South Dade Matters

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

Tag: Karyn Cunningham

PB: Quick Bites

Land Use Meeting Goes Awry

SDM couldn’t bear to watch the July 21 meeting, though we tuned in for snippets thinking at some point the main event would begin.

But no…instead of finally resolving Palmer Trinity, we were treated to chaos over the Palmetto Bay Village Center. SDM doesn’t know how or why Palmer’s hearing got sidetracked, but we know who wanted the issue to get bogged down once again.

Therefore, we suspect the usual suspects.

SDM Says: It’s really too bad Palmetto Bay’s election is in November instead of next month. Our relief is tantalizingly close but still over the horizon.

Rumors Running Rampant Regarding Retirement

Sitting Village Councilwoman and moving target Joan Lindsay still has not filed to run for re-election, which is causing speculation all over town as to why.

One SDM commenter floated a rumor that Ms. Lindsay is moving out of town. Others have let fly much less charitable explanations that you did not see and will not see printed here without real evidence.

Whatever the truth is, Mrs. Lindsay has three announced candidates in the race for Seat 3 and SDM thinks at least two of them will stay in regardless of what Lindsay does.

Seat 3 is Getting Crowded

Since our last election update, perennial council public speaker Henry Clifford has joined the race for Seat 3 to succeed Joan Lindsay.

Mr. Clifford is well known to be one of the usual suspects, a CCOCI guy, etc. He hasn’t filed any campaign reports so SDM can’t say whether he will be a serious candidate.

Both Larissa Siegel Lara and James Shedd are showing respectable cash supplies for this early in the campaign so we should expect some fireworks in this now competitive race.

Mayor’s Race: Stanczyk Finally Gets a Contribution – One Contribution!

In the Mayor’s race, the news continues to be bizarre. Sitting Mayor Shelley Stanczyk – the incumbent, with all the trappings of office – finally, in her FOURTH campaign report – disclosed a single $99 campaign contribution. That’s it. Ninety-nine bucks.

Oh and she put in $4,000 of her own money, so now she has about the same cash available as Patrick Fiore…call it about 4 grand apiece. Not a good reporting cycle for the two incumbents…not good at all.

The real mayoral candidates continue to report good numbers: Peter England has about $13,000 on hand and Eugene Flinn, about $10,000, most of which he loaned himself…better step it up!.

Seat 1: The Powers Collide

Karyn Cunningham is motoring along as if she’s done this before. (She has, in fact, done this before and it shows.) Cunningham can be seen most days tooling around town in her convertible while she sits on around $25,000 that will no doubt be unleashed in the last 30 – 60 days of the campaign. If you don’t know all of David Zisman’s foibles by now, you will surely know them by November.

Not to be outdone, David Zisman is sitting on about $26,000 and will be ready to fire back in kind. He too can be seen most days behind the wheel of his golf cart with a gorgeous, bubbly blond who we presume is his spouse (we’re kind of crusty old farts about stuff like that).  In any case, Given Mr. Zisman’s proclivity to incivility at  council meetings, we expect vitriol in the extreme coming from his camp November.

SDM Says: Election 2014 will be a wild ride in November so get your popcorn ready.

PB: Quick Bites – Elections, Etc. Edition

Waivering in the Mayor’s Race

Campaign reports due on June 10 are already loaded up on the village website. See Clerk’s Election 2014 page. (Nice job over there in the Clerk’s office!)

Let’s start with the most obvious takeaway: Incumbent Mayor Shelley Stanczyk still has not raised a single dollar from anyone in Palmetto Bay other than herself! For the second reporting period in a row, she filed a “waiver,” meaning she has neither raised nor spent any money on her campaign. That a sitting, incumbent (perhaps recumbent is a better word) mayor has raised exactly zilch with fewer than 146 days to the general election in political terms is a cluster___.

Second takeaway: Former Mayor Eugene Flinn and returning aspirant Peter England both have about $10,000 available to their campaigns. England still looks to be working the fundraising scene with more vigor while Flinn is self-funding. Fiore lags at $3,000 available.

Most interesting takeaway: All tolled (or is it told?) the mayoral candidates have raised about$27,000, which is less than either candidate in District 1.

District 1: Working hard and making bedfellows

First takeaway: Both Karyn Cunningham and David Zisman know how to raise money. (Just think if either were in the mayor’s race now…he or she would be the favorite!) Cunningham continues to accumulate money; she’s raised ~$28,000 and still has ~$23,000 in the bank.

Second takeaway: David Zisman has made a friend in the charter school business. Wayne Rosen who is building the village’s first charter school in the downtown looks to have raised Zisman at least $4,000 this cycle. SDM notes that Zisman likes party supplies. He spent ~$640 on paper hats and noise makers! (Just kidding, it was all spent on “party supplies.”)

Most interesting takeaway: David Zisman leads all comers with more than $25,000 in the bank and ready to go. SDM thinks somebody is taking this gig seriously this time.

District 3: The mysterious Shedd is unopposed

First takeaway: Unknown James A. Shedd is in law enforcement so three of his campaign contributions were made without reporting a physical address. SDM deduces that these contributions came from retired cops so their addresses are undisclosed so bad guys can’t locate them. Palmetto Bay voters may want to note that the bulk of Shedd’s contributions come from outside the village, which means exactly…nothing.

Second takeaway: Mr. Shedd has managed to not bounce any checks for one campaign report in a row. Bravo.

Most interesting takeaway: While the intrepid Mme. Mayor boasts zero contributions, her mentor and savant, incumbent District 3 Councilwoman Joan Lindsay doesn’t even have a campaign. With less than 5 months to go, Lindsay hasn’t even bothered to sign up to run. Is there a surprise coming here? Maybe hubby is going to run instead? Only if the blog gods have a sense of humor…

Speaking of a sense of humor – this one ain’t funny

Regular guest poster David Singer left SDM a comment that we didn’t publish. (We do that often when people want to send us messages without disclosing their identities. We’re very secretive at SDM…woooooo.)

Singer has filed a suit against Gary Pastorella and CCOCI. (Don’t you wish you were Pastorella’s lawyer? He’s like the gift that keeps on giving!)

Anyway, the lawsuit is a “Petition for Pure Bill of Discovery.” The purpose of the suit is to demand certain records to determine if the infamous Pastorella email of a few weeks ago contained defamatory material that was communicated to others.

The upshot is that Singer wants to know to whom Pastorella and CCOCI sent the email(s) and exactly what was said in the communications related to them. SDM presumes that if Singer or his employer were defamed and can prove it, they may serve village gadfly Pastorella and his CCOCI overlords with a suit for money damages.

SDM says: Mr. Singer may have a hard time getting over the hurdle since he has become something of a public figure in our little burgh, but his employer may be the ultimate plaintiff in any event. It’s much harder to prove defamation against a public figure, but businesses routinely knock down loud-mouthed activists using SLAPP suits. SDM isn’t a fan of the tactic, but everyone has a breaking point and Singer may have reached his.


PB Quick Bites Election Update: Bitch and You Shall Receive

SDM was feeling cranky yesterday so we took the village clerk to task for failing to post the most recent campaign reports for village offices. About an hour after we posted…voila!…the May 12 reports were up and available for review. The squeeky wheel gets the grease.

And without further ado…SDM’s quick update of financial position along with a bonus, insightful comment:

Mayor’ Race

Peter England – Cash on hand: $9000±

England’s donors look to come almost exclusively from Palmetto Bay with contributions in relatively small increments. Looks like England is serious and has some real support this time.

Patrick Fiore – Cash on hand: Less than $2,000

Fiore looks to be treading water. His support is paper thin and he’s looking less and less serious every day. Maybe a move back to his council seat is in the offing?

Eugene Flinn – Cash on hand: $8,800±

Flinn put $10,000 of his own money down. Doesn’t look like he’s started campaigning yet. Name identification is his hole card.

Shelley Stanczyk – Cash on hand: No change from last period – Less than $1,000

SDM is shocked. Even given her weird behavior, we figured the CCOCI loons would be financing their favorite daughter. Instead, she filed a “waiver,” meaning she hasn’t raised a single dollar for her campaign! (Her money all came from a personal loan.) SDM Says: The Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno, and Godzilla are movies that will turn out better than the Stanczyk re-election epic (fail).


Council District 1

Karyn Cunningham – Cash on hand: Just under $24,000

She is just cruising along. Consistency defined.

David Zisman – Cash on hand: Just under $21,000

After an eruption of fundraising last period and two full disclosures without amendment, Zisman looks to have lost a little steam. Doggone it! Happily, SDM believes he is the only candidate that can boast a $1,000 contribution from a Homestead musician!

Council District 3

Nothing to report other than there is only one announced candidate: James Archie Shedd. The incumbent, Joan Lindsay, has yet to file for re-election. Pssst Peter: Look at this situation! It’s just itching for an injection of seriousness.

SDM Says: The big story here is that the incumbent mayor cannot muster any support whatsoever, with Fiore’s impotence right behind. SDM is sure Lindsay will run…but then again, are we?


Quick Bites: Money and Principles Edition

Palmetto Bay Campaign Reports

Not a lot to report on the campaign front, but some tidbits are hiding in the campaign reports.

  • Shelley Stanczyk and Patrick Fiore posted modest campaign numbers for their initial filings. Stanczyk mustered only one contribution – from herself! It’s not a good sign when a sitting elected mayor cannot even find one other person to open her campaign fund. Fiore managed four contributions and is leading on the money front early. Peter England and Eugene Flinn haven’t posted any reports yet.
  • Council candidate Karyn Cunningham is sitting on a healthy balance of more than $15,000 while her opponent David Zisman has a balance of more than $20,000. SDM expects this race to get ugly given Zisman’s uncivil past. Vice Mayor John Dubois contributed wine for a party in honor of Mr. Zisman’s campaign, which indicates he’s made a decision in this race. If the rumors about Mr. Zisman turn into fact, look for Dubois to hedge his bets with Cunningham.
  • Given Dubois’ support of Zisman, SDM can only scratch our collective pates at Cunningham’s largest expenditure last reporting period. She paid over $4,000 (some of which was for hard printing costs) to the Green Point Group, which managed Dubois’ campaign last cycle. Green Point Group is Jose Castillo’s consulting company that ran Lynda Bell’s surprisingly successful campaign for county commissioner. SDM Says: Money talks.

Soccer’s lights are dimming

The Miami Herald is spending much time on the back and forth over the David Beckham’s dream of a waterfront soccer stadium at Port Miami.

SDM is sympathetic to the allure of the bright lights that seem to accompany Mr. Beckham wherever he goes. Politicians and the local hoi polloi find his aura irresistible, so much so that they are seriously considering paralyzing Miami’s second largest economic engine.

Fortunately for those of us who wish to see an end to corporate welfare – especially, dumb corporate welfare – a serious and potentially devastating counter-puncher has appeared on the scene to stave off Mr. Beckham’s advances.

Miami’s own Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines seems to have rallied the port’s tenants into forming the “Miami Seaport Alliance,” which is designed to dim the soccer promoter’s klieg lights.

SDM Wonders: Isn’t it a little ironic that the Arison family’s company is a force behind killing off a downtown sports stadium?

SDM predicts that county commissioners will turn their backs to Mr. Beckham now that their regular supporters have awakened to the potential of a soccer nightmare at their doorstep. However, we don’t expect these masters of raiding public coffers to extend their outrage over this deal much past the port’s confines. A principled stand this is not.

PB: Is Zisman A Serious Candidate?

Campaign reports probably would bore 90% of people to death, but SDM finds them to be chock full of insights about candidates.

Take Karyn Cunningham’s reports for example. Over three reporting periods, Ms. Cunningham’s campaign for village council district 1 show that she has raised nearly $15,000 and spent almost nothing. [Interesting contributor: David Singer, who often graces these pages with his commentary.]

The other interesting point about Ms. Cunningham’s reports is that they are neatly drafted and properly reflect the state of her campaign.  You can review the reports on the Clerk’s Election 2014 page.

Now, contrast Ms. Cunningham’s reporting to that of her opponent, David Zisman.

The first report he filed (M11)  seems to follow the process pretty well. In it he types in that he received $7,225 in checks and a candidate loan of $10,000. [Singer donated here, too. Playing both sides of the fence, are we?] SDM added up the contributions and the $7,225 number seems right.

But then, Zisman handwrites, in what looks to be crayon, “$1725.00″ under Total Monetary and “$350″ under In-kind. There are no matching entries in the contribution or expenditure pages attached to the report showing any In-kind donations at all. SDM has no idea where the $1725 figure came from. Maybe it should be $17,225, which is the sum of the loan and the contributions?

Zisman’s “M12″ report makes even less sense than the previous one. In it he claims to receive a contribution of $200, meaning his total contributions should be $17,425. Instead, he lists total contributions of either $475.25 or $175.25, depending on how one reads his chicken scratch. [Singer claims to be an accountant...maybe he could help a brother out?]

In the most recent “M1″ report, Zisman reports no activity. [Maybe he gave up? :) ]

So the question becomes, how much cash does Mr. Zisman have on hand? It should be just over $17,000, but we can’t be sure. Isn’t reporting important to you, Mr. Zisman?

Apparently not. Mr. Zisman’s reports indicate a complete lack of seriousness regarding the statutory requirement of properly reporting campaign income and expenditures.

SDM Wonders: If elected, will Mr. Zisman be as cavalier with village responsibilities as he is with campaign responsibilities?

SDM Says: Let’s not find out.

South Dade Politics Edition

Palmetto Bay Campaign Update

The Miami Herald ran a story today noting that two candidates had filed to run (again) for Palmetto Bay village council. The always colorful David Zisman is attributed as admitting that he ran for mayor in 2010 as a “‘protest’ after the then council voted against granting him a setback variance.”

How odd is it that Zisman would run around the village merely to be a pain in the backside of the other mayoral candidates? SDM doesn’t recall him telling the voters his candidacy was merely a protest.

But what really knocked SDM for a loop was this comment:

Palmetto Bay’s budget is “bloated,” Zisman told the Miami Herald, as more staff has been hired unnecessarily and money has been pumped into projects that are not needed.

“There’s probably $1 to $2 million that has been wasted on hiring people who we don’t need and who don’t do anything for us,” he said.

Huh? Palmetto Bay’s council voted to spend $14.2 million during this budget year, divided one-third to salaries and two-thirds to operational costs. Reducing that budget by 15% would be significant, especially given Mr. Zisman’s commitment to maintain the $2.5 million reserve depletion to be spent on downtown redevelopment.

SDM Wonders: Where would Mr. Zisman cut to achieve a 15% reduction? Or, is he throwing around numbers as a political ploy?

Now just to head off any criticism of this blog, SDM believes Palmetto Bay has grown like a weed under the current management and needs to be trimmed back. However, a 15% cut would be both extremely painful and would fall disproportionately on services that village residents enjoy. To be fair, Mr. Zisman did not say that he would attempt to cut the entire amount in one year, but such a comment certainly deserves further clarification from the candidate.

As to Karyn Cunningham, SDM would like to see something more than nebulous calls for “inclusiveness…leadership and direction.” SDM was very impressed by Ms. Cunningham’s campaign two years ago and we encourage her to clearly and specifically tell us how she is going to make Palmetto Bay’s government better and leaner.

Levine Cava Campaign Kicks Off

Yesterday, Daniella Levine Cava kicked off her campaign to unseat the very beatable Commissioner Lynda Bell. SDM is glad she joined the battle but we’re also extremely worried about Ms. Levine Cava’s beliefs and views.

Ms. Levine Cava founded an organization called the Human Services Coalition, which eventually turned into Catalyst Miami. In a recent Miami New Times story about Ms. Levine Cava (who is identified only as Daniella Levine, interestingly), she says that “Catalyst is an emanation of my soul…and I believe in pulling people in the right direction instead of pushing them.”

So what emanates from Ms. Levine Cava’s soul? Here are some examples from Catalyst Miami’s website:

  • The Penny Wise Campaign: “The Penny Wise Campaign was launched when Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez proposed a budget for FY 2009-10 that would eliminate all funding for community-based organizations in social services, environment and the arts. Thousands of Miami-Dade residents organized in response to these plans, attending planning meetings, signing petitions, demonstrating at rallies and collaborating across organization and sector. Thanks in large part to a strong shared message from community organizations, nonprofits were not eliminated from the budget. Instead, 70% of the previous year’s budget amount was preserved. In 2010, Mayor Alvarez proposed cutting 25% of CBO funding. Again, because we organized, our funding was preserved.” (Emphasis added by SDM.)

SDM Wonders: Will Ms. Levine Cava be a permanent vote for the bloated county social services budget of which she was so recently a beneficiary? If so, this view of the county’s responsibilities will be quite different from that of Ms. Bell and many fed up taxpayers, too.

  • The Harvest Democracy Program, according the Catalyst website “helps nonprofits accomplish their missions by incorporating advocacy and policy analysis into their organizational strategic planning, and by being effective advocates at all levels of government.”

SDM Wonders: Surely Ms. Levine Cava recognizes that 501c3 nonprofits are not supposed to be lobbying, so why would Catalyst be encouraging nonprofits to “contact members of their congressional delegation as needed on issues related to a public policy agenda”?

SDM Says: One would be hard pressed to find an issue that divides the right from the left more than Obamacare and Ms. Levine Cava’s Catalyst is the go-to organization implementing this disaster of a program.

There is more, but you get the picture. Ms. Levine Cava represents a sea change in county commission candidates: a true believer in the liberal/progressive world view of government being the ultimate catalyst for social change. Even the left-leaning, former Commissioner Katy Sorenson couldn’t boast such a frightening record before she entered politics.

SDM won’t be climbing on board this particular train.

PB: SDM’s Early Agenda For 2014

Since several candidates have raised their craniums above the Palmetto Bay din, SDM figures it’s time to think about what we want those candidates to do for our little village.

Before getting into specifics, let’s recount the known (including incumbents) and rumored (denoted with an *) candidates:


Shelley Stanczyk (i)

Patrick Fiore*

Peter England

Super Secret Candidate Number 1*

District 1

Karyn Cunningham

David Zisman

District 3

Joan Lindsay (i)

Super Secret Candidate #2*

We know you’re dying to learn the names of the SSCs, but SDM has not been told these folks are actually running so we’re not going to blow their cover today. We can say that if either or both decide to run, these races will become instantly more interesting.

Palmetto Bay’s Shrinking Reserves

The first and most important item facing the next council will be the financial disaster the current administration left to future generations.

At one time, Palmetto Bay enjoyed more than $10 million in reserves. We’ve attempted in these pages to explain just what that represents by showing how much growth is required to replenish such a sum. (See Everyone’s Rich on Friday.)

The truth is that Palmetto Bay is not going to grow itself back to financial health, especially if the village government continues to spend more each year than it brings in. This is precisely what your village manager has recommended in the past two budgets and, shamefully, he has gotten the votes he needed.

It is also true that cutting the budget is hard and causes pain to residents and employees, but are we prepared to raise taxes to support a perpetually growing government? Whatever happened to “government light” as former Mayor Flinn called it?

Just last year, the village paid for two additional police officers that were not requested by the department director. That makes two years in a row your village council has purchased services that they were not willing to pay for out of current revenue. Instead, they raided reserves.

SDM Wonders: Since we know where the incumbents (Stanczyk, Fiore and Lindsay) stand on these expenditures, what do the challengers think about them? Will they continue to eat the seed corn laid in by previous administrations or will they curb the ever-increasing appetite of the Ron Williams machine?

Franjo Triangle

Part of the Williams master plan is to take our eyes off the ball by pushing the very necessary development of the Franjo Triangle as a budget balancer.

The only thing SDM can say about this idea is that it’s the right thing to do for the wrong reason.

We’ve shown that even the most optimistic scenarios for the Franjo Triangle will not save Palmetto Bay’s budget. In fact, we see nothing in the record that even attempts to quantify the administration’s claim that its plans for the Triangle will result in a healthier budget over any given time period.

But…and this is a big but…SDM supports fully the idea that Palmetto Bay should be trying to transform the Franjo Triangle. We should undertake this activity because it will create a center of gravity for our town: a place to go for food and entertainment.

At the same time, the village must honor the residents who choose to stay in the Triangle. We think they deserve the chance to preserve their lifestyles to the greatest extent possible while also recognizing that change is coming.

SDM sees the Triangle as a Coconut Grove where there is a “downtown” of high rises integrating into a funky neighborhood of old Florida homes. Maybe over time the homes convert to small businesses and restaurants… who knows?

One thing we do know is that no amount of central planning will necessarily cause the change we imagine. The change can be helped along by careful thinking, marketing and public investment that is linked to actual private investment, but in and of itself, no government can force the change to happen.

And, they certainly shouldn’t be building future budgets on what are at best wild hypotheticals.

SDM Wonders: How do the candidates see the Triangle’s development? Will they support the changes proposed by the committee? How will they integrate the needs of the current residents?

Our Crumbling Community Dialogue

Though our economic challenges are serious, SDM believes our community dialogue is in far worse shape. Sure, some of you would love to blame SDM for the deterioration, but do you really think it’s all our fault? (We’re not talking to you Kaptain Kreepy.)

We try to be careful with our language here, though we admit to poking fun at certain easy targets. But in the end, this site is just a little blip on the radar compared to the commentary at council meetings, for example.

Frankly, we believe that the folks over at CCOCI and those working with Mayor Stanczyk on her website deserve a larger share of blame for bringing us so low. We believe their tactics of pitting homeowners against private schools and churches was politically motivated and socially corrosive from the start.

BTW, we also think the current mayor runs a terrible meeting, which doesn’t help matters.

So SDM Wonders: How will candidates try to bring harmony back to Palmetto Bay? Can we have a dialogue that respects individual points of view while encouraging a healthy dialogue on the serious issues confronting the village?

PB: Candidates Rising

Former Vice Mayor Candidate Karyn Cunningham Announces for District 1

Close on the heels of David Zisman’s announcement that he is running for a seat on the village council, former Vice Mayor candidate Karyn Cunningham just announced she will challenge him for the right to replace current Councilman Patrick Fiore.

Cunningham surprised the insiders last year when in her first run for public office she garnered a very respectable 30% of the votes in the general election.

SDM likes Cunningham’s chances against the mercurial Zisman.

SDM Wonders: Where is Mr. Fiore going? The rumor mill says he runs for Mayor, but will he take the risk? If he changes his mind, do Cunningham and/or Zisman stay in the race against him?

SDM Says: Mr. Zisman has pushed his buddy Fiore into a bit of a box by limiting his options and has done so very early in the process.  What a pal.

Fiore vs. Stanczyk: Now wouldn’t that be interesting?

SDM is not sure whether we should cheer or fear this race. Mr. Fiore votes the right way most of the time. In fact, he is probably the most consistent vote for our viewpoint.

But to be fair, Mr. Fiore does not exactly stand out on the council. He is quiet and sometimes gets confused, largely due to Mrs. Stanczyk’s meeting management, no doubt.

Perhaps Mr. Fiore’s best argument is that he has consistently supported a settlement of the Palmer matter while the Mayor has consistently interfered with resolving the litigation.

SDM Wonders: Will Fiore demonstrate the charisma necessary for a Mayor’s race? Can he knock off a damaged incumbent? Will anyone else join the party?

Rumors Running Rampant in District 3

SDM understands a major candidate is waiting in the wings, gauging support for a run against the very vulnerable District 3 Councilwoman Joan Lindsay.

SDM Says: If the rumor turns out to be true, Ms. Lindsay will face a serious, experienced challenger, which is good for democracy and very good for the Village People.

PB: When Winning Is Not Enough

In the 2010 election, current Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk faced candidate Peter England in an epic battle. Stanczyk won by 18 82 votes out of 4,554 cast. Rather than being thankful and feeling blessed by the slim victory, Stanczyk seems to have become embittered by it.

Look at her Palmetto Bay Checks the Record post in which she rips her vanquished opponent:

Palmetto Bay did have reasonable campaigns, once upon a time. I remember when it started to change. In the second campaign for Mayor, Eugene Flinn (whose opponent was the perpetual candidate Jim Araiza, yes I know, again) was able to raise a huge amount of money. Then, in the following election of 2010 the flood gates really opened with the Peter England campaign. He started about a 15-18 months out from the election to win the Mayor’s seat and went over the top with money from the business community. For little old Palmetto Bay? (Posted October 29, 2012)

Funny thing about politicians: it never seems to occur to them that the reason an opponent raises so much money is because a bunch of people really, really don’t want YOU! Meanwhile, when the politician goes out and raises money for herself, well, that’s just evidence of community support. SDM just calls it hypocrisy.

Now take a look at a later post where Stanczyk gives her supposed ally Tim Schaffer a backhanded compliment that is really a dig at her last opponent:

Tim Schaffer is a new person on the campaign and political front. I met him a couple of years ago when he delivered a letter to me opposing the CRA development vehicle that Peter England was supporting. (Posted November 2, 2012)

Later, in the same post, Stanczyk offers a rambling, Nixonian attack on a bunch of her political enemies:

Charter schools and developers now own Dubois and Araiza and Cunningham. Dubois’ property holdings on the US1 corridor and the Triangle in conjunction with his want for an Enterprise Zone tell you how his vote will be used. Enterprise Zones remove the normal controls over development and give tax cuts and other incentives that cost the residential tax payer. Dubois, Araiza, Tendrich (owns US1 property) as well as Cunningham (Flinn’s friends own multiple properties on US1) all have a strong connection to development. The healthy $10.1 million reserves of the Village is (sic) a cache of money that could be drained for developer subsidy. Dubois’ friend Peter England wanted to do it in the last election. Here we go again with our tax dollars and financial security under threat by the big business group. I’m not seeing any concern for the residents and families of our community from them. (Posted November 2, 2012)

Let SDM get this straight so we are all on the same page when Palmetto Bay’s 2014 election rolls around. When Mayor Stanczyk accepts a contribution, that person or entity now owns her. And, assuming Stanczyk has any political “friends” left in 2014, then those friends are all seeking subsidies from village coffers, right? Got it. Warped as they may be, at least we voters know the ground rules now thanks to our “leader.”

And by the way Mme. Mayor, you really need to spend a minute learning about Enterprise Zones and CRAs because your “facts” are all wrong, again. SDM doesn’t have the time or energy today to correct you, but if you continue to lie to the village people we will take you to task on that subject, too.

SDM Says: If politics is like a game, then the metaphor is most relevant to the way winners and losers are treated. Shelley Stanczyk’s narrow victory over Peter England in 2010 was not enough for her. Even two years later she continued to bash her opponent, which reminded SDM of a saying: “It is your response to winning and losing that makes you a winner or a loser.”

PB Agenda Quick Bites: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

EDC Getting Some Love

SDM was glad to see that the village will be sponsoring the Economic Development Council’s golf tournament, which is a major component of the annual EDC’s funding. For those not familiar with the EDC, it is the only economic development organization dedicated to our area and it is where local businesses go to learn about opening their doors here.

Palmetto Bay is right to participate in the fundraiser and should consider doing more.

Karyn Cunningham Staying Involve

Former Vice Mayor Candidate Karyn Cunningham looks to be appointed to the village’s educational compact committee, which is good for all of us. Ms. Cunningham deserves the opportunity to remain involved in village politics so that we may see her run again. SDM was favorably impressed by her campaign and is glad to see that she is willing to donate her time to village causes.

Tying Auto Insurance to Property Insurance is a Bad Idea

Councilman Fiore has included on the agenda an item urging the legislature to require any company writing auto insurance to also write property insurance. What Mr. Fiore may not know is that this experiment in exercising regulatory muscle was tried and failed in New Jersey.

New Jersey residents faced increasing auto insurance rates because many companies chose to exit the market rather than expose their businesses to the complexities and risks associated with the property insurance market.

Before the village council assents to Mr. Fiore’s idea, they should spend some time researching the issue to see if it will serve the purpose intended.

Other Bad Ideas in the Legislative Package

Supporting the school district’s legislative package in toto.  This is not a bad idea in the sense that assisting the school district is a bad idea; rather, this is a bad idea because SDM would bet a campaign contribution that none of the council has read the district’s legislative package. Our school district is a political body just like all the others and they deserve scrutiny and not blind assent.

Supporting expansion of early voting sites and hours. SDM has only one question: Who will pay for this? It’s as if our elected officials have no interest in digging into these questions when they push for new ways to spend our money. Do we even know if this will actually work?

Opposing legislation that restricts or eliminates municipal revenues generated through communications services taxes and by local business taxes. SDM’s readers are a wise and intellectual bunch. Do you understand what this item means?

SDM Codebreaker: We will be sending our village lobbyist to Tallahassee to support these taxes being imposed upon our businesses! We are paying our taxes so that the Mayor can go and keep us paying other taxes. Doesn’t this make you feel good about your government?

The First Fix to the Broken NPO: Give the Village Special Treatment

Item 12C is an ordinance that grants village parks – including Wedding Central at Thalatta Estate – special dispensation. If the ordinance passes, village parks will be permitted to violate the supposedly sacrosanct maximum decibels as written into the NPO.

You see, the village just figured out that children playing in the parks may be occasionally loud enough to violate the village’s noise pollution standards so – of course – Mayor Stanczyk and Councilwoman Lindsay have decided to exempt themselves.

But what about children playing at churches and private schools? Well, their joyous laughter will continue to be squashed by the village because Councilwoman Lindsay wants her peculiar version of peace and quiet.

SDM Wonders: Do Councilwoman Lindsay and Mayor Stanczyk believe that the folks living near Palmetto Bay’s parks have rights inferior to those living near Palmer Trinity School?

SDM Says: In a hyper-regulatory environment like we have in our little village, residents face a choice: silence all the children or silence none. SDM supports the latter.



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