South Dade Matters

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

Tag: Palmetto Bay

PB: Seen at Levine Cava Party

SDM was going through the pictures posted on Eye On Miami and found this picture. The second shot is a close up, cropped version.

party 2

MME

It don’t take a rocket surgeon to identify these folks! Mme. Mayor searching for some coattails to ride.

Guest Post by David Singer: Mayoral 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 request 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:

Peter England’s “First Hundred Days”

The highest priority of my administration as Mayor is to restore inclusiveness in Palmetto Bay. Everyone will be heard, everyone respected. We will conduct Council meetings in an atmosphere of respect and openness for residents and Council members alike. Every member of the Council is elected by and represents the entire Village and we will conduct their business accordingly. As Mayor, I preside over Council meetings, but our success will depend on collaboration to achieve our common goals.

One of the first proposals I will put before the Council is to empanel a new Charter Review Committee to assess this document in advance of a referendum in 2015. We must put discriminatory behavior, and the associated litigation, behind us and ensure that every member of our community has equal standing under our law.

We will conduct a thorough review of our Constitutional officers to ensure they are in synch with the direction of the Village Council.

Finally, we will institute a policy of total transparency, so that any resident can easily obtain any document which pertains to Palmetto Bay’s business. The Village’s current policy claims transparency, but does not provide full access to information and often erects egregious barriers to a resident’s ability to obtain what they want. I will work with the Council to fix this.

We have a great Village with enormous unrealized potential. My pledge is to make Palmetto Bay’s government as good as the people it serves.

Patrick Fiore’s “First Hundred Days”

The primary concern for this Village in the first one hundred days is to ensure that all residents are encouraged to participate in their governmental process. By “participate,” I mean that everyone’s opinion will be considered in a respectful manner, without condescension. I, as Mayor, will strictly uphold the provisions of the Citizen’s Bill of Rights, that is listed in our charter.

During the very first council meeting of the new council, I will introduce an agenda item, on dealing with the traffic issues, and excessive speed issues on our interior residential streets, and the process to resolve them.

As Mayor, I would facilitate the flow of the meetings quicker.

I would like to see added importance given to the Committee of the Whole meetings, especially on items where there is limited time to discuss at a regular council meeting.

I plan on proposing more reductions in our permitting fees, although changes were made, there is still more to do.

I will institute a “Mayor for a Day Program”, based much on my “Councilman for a Day” events I have held since 2011, where residents get first hand, close up knowledge of issues within the Village, especially infrastructure/public works, and quality of life issues.

The Mayor, and the Council should work closer together with our County, State, and Federal partners to ensure that Palmetto Bay is aware of all the resources available to assist us on big item issues, like road projects, protecting our natural resources, and environment, outreach would begin as soon as the new council is sworn in.

Patrick Fiore, candidate for Mayor of Palmetto Bay.

Eugene Flinn’s “First Hundred Days”

FDR coined the term, “First 100 Days,” and in that time, he passed fifteen bills which formed the basis of the New Deal. I want my first 100 days to be productive in establishing this community, and I have a solid record of experience in my eight years as Palmetto Bay’s founding mayor to back it up. Working with residents and staff, in my First 100 Days, we will:

• Hold roundtable meetings with officials, residents, and local business owners to identify our mutual goals and give everyone a voice in updating the long-term Master Plan;

• Review the condition of the parks to restore the fun that has been stripped from the play lots. Get the concession stands reopened for regular hours and repair any broken park equipment;

• Conduct a personnel audit to so village government functions at peak efficiency;

• Set committee goals and set up a system to view the goals and minutes of our existing committees, including the Downtown Redevelopment Task Force;

• Create and appoint a youth advisory committee. Reestablish a special events committee, create more events that residents will attend. Why not bringing back an annual Art Show in our village?;

• Reinvigorate the budget and finance committee to identify opportunities to improve spending decisions; and

• Improve the village website for ease of use, improve content and simplify payment features. Keep an accurate and easy to locate document archive. Restore the online services to our village permitting department and WiFi in our parks, which are no longer available for unexplained reasons.

I will maintain an online diary of so everyone can constantly monitor our progress and offer suggestions.

Go to eugeneflinn.com for the full plan.

Mayor Stanczyk’s “First Hundred Days”

1. My first 100 days will begin by working with the unsuccessful candidates on incorporating some of their ideas into Village plans. The efforts and their supporters should be part of the positive direction of our Village.

2. Enact a strategic planning process that will provide for efficient resource allocation for Parks improvement, the continued advancement of the Down Town Redevelopment/economic development program, and capital improvements. This will be an inclusive process for residents, Council and staff to share the best information, and incorporate resident input into priority setting and future goals so that the Village will continue to set high standards of service delivery for the next 10 – 20 years.

3. Traffic and speed are the most commonly mentioned concerns. Traffic mitigation is frustrated by County standards. I will renegotiate the County agreement to allow the Village to determine solutions to traffic and speed issues. While traffic always exists, it can be improved.

4. The two Fire Stations found locations. The building, manning and equipping of the stations is a priority that a re-invigorated Fire Board can work to bring to completion.

Our Village is entering a new phase; we are into our second decade. Planning is important to ensure that we continue striving for excellence in service to residents. However, the reasons we incorporated remain true and are the reasons I am running: a safe community, enhanced quality of life, protecting our residential character, great parks, low taxes and control of our zoning. This I will always deliver.

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My disclosure…… I have not endorsed either of the candidates or their positions.

David Singer

Guest Post by David Singer: Seat 3 Candidates Speak

The Candidates from Seat Three 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 request 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:

Henry Clifford’s “First Hundred Days” on Village of Palmetto Bay Council

In my first 100 days, I hope to work with others to improve Palmetto Bay in the present and for the future. To:

1. Take immediate steps to reduce traffic speeding and cut- through, specifically in the 87-82-77 avenue corridor, and all subsidiary paths.

2. Initiate a program to identify and acquire additional lands for small, passive neighborhood parks.

3. Finish the site approval process for both Fire stations planned for the eastern Village.

4. Establish permanent boards:

Long-Range Planning

Business Cooperation/Coordination

Transportation/Traffic Mitigation

Our first long-range planning committee lasted one meeting. Our business property owners need to be encouraged and enabled to work, together and self-funded, to improve appearance, compatibility, and occupancy rate. Our Board can coordinate and push all civic business groups. Our transportation plans need continuous revision, and our traffic problems will never go completely away. Boards need coordination with counterparts in adjoining cities.

5. Post explanation of all reserve fund monies/bank balances, next to check register on the Village web page. Sources and designation of all monies in every reserve need to be clearly and continually displayed.

6. Establish a repair/replacement reserve fund for all hard Village assets.

7. Publish all zoning applications that are anywhere in pipeline, as the law allows. We need no more surprises. Identify all public works projects planned before, state if and when they will be carried out; be sure the public knows of them before bids are authorized.

8. Protect residents.

Larissa Siegel Lara’s “First Hundred Days” on Village of Palmetto Bay Council

Government is instituted to represent us, to unify our community and to deliver services efficiently. Everything I do on the Council will be directed towards achieving that standard.

To guide us toward that end and keep us on track, we need a strategic plan, developed by the Council and representatives from across the community. Achieving community goals requires a tangible plan of action with specific accountabilities, timing, budget and expected results.

During the first 100 days, I will:

1. Establish a Parks and Recreation Citizen Advisory Board to bring the community’s perspective on programming, operating hours and maintenance planning to Palmetto Bay’s parks.

2. Request oversight of Downtown Redevelopment Taskforce so the Council is directly involved with this vital undertaking. My focus will be to ensure that this effort remains energized and progresses toward a successful implementation.

3. Launch a citizens committee to develop a Strategic Plan. Tasked with drafting both a 1-year and 5-year proposal for council review within 90 days, the Committee will benchmark neighboring city plans, and develop a specific approach for stakeholder inclusion.

These initiatives will help invigorate the community, activate smart growth in the business districts and provide resources to sustain high quality services.

My background in business processes and leadership has prepared me as a methodical decision maker and problem solver. My passion for bringing people together will produce tangible results. As an open and independent thinker, I will consider all sides of every issue before the Council.

Jim Shedd’s “First Hundred Days” on Village of Palmetto Bay Council

Public Service means serving the public interest, doing the greater good. For over 33 years I had the honor and the privilege to serve my country beginning at the age of 19 when I enlisted in the U.S. Army (Vietnam 68-70), that was followed by a combination of 30 years of State of Florida Law Enforcement (9 years), and over 21 years with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Since January 2005, I have been a small business owner in Palmetto Bay and having been on both sides of the aisle (Government and Private); I understand the differences and similarities and therefore, assist both sides in achieving the common goals.

When anyone steps into the public arena and is asking the citizens to trust him or her with that which is most precious in or democracy: “your vote”, it carries with it a very heavy burden and responsibility; I am capable of bearing that burden and fulfilling that responsibility believing in Duty, Honor, Country.

I pledge to you that not only just for the first 100 days, but for the entire time that I have the privilege of representing the Village of Palmetto Bay and its citizens, I will make the decisions that are necessary, keeping focus on the greater good for the entire Village with integrity, civility and a respectful conduct towards all.

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My disclosure…… I have not endorsed either of the candidates or their positions.

- David Singer

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: Are Stanczyk and Clifford Violating the Charter?

Do As I Say, Not As I Do Edition

In 2012, with much fanfare and ado, Mayor Stanczyk and her cronies on the Palmetto Bay Charter Review Commission foisted the following charter amendment upon us:

8. REQUIRING CANDIDATES TO RUN INDEPENDENTLY [Section 2.3(D)].

The Charter Revision Commission suggests an amendment to the Charter to require each person running for elected office to run independently of any other Village candidate.

Voters, many of whom were whipped into a frenzy by none other than Mme. Mayor, adopted the provision despite warnings from SDM that such a provision violates “our constitutionally protected right of freedom of association.”

Flash forward to August 14, 2014 and we find that Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and candidate Henry Clifford appear to be working together on their campaigns. See these entries in Mrs. Stanczyk’s most recent campaign report:

July 16, 2014: Henry Clifford is reimbursed $64.20 by the Stanczyk for “office supplies.”

July 17, 2014: Henry Clifford (retired) makes a $12 in-kind contribution for “food.”

Let’s just put aside for a moment the question of what kind of “food” costs $12, why is a candidate for Seat 3 making in-kind contributions and being reimbursed for office supplies by the Stanczyk campaign? Hmmm…..

So, SDM’s inquiring mind took a closer look at Stanczyk’s and Clifford’s campaign contributions, we found the following:

On July 17, 2014 – the same day Clifford made an in-kind contribution of food to Stanczyk – both Stanczyk and Clifford received contributions from these usual suspects: Beverly Gerald, Albert Lavoie, Frances Blake and Diane Jarvinen. (Two days later, Clifford reported a check from a person with the address 14140 SW 72 Ave, which address matches a July 17 contribution made by “Pam Gorman,” another usual suspect.)

SDM Helpful Note: Beverly Gerald – former Palmetto Bay candidate – served as Chairperson of the Charter Revision Commission. Mrs. Stanczyk’s contributions note that Ms. Gerald donated both money and “party supplies.” Way to set a good example!

SDM Codebreaker: On July 17, 2014, Mayor Stanczyk and Henry Clifford seem to have held what amounted to a joint fundraiser (probably with shared “party supplies”), which is why the two candidates have all these common contributors on the same or nearly the same day.

Anyone who moves around the village will also note that the campaigns share a color scheme for their signs, which often appear together on various properties around town. Hmmm…

SDM Says: While we think the charter amendment is facially unconstitutional, those who participated in what looks to be a joint campaign activity should be investigated on whether they are running independently. If not, they should be held accountable for violating the charter. SDM can recommend some good lawyers who can defend you Mme. Mayor and Mr. Clifford. :)

MDC: 400 Police May Pay The Ultimate “Union Dues”

The Miami Herald broke the news yesterday that as many as 400 county police department employees may face layoffs as Miami-Dade County struggles to contain the spending beast. The layoffs touch all corners of the department:

The list stretches on for nine pages, and includes 19 lieutenants, 69 sergeants, about 250 police officers and 60 civilian workers. With a $470 million payroll, the police department represents the largest agency in Miami-Dade in terms of staffing. The department’s payroll costs would drop $9.5 million next year, a 2 percent decline, according to budget documents.

SDM Aside: An item in the article struck us as a little odd. The police department is holding a session at the FIU football stadium to advise the affected employees on matters like “contacting creditors and mortgage holders.” We have been laid off before and usually we get a long letter. Perhaps the point of bringing all these people is to provide a made-for-television moment for the media? The Mayor ought to put the kibosh on this bad idea right away.

Police Benevolent Association leaders conceded nothing, even as their fellow workers face the most disruptive life-change any person can experience:

“The public needs to know that this list represents a complete breakdown of this community’s safety. Each name represents one less officer working to keep the public safe,” John Rivera, head of the Police Benevolent Association union, wrote in an e-mail Tuesday. “We are short as it is and this just shows how reckless the Mayor is when it comes to protecting the public.”

Why haven’t the union and the county come to some agreement that will prevent layoffs? Again, according to the Herald, one reason may be the union’s decision to protest “Miami-Dade’s tapping the labor group’s former lawyer to represent the county in the negotiations.”

So now the PBA gets to decide who negotiates on behalf of tax payers? No doubt the PBA would like the county to send an intern into the fray, rather than a seasoned negotiator who knows all of the contract’s cubby holes. SDM declines the invitation.

SDM would prefer that the police force be culled wisely, based on merit, but the union contract doesn’t permit customary management practices. So, we the people are left with budgeting by broadsword – or – the union’s alternative: annual property tax rate hikes.

Let SDM let you in on a little secret, which the police union, especially, hates to discuss: The PBA will take every new tax dollar in perpetuity even doing so means starving every other county department to death.

So, when you are asked by the police union to sacrifice just a few more of your tax dollars, you might want to ask them what they are willing to sacrifice to protect the parks, beaches, animal services, public housing and the hundreds of other services that are not counted under the “public safety” umbrella. When pressed, their answer will be “nothing.”

SDM Says: Bravo Mayor Carlos Gimenez for not kowtowing to the thuggish element of the police union. There are good reasons to avoid laying off beat cops and specialists, not the least of which is that we’ve already paid to train many of them. Nevertheless, we can’t continue to blow out the budget, year after year, on bloated salaries and benefits, regardless of the predictable hyperbole from highly compensated union brass.

P.S. to Palmetto Bay Candidates:  If you think the union contract doesn’t affect Palmetto Bay, think again. The costs of these officers to Palmetto Bay is based on the cost to the county, which is derived from the union contract. There are no free rides here.

Guest Post by David Singer: Election Season Musings

Guess who’s back?

A vacation from writing has a way of clearing and bringing more focus to an individual. I recently took some time off for that reason to prepare myself for the most crucial election in Village of Palmetto Bay’s history and this blog will probably be the most important in a series of topics I will be writing on prior to the election.

Below I have listed five quick reasons not to vote for the current Mayor in November’s election. To some I may be rehashing history, but as George Santayana once said “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

• Mayor Stanczyk single-handedly (with some help from Joan Lindsay) kept the law firm of Figueredo & Boutsis in business. If the Palmer Trinity lawsuit was settled six years ago, as it should have been, the Village of Palmetto Bay would not have spent over $1,000,000 in taxpayer’s money on wasteful litigation. The Village of Palmetto Bay as recently as July of 2014 agreed to basically the same terms as Palmer Trinity offered six years ago and prior to spending the $1,000,000 in legal fees. The firm of Figueredo & Boutsis appears to be no longer in business. It looks as if Mayor Stanczyk and the Village of Palmetto Bay was their largest and maybe only client?

• Mayor Stanczyk wanted and still wants to debark your dogs. Let us not forget this brilliant piece of anti-animal/anti-dog ordinance that she attempted to pass which would have cost a Village taxpayer an average of $300 fine for every five barks on any given day. I guess Mayor Stanczyk never found a dog she didn’t want to kick.

• Mayor Stanczyk, along with our Village Manager Ron Williams, wanted to turn Thalatta Park into a private enterprise wedding venue which affected the Thalatta Park to be open a total of 15 hours per week to the public. The State of Florida had to be notified and basically stopped Mayor Stanczyk’s and Manager William’s delusions of grandeur. Now all residents are assured that Thalatta will be open a minimum of 40 hours per week, run correctly and under the guidelines that were agreed to by the Village.

• Mayor Stanczyk had four years to secure a new fire station for the Village of Palmetto Bay. She had accomplished nothing until last month to make that happen. The Village has been in desperate need for a new fire station the last six years. Did a lack of action on the fire station cause a Palmetto Bay resident’s death? What we know is that only in the last few months has Mayor Stanczyk really focused on a life and death situation that has plagued this Village for years.

• Mayor Shelly Stanczyk and the Concerned Citizens of Old Cutler, Inc. (CCOCI) have been equivalent to an infection that has plagued the Village of Palmetto Bay for years now. If the Village residents leave Mayor Stanczyk in office for another four years it would be akin to not finishing all your antibiotics that the doctor prescribed and the unfortunate likelihood is the infection will return. This Village cannot sustain another four years of Mayor Stanczyk and the damage she has done to the Village needs to be repaired by a new Mayor and Council.

This was just a small example of how she has led this Village over the past eight years. I failed to mention her fraudulent website during the last election, her demeanor during the Council meetings, her lack of understanding of Roberts Rules of Order, the numerous ethic complaints filed against her while she’s been in office and her lack of respect for opinions that are not her own, I could go on but you get the point. It’s time to move on and bid her a fond farewell.

David Singer

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