Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Palmetto Bay Village Center proposal: When is the timing right to disclose to the public?

I will have more to say about this, but as I continue to investigate, it does not escape notice that the Concerned Citizens of Old Cutler (CCOCI) have not spoken up either in support or against this plan.  I have texted the CCOCI president and asked to speak with him. 
 
This issue is more than whether you approve or object of the proposed 41 homes. There is a serious issue in regard to the process or lack of public process that ultimately brought this issue to the public hearing.  
 
No other members of the village council have stepped forward to disclose that there was any public work or discussion of the proposals that Mayor Stanczyk sponsored on July 21.  They may have been just as surprised to review their agenda package and find much, much, more in play than a fire station.
 
And that, my friends, is not transparency in government.
 
This plan may signal a major change in policy as well as a significant shift in property uses. I believe that any detailed change of the Comprehensive Development Master Plan should be done in public with full disclosure and invitation for the public to participate - from the beginning, not after the details are up for hearing.  First notice should not be left to the bare legal notice requirements and posting on the agenda days prior to the actual hearing. 
 
Shelley's own e-mail blast of July 20 (the day prior to the scheduled hearing) made reference only to Palmer and the fire station with NO MENTION of the homes element:
*Tomorrow night, July 21, 2014 at 7 PM there will be a Zoning Hearing with applicants:  The Palmetto Bay Village Center and Palmer Trinity School. Links to the applications and you can watch on WBAY (77 or 99) or on the website live.  This application from the Palmetto Bay Village Center includes the re-zoning for the planned Fire Station to serve the south end of Palmetto Bay.
 
In fact, even by clicking the link you still reach only the following:
July 21, 2014 - Zoning Hearing
Agenda
Documents relating to Items 3 a-d:  Palmetto Bay Village Center, 17901 Old Cutler Road
1) Staff Report
2) Zoning History
3) Posting
 
The title provides no reason to suspect that there is anything in play here other than approving a fire station.  It appears to me that this e-mail is also factually incorrect as it was the village (sponsored by Stanczyk) as the “applicant” because it was discussed at these proceedings that the Village of Palmetto Bay was the applicant, not the Palmetto Bay Village Center.
which I believe is inconsistent with her choice of language in the e-mail blast that: ”This application from the Palmetto Bay Village Center.”  
 
An interest reader is required to dive several clicks into the links to reach reference to 41 homes on 22+/- acres. And why would you take the time to go on the hunt if you were told the issue related to the fire station; an issue that has near universal support with the only issue being why was this issue neglected until the eve of election?  This is called ‘hiding in plain sight’ especially when no one can recall any history of a discussion, foreshadowing or even a tease of this housing project at any public meeting.

EDITOR UPDATE:  These questions are being asked both within as well as outside Palmetto Bay.  See EyeOnMiami: Question for South Dade Matters Blog. Guest Blog By Palmetto Bay Resident, Inquiring minds want to know....  The post is looking for answers. 

EOM calls it “The biggest story in Palmetto Bay…”

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Squatters - a problem you may have in your Palmetto Bay neighborhood. One person's experience.

This letter details on ongoing problem with foreclosed homes: Squatters.  They can be bold and this is not a healthy situation for our neighborhoods.  The letter details the good things that can happen when our residents act in partnership with our village policing unit, acting as their eyes and ears.

July 24, 2014

To: The Palmetto Bay Police Department

Dear Commander Truitt,

I am sending you this letter to let you know how impressed and proud I am of the Palmetto Bay Police Force, and in particular, Officer Sanchez.

I noticed my dogs acting funny and yes, barking at the neighbor’s fence on the south side of my property. The neighbors that were in that house had moved away about a month ago, and the house has been abandoned ever since. So with my curiosity up, I kept an eye on the property.

Sunday July 13, 2014 in the afternoon, I noticed a white van pulling into the property. There were two gentlemen in the van that looked a bit out of place. So I called the Police, as per your instructions, for when I see someone in the neighborhood who does not belong. Officer Sanchez responded.

There was no easy access to the property as the gate was now locked from the inside. Officer Sanchez called for back up and then jumped the fence to investigate.

What he found was a family of squatters who had moved in:  two adult males, one adult femaleand 3 children. As we found out later, they actually had FPL turn the power on.

To make a long story short, the group of squatters was escorted away. I called the bank that is foreclosing on the property, and they sent a representative out to secure the property.

I have since learned this same group is moving house-to-house in Palmetto Bay, whenever they can find an abandoned house or a house in foreclosure after the owners have left. This is a very dangerous situation for anyone in a neighborhood where these folks move in.

The possibility of a marijuana grow house being set up or other illegal activities happening is very likely. The fact these squatters can now watch the local residents come and go, and can break in and rob the neighboring homes is also a very likely possibility.

Commander Truitt -- this is a very high priority for Palmetto Bay. Let’s start spreading the news about this very serious problem.

Please let Officer Sanchez know how appreciative I am of his handling of this case and his heroics in literally placing himself in harm’s way to protect a local resident. This has not gone unnoticed. Thank you Officer Sanchez.

Sincerely,
David Zisman
Palmetto Bay &
Farmer Road Resident

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Neighborhood Meet & Greet this Sunday, 7/27 - 4 - 6 PM - join us!

Join us this Sunday for what should be a fun event.
A big thank you to event hosts:


Rex and Diane Lehmann
Carol and Juan R. Vega

 Cordially Invite You to a
 Meet and Greet Reception to 

Elect Eugene Flinn  

For Mayor of Palmetto Bay
Share an Evening of Conversation with
Gene and your neighbors
Refreshments will be served


Sunday, July 27, 2014
4:00 to 6:00 PM

At the home of Rex and Diane Lehmann

17300 SW 87 Court
Palmetto Bay, Florida 33157


To RSVP or for more information 
Contact Diane at 786-303-2403 or email Carol at sunmoon53@aol.com


 Any campaign contributions are appreciated.
  Please make your checks to:
Eugene Flinn Campaign Account
    If you are unable to attend and wish to contribute
you may mail your check to:
Eugene Flinn Campaign Account
   8261 SW 162nd Street
    Palmetto Bay, Florida 33157
Or donate online at www.eugeneflinn.com

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Eugene Flinn for Mayor, Palmetto Bay
All donations of any amount are welcome, but by law, contributions are limited to $1,000.00 per person or entity.
Contributions to the campaign fundraiser are contributions to the campaign to elect Eugene Flinn for Mayor, Palmetto Bay

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

45 years ago: Launch of Apollo 11 -NASA photo of the Day

Launch of Apollo 11
  NASA PHOTO OF THE DAY

On July 16, 1969, the huge, 363-feet tall Saturn V rocket launches on the Apollo 11 mission from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, at 9:32 a.m. EDT. Onboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft are astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot. Apollo 11 was the United States' first lunar landing mission. While astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin descended in the Lunar Module "Eagle" to explore the Sea of Tranquility region of the moon, astronaut Collins remained with the Command and Service Modules "Columbia" in lunar orbit.> Apollo 11 and NASA's Next Giant Leap Photo Credit: NASA

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Photos of the day - Enjoying 2014 local fourth of July events

It was a festive day in Palmetto Bay for 2014 Fourth of July.  Mangowood was the first of a few stops. Wings over Miami provided another outstanding fly over.
We finished the evening at the Downtown fireworks display with hundreds of our closest friends.  I am pictured here with my brother, his spouse and Alexandra.

The fireworks/4th of July extravaganza was the result of excellent planning and hard work by Village Staff.  Congratulations and thank you for putting this all together.  
I hope everyone is enjoying this Fourth of July weekend in and around Palmetto Bay.

Happy Fourth of July - from Eugene Flinn and family.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Have a Happy and safe July 4th weekend - 2014. Support and enjoy local events. Keep our pets safe!

July 4, 1776, the date we celebrate our independence from Britain and Democracy was born.  There are many great neighborhood and regional events going on so plan ahead, have fun and stay safe!

This is a holiday to celebrate, the day we celebrate the birth of our great nation, the creation of the greatest system of freedom and democracy. All of this occurred due to the great physical and financial sacrifice of the founders of this nation, the brave men and women of yesterday and today who have sacrificed so greatly to ensure the traditions bestowed by our remarkable founders. We owe them vigilance, and the willingness to defend the democracy they have passed on to us.

Independence Day has been celebrated since 1776.  But do you know the year that July 4 officially made a Federal Holiday?  Would you believe 1941? Check out the History.com page regarding July 4, for additional information.

Let us continue to look to a future that belongs to all of us - a future that ‘we, the people’ have the power to create.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday, and hope that the day’s happiness reminds us all of the importance of the Fourth of July.

PLAN FOR YOUR PETS Let's not forget about our pets this holiday weekend. It Will Be a Stressful Evening For Them. Pets and fireworks don't mix. Plan now to keep your pet safe.

Celebrations will occur throughout our community – there are many neighborhood block parties and bike parades and picnics on the beaches and in parks.

FIREWORKS SAFETY Please be smart if you plan on being your own pyrotechnician CLICK HERE and review the "Fireworks Safety" brochure put out by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Fire Prevention Division. Have fun and be safe.

Happy Independence Day – 2014 - from Eugene Flinn

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Independence Day 2014 - Fireworks to parades: Miami Herald listing on where you can spend your holiday

Fireworks to parades: How to spend your Fourth in South Florida - Miami-Dade - Miami Herald.com

The Miami Herald offers up a comprehensive listing of local events (CLICK HERE).

PALMETTO BAY

The city’s inaugural Independence Day fair will bring the fun to Franjo Triangle just east of Village Hall, along Franjo Road.
“Residents have always asked for this,” said city spokesman Bill Kress. “We are also trying to get the people accustomed to the emerging downtown Palmetto Bay.”

The day will feature sack races, face-painting and a hot dog eating contest. There will be food vendors and a beer garden for adults. A fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m.

• Free. Begins at 5:30 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. Call 305-259-1234.

CUTLER BAY


Cutler Bay is home to another longstanding parade. Its 47th annual Fourth of July parade will
begin at Whispering Pines Park on Ridgeland Drive and weave along thelake. Those who wish to participate can show up at 8:15 a.m. to register.

“There are all kinds of floats in the parade, and also just about anything that you can decorate, push or pedal, including go-carts, bicycles, scooters and skates,” said Alan Ricke, parks and recreation director.

The parade begins at 9 a.m. and ends at Whispering Pines Park, where there will be bounce houses, water slides,food and entertainment.

“July Fourth is one of the few opportunities that everyone has to get together at the same place and the same time,” Ricke said.

• Free. Call 305-234-4262

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/01/4212372/a-star-spangled-fourth.html#storylink=cpy
CORAL GABLES

Thousands gather on the lawn of The Biltmore for the annual Coral Gables’ Fourth of July celebration.

With an expected 30,000 guests, “The community comes out in full force,” said Michelle Cash, city marketing manager.

The free extravaganza, which begins at 5 p.m., includes a performance by the Greater Miami Symphonic Band followed by fireworks. People bring their own food, drink, blankets and chairs.

“It is incredible that the celebration has such a draw and has been so longstanding,” Cash said.

• Free.

Biltmore Golf Course, 1210 Anastasia Ave. Begins at 5 p.m., concert at 7 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. Visit coralgables.com/july4.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/01/4212372/a-star-spangled-fourth.html#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2014 certified tax roll released July 1st. What it means for Palmetto Bay and surrounding areas.

The Miami-Dade Property Appraiser released the July 1, 2014, Certification of Taxable Value - to the County’s taxing authorities which include county government, the 35 municipal governments, School Board, Children’s Trust and the State regional districts. The County-wide average increase was 6.0% existing, 6.8% inclusive of new construction.

The July 1, 2014, certification is the information used by the County, municipalities and various other taxing authorities in their various budget preparations for the 2014-2015 budgets.

The South Dade Municipalities are ranked below.  Palmetto Bay came out 5 0ut of 6 of what I have included in the list, below South Miami, but thankfully above Florida City.

Homestead led the South Dade rebound for this year with an increase of 5.0/8.00%, just edging out Cutler Bay’s 4.9/8.10.

The % of change from 2013 first number is the Percent change on the existing and second is Percentage of change including new construction.


% Existing    W/New const.                                                                     Total New Const.
4.90&             8.10%             Cutler Bay                                                     $  55,904,952
5.00%             8.00%            Homestead                                                   $  54,069,972
4.40%             5.50%            Unincorporated Miami-Dade                   $592,896,543
3.80%             4.70%            Pinecrest                                                       $  34,922,892
3.00%             3.30%            South Miami                                                $    4,169,483
2.40%             2.60%            Palmetto Bay                                                $    3,587.147
-1.4%              -1.0%              Florida City                                                  $    1,345,916

 6.00%             6.80%             Miami-Dade County (Countywide) (affects all property taxpayer in Miami-Dade County regardless of which municipality or unincorporated area the property is located)

It is important to note what new construction generates.  Palmetto Bay collects 2.447 mills on the taxable value.  The $3,587,147 results in a realization of new tax revenue that totals $8,777.75.  That is revenue; it does not take into account any additional costs for service that the property generates. Remember that number when increased service costs are considered when building the downtown.  Palmetto Bay officials should be careful not to spend what the downtown has not generated.  For example, if Palmetto Bay moved into the Pinecrest range of new construction growth ($35 million for this year), the increase in tax revenue would be $85,456.32.  That would just barely cover the $60,000.00 Palmetto Bay officials have budgeted for the 4th of July downtown celebration / fireworks, leaving just under $25,500.00 to cover any additional costs of service such as police, administrative, etc. 

CLICK HERE to download and review the full comparison chart for each taxing district. This provides much more detailed information from the partial listing above.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Lil Timmy's Gotcha today - June 29, 2014 - Photo of the Day

It’s Lil Timmy's very first Gotcha Day! He is Meredith's loyal canine companion, adopted from the Miami-Dade County Animal Services.  
 Support your local pet rescue group. There are many more animals looking for a home where they help improve your own life. Don't take it from me, check out WebMD - 5 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Another unwanted visitor making its home in Miami-Dade County: Invasive tegu lizards could affect Florida’s environment

Invasive tegu lizards could affect Florida’s environment - Miami-Dade - MiamiHerald.com

It's here and its not playing nice with our local wildlife. As reported in the Miami Herald, 6/27/14: Invasive tegu lizards could affect Florida’s environment, by Janey Fugate,  The exotic animal trade has once again brought a potential threat to Florida’s native species. Large, scaly and voracious, the black and white tegu lizards endanger the population of alligators, crocodiles and turtles with their hunger for eggs.

This evidence of their harmful activity was published as part of a new research study performed by a team of scientists from the University of Florida, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, published this month.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/06/27/4205438/invasive-tegu-lizards-could-affect.html#storylink=cpy

FWC officials have asked Florida residents to report sightings of tegus to the exotic species hotline at 888-483-4861 and, if possible, to take a photo.

What can you do?  Are you interested in assisting the FWC in locating these pests?  No one is suggesting that you should go out on a hunt (I have set a new goal – Certified Python Hunter. Let’s join in the Hunt! Palmetto Bay has recently offered up fertile ground for such a hunt), but here is how you can pass on what you observe if you happen to run into any (information taken from the official FWC web site). You never know as I ran into a non-native recently in City Place in West Palm Beach.


Reporting by phone : You can call the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-IVE-GOT1 (888- 483-4681). The hotline is answered part-time by a live operator and has a voicemail system that will prompt you for information about your sighting and your contact information if the operator is unable to answer the call.

Reporting with a smart phone : The University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health has developed free smart phone apps for both iPhone and Android phones. These are available at the appropriate app store by searching for ivegot1.

Reporting online : You can use the web form at IveGot1.org External Website to report. The form will prompt you for the information and has a map where you can select the location if you do not have the GPS coordinates.  You will need to create a free account the first time you report a sighting online.

Sending photographs : If you have trouble attaching photos to the IveGot1 online form or smart phone apps, you can send them to ExoticReports@myfwc.com.

CLICK HERE to view the complete information regarding downloading the app or how to otherwise assist in the effort posted on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website.



Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/06/27/4205438/invasive-tegu-lizards-could-affect.html#storylink=cpy