South Dade Matters

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

Tag: Karyn Cunningham

Guest Post by David Singer: District 1 Candidates Speak

During the election cycle there are few opportunities for the average Palmetto Bay resident to get to know a candidates objective in running for Council. I had an interesting idea, why not from each candidate a narrative on what their personal goals will be in their first 100 days of their term if they win their respective council seats. Narratives were limited to 250 words and I pledged to all candidates I would not comment or change what was submitted. As promised please find their essays below:

Karyn Cunningham’s “First Hundred Days” on Village of Palmetto Bay Council

Create a Resident-Driven Five Year Strategic Plan based on resident surveys and community outreach. These will serve as the basis for development of the goals, objectives and intended outcomes identified by the Council and most importantly, a plan for implementation and accountability.

Reduce Taxes and Eliminate Wasteful Spending- For two years, the village has passed budgets with an average of over 20% increase in general fund operating expenses. This must stop. Despite high marks for village services, dozens of new employees have been hired. We need to spend smart and spend on projects that are determined to be priorities BY THE RESIDENTS, not by the Council or the Village Manager in a vacuum. This can be accomplished using input from better community outreach.

Expand Resident Communications through increased and substantive emails, mailings and newspaper advertising to create more transparency, ease of access and flow of village information to residents about village happenings and other important information of interest to residents.

Create a Small Business Marketing and Communication Plan to increase revenue through business development by attracting and growing local businesses. I will analyze the impact and outcome of our existing policies and how they relate to economic development, job creation and business development in the community.

Expand Village Advisory Boards to create more opportunities for residents to have a voice in local government and encourage civic engagement in the community. New Advisory Boards will include: Financial, Parks and Recreation, and Special Events Planning. In addition, establish Advisory Board Reports on the agenda of every council meeting.

David Zisman’s “First Hundred Days” on Village of Palmetto Bay Council

Palmetto Bay is a great community but the Council has lost its direction, vision and civility. I’m running to change that and build a community of friends and neighbors. I’m a businessman, owner of Evenings Delight. I pledge to bring that experience to the Council. My goals are based on what I’ve heard from Village residents over many years. Although one-hundred days is insufficient time to compensate for the neglect of the current Council’s four years, I will initiate these polices starting in the first Five Minutes of my term:

• Hold the line on taxes.
• Make our Parks the best in the County.
• Develop a downtown that safeguards the residential quality of our village.
• Provide the police with the needed tools to ensure our safety.
• Provide fire stations to save lives in the Village.
• Establish civility on the Council.
• Work with South Florida Water Management to restore deteriorating canal banks throughout our Village.
• Ensure Village employees provide friendly customer service for Village residents.
• Streamline Village government.
• To ensure Transparency, post all bids, contracts and expenses online.
• Stop unnecessary litigation.

Together we will make this a better place to live while maintaining a low tax rate. We need action, not surveys. We need decisive leadership on the Council, not committees. We need a council that will lead us toward a better future. Please JOIN TEAM DAVE! and vote November 4th, David Zisman for Palmetto Bay Council Seat 1. Palmetto Bay, You Deserve Better.
David Singer

PB: Meet the Candidates

Local Realtor Miami Hal (a/k/a Hal Feldman, RE/MAX Advance Realty) offered an excellent service to our community when he videotaped the Palmetto Bay Business Association’s candidates forum. Click here to watch. SDM will augment the service by providing a cheat sheet to find some candidates of interest (time on the video in parentheses):

County Commission District 8

Daniella Levine Cava (7:38)

Lynda Bell (10:15)

Palmetto Bay Mayor

Peter England (13:07)

Patrick Fiore (15:34)

Eugene Flinn (17:32)

Shelley Stanczyk (20:36)

Palmetto Bay Seat 1

Karyn Cunningham (24:12)

David Zisman (26:48)

Palmetto Bay Seat 3

James Shedd (29:09)

Larissa Siegel Lara (31:44)

Henry Clifford (34:26)

SDM Says: The candidates did a creditable job of presenting themselves. A couple of standouts: David Zisman used some of his time to level legitimate criticism of the past village council, especially focusing on the nonsensical dog barking ordinance. Henry Clifford wins the award for most boring presentation. Karyn Cunningham and Larissa Siegel Lara come off as most polished. The mayoral candidates are going to go at it hard, but Flinn and England have to be the frontrunners.

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).

Winters

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.

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