Surprise! Shelley Stanczyk went negative over the weekend in a mail piece that is not only intentionally misleading, but patently wrong in at least one instance.
SDM Note to Readers: If you haven’t seen the mailer, be thankful: this post won’t make much sense to you. We aren’t going to publish her trash here.
SDM writes regularly in these pages about the village’s failure to provide simple, searchable access to meeting records. Mrs. Stanczyk has been mayor of this town for four years and has done zilch to fix the problem. Now, she has the gall to claim the following “successes” as an alleged contrast to her opponent:
Televised meetings; budget, check register, archived meetings, minutes & Agenda, municipal code & all police and crime data on the Village website for access to all.
Isn’t it interesting that her honor takes all the credit for these feats of nothing? Televising meetings is supposed to be some big deal? Almost everyone in this county does it. (Cutler Bay is an exception, but they may get religion under the new mayor)
Putting the budget on the website? Again, almost everyone, including and all of our neighbors, publish their budgets.
Check register? Meh…who really cares? Archived meetings? Yes, true, but they are not searchable. Minutes? Yes, true, but again not searchable so you have to read twenty of them to find the subject and once you locate the meeting, the minutes are only in summary format…very unhelpful.
Agenda? Nope. This is a lie. Village agendas stay up on the web for a week or so before the meetings then are taken down about a week afterward. The agenda backup documents disappear into the clerk’s file cabinet and can only be accessed by public records request, which allows the village to keep tabs on who is asking for what.
Municipal code? Not on the village website, but placed on http://www.municode.com, which is okay, but not what the Mayor wrote in her flyer. It’s also important to note that until SDM bitched and moaned for about two months, the village hadn’t updated the online version of the code for over a year.
Police and crime data? Yes, there are crime reports online since December of 2013. Of course, there is no data going back to her claim that Mayor Stanczyk (we guess by herself) “reduced violent crime, robberies by 36% in her first year.” Does that statement even make sense? Which category was reduced (violent crime or robberies)? Did they both go down by the same percentage or is this a composite figure? What happened to the other categories of crime?
We also love the fast and loose game Mme. Mayor plays with her alleged increase of reserves. Here at SDM, we pay close attention to the budget and we cannot find the figure Mrs. Stanczyk cites in any of the budget documents. We would call it a lie, but we suspect it is more of a snapshot – citing the total reserves at a particular month’s end, rather than using a year-end figure that is more realistic. In any given period, the “reserves” may be higher or lower than budget, but what does it matter if the funds are scheduled to be spent in the next period?
SDM Says: Ultimately, Mme. Mayor’s choices for her hit-piece are pretty weak and require a pretty detailed understanding of the inner workings of Palmetto Bay’s government. We find her willingness mislead and outright lie to her constituents to be a bigger concern, though not an unexpected one.