legal fees and still fighting with Palmer. Continuing litigation will soon to be at the sole expense of the Village taxpayers with either a twelve million dollar lawsuit hanging over our heads and/or a solution to the lawsuit of changing the lighting ordinance for the entire Village.

During the Council meeting three of the council members, Tim Schaffer, John Dubois and Patrick Fiore attempted to resolve, compromise and conclude what has been and could very well be the most expensive chapter in the history of the Village. All the while Mayor Stanczyk and Councilwoman Lindsay, who created this situation, chastised the council member’s good intentions of finding a solution for what has become an extremely complex issue facing the Village.

Are the Mayor and Councilwoman capable of taking any responsibility for this predicament? Do the morally corrupt ever take responsibility for their actions? Their hatred for the school prevents it and seriously clouds their judgment.

It was evident last night that Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and Councilwoman Joan Lindsay’s animosity for Palmer Trinity has influenced their ability to finally settle the litigation with Palmer.

My tax dollars should be spent on parks, infrastructure and basic governmental service that improve the quality of life for the in the Village, not litigation.

Next month there will be one more attempt to resolve the lighting issue with Palmer. I hope calmer heads will prevail but with Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and Councilwoman Joan Lindsay, I’m expecting the Village to be back in the courthouse for round five with Palmer. All the while the taxpayers are paying the bill for the Mayor’s and Councilwoman’s ongoing blunders.

David Singer

PB: State of the Village Notes Stolen!

SDM Exclusive – Below is a contraband copy of the first draft of the upcoming Palmetto Bay State of the Village address. Of course, it may not sound exactly like this once the Mayor edits the speech.

Welcome to the State of the Village address. My job today is to share with you the state of affairs here since my last address one year ago, and it ain’t pretty.

As most of you know, just after the last state of the village, I handed out campaign information at the polls while wearing my Mayor of Palmetto Bay badge. Because of my hard work, Tim Schaffer was added to the council and Brian Pariser was removed.

We will not discuss the fact that in only three or four months, Schaffer abandoned me to join form a new majority with Patrick Fiore and John Dubois. I think Brian put an image of my face on his family room dart board, but since he forgot to invite me to his Super Bowl party, I don’t know for sure.

Speaking of Fiore and Dubois, they were featured often in my once-anonymous blog “,” which was unmasked by a local attorney who may still be suing me. That blog may not have been my best idea last year since neither one of them speaks to me anymore.

We also made some progress on the Palmer Trinity litigation, though not because of anything I did. Despite my demands that we keep our little secrets in the shade and sue those bastards forever, we kept losing in court so the rest of the council voted to settle the issue. What a bunch of wimps. It’s not like it’s their money.

Anyway…last year, we successfully rebuilt the Thalatta estate so that we can hold even more weddings, which also keeps out our pesky residents. (Don’t tell anyone, but we only consider Thalatta to be part of our “park system” so we can avoid paying property taxes.)

Just like every year, we continue to aggressively spend our village savings account. In two years, my budgets have successfully reduced the village reserve from $10 million to $6 million. To give you an idea of how much money that is, our village would have to grow our tax base by about $1.7 billion (or 70%!) to recover that $4 million bucks. Impressive, right?

But I shouldn’t forget about the wonderful meetings I’ve been running for the past two years. On one particularly fun night, my colleague Joan Lindsay’s husband flipped the bird at the entire council. It takes one heck of a chairperson to frustrate people that much!

Finally, on my watch, we were able to end a ten-year relationship with our village attorney. She used to interfere with my management of the meetings so even though I voted against terminating her contract, I was glad to see her go. Toodles!

Now, without my brain regulator, I can irritate all of the Village People like nobody’s business. So my prediction for 2014 is that the State of the Village will be just like the current state of the village…total chaos!

( :) )

PB: Guest Post by David Singer – A Year in Review

It’s been a little over year ago that I started to place a real interest in the political shenanigans occurring in the Village of Palmetto Bay and I can say with certainty it hasn’t been boring. During the past year my house has been egged, I’ve received death threats, I’ve been lied about on fraudulent websites and been lied to by our local politicians. All in all it’s been a very interesting year.

I’ve learned over the past year that the residents don’t fully comprehend what was really occurring in the Village because the individuals running the city are so adept at lying. The real truth, about this Village, is written by an anonymous source that goes by the name South Dade Matters and, at times, articles written by Former Mayor Gene Flinn and Grant Miller.

People who don’t follow Palmetto Bay politics don’t understand our Village has serious issues that are not going away anytime soon. The real test of this Village will come next November when two new Councilmembers are elected along with what will hopefully be the replacement of Mayor Shelly Stanczyk and Councilwoman Joan Lindsay.

My original objective, after educating myself on the Palmer Litigation issue, was the recall of Mayor Shelly Stanczyk and Councilwoman Joan Lindsay. In addition, I felt it was appropriate to replace Councilman Brian Pariser with anyone who could actually think for themselves.

After last November’s election of Tim Schaffer and John Dubois, it was requested of me, even though the Recall documents had been prepared and they were ready for the collection of signatures, to delay the Recall in hopes that the new council would gain some resemblance of decorum and professionalism and come together for the benefit of the community. It hasn’t necessarily moved as fast and far in the direction I believe we Citizens deserve.

Various Councilmembers, specifically Mayor Shelly Stanczyk and Councilwoman Joan Lindsay, are still being manipulated and controlled by a small and extremist faction of the community called CCOCI (Concerned Citizens of Old Cutler, Inc.) This group is a danger for all residents who want to live in a Village where you’re neighbor doesn’t have the right to look over your fence and tell you it’s time to mow your grass or your kids can’t ride their bikes down the street earlier than 8 am on a Sunday morning. They are the crowd that live by the motto “Do as I say, not as I do.”

The CCOCI is being extremely successful in keeping the Shade Sessions regarding Palmer and Charter School litigation secret. They helped in passing the NPO (Neighborhood Protection Ordinance) which can be more accurately referred to as THE PROPERTY RIGHTS REVOCATION ACT. These are bad people with small minds who are trying to tell the residents of Palmetto Bay how they should live, worship and educate their children.

The point of writing this blog is to ask for help. Over the next year you, as a resident, are going to have the opportunity to talk to fellow residents and discuss what has been occurring in the Village in the past 4 to 6 years with regards to wasted money on litigation, finances and less than normal behavior by our Council. I would hope that each one of you would spread the word prior to the next election about your local government and the eventual negative impact on our lives that our elected officials will have on all of us if changes to the Council are not made.

A vote in support of candidates running against Mayor Stanczyk and Councilwoman Lindsay is a vote for the good of the Village. Removing Stanczyk and Lindsay will diminish the toxic effect of the CCOCI and the negative way in which they’ve diminished the quiet enjoyment of our Palmetto Bay. Vote against special interests, vote against divisiveness and vote against small mindedness.

David Singer

Guest Post: David Singer on the Shade Session Transcripts

Occasionally, SDM receives comments that are carefully constructed and thoughtful enough to justify a post of their own. Below is such a post by David Singer:

I spent a few hours reading and reviewing the redacted shade sessions last week and below are some of the facts I discovered in regard to the Villages continuing ligation with Palmer Trinity;

• The shade sessions reveal that Mayor Stanczyk and Councilwomen Lindsay approved spending approximately a million dollars in attorney fees to stop 250 children from attending Palmer Trinity.

• The shade sessions reveal that neither Mayor Stanczyk, Councilwomen Lindsay nor Former Vice Mayor Pariser listened to the advice of the Village Staff who recommended settlement and an increased enrollment at 1,150 students.

• The shade sessions reveal that three attorneys, including the Village Attorney, Eve Boutsis, were present when the Council was warned that there was less than a 30% chance of winning a Palmer appeal. But Mayor Stanczyk and Councilwoman Lindsay, voted to appeal the case repeatedly.

• The shade sessions reveal that Mayor Stanczyk, Councilwomen Lindsay and former Vice Mayor Pariser, voted to waste taxpayer’s dollars on frivolous litigation that should have ended in December 2010. Former Vice Mayor Pariser voted to continue litigation even though he stated he had great admiration for the former Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero who was hired by the Village and who said it would be difficult to prevail.

• The shade sessions reveal Mayor Stanczyk attempted to place blame on former Mayor Gene Flinn for constant appeal failures. That was on July 11, 2012.

• The shade sessions reveal that Mayor Stanczyk attempted to play traffic engineer and attorney during the appeal process both without any success.

• The shade sessions reveal that Mayor Stanczyk and Councilwoman Lindsay voted to retain an attorney at a cost of $650.00 per hour to continue appealing. $650.00 per hour, incidentally, is more money than some residents in Palmetto Bay bring home from a week of honest work.

• The shade sessions reveal Mayor Stanczyk claimed to be trying to “protect” Councilman Howard Tendrich and Patrick Fiore around the same time as the website was set up in her name to slander Mr. Tendrich and Mr. Fiore.

• The shade sessions reveal that The Village of Palmetto Bay would not be fighting Palmer today if either Mayor Stanczyk or Councilwomen Lindsay or were not on the Council. They did not create the problem but they prolonged and exploited the litigation for what appears to be political gain. [SDM note: Mayor Stanczyk did, in fact, create the problem when she moved to set Palmer’s maximum enrollment at 900, a figure that was not based on competent substantial evidence. Mrs. Stanczyk was told at the time of this legal defect, but proceeded anyway. SDM argues she is the architect of the Palmer fiasco.]

After the council meeting last week Councilwomen Lindsay and I had a brief conversation where she suggested that we meet to discuss her reasons for voting to continue to appeal the Palmer litigation. I thought her overture was gracious and I look forward to a one-on-one meeting.

David Singer


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