Tuesday, November 20, 2018

It's not just Police Commander Guerra, she is now also known as Major Maria Guerra

Palmetto Bay Police Commander Maria Guerra has received her promotion to Major within the Miami-Dade Police Department.

It's not just Police Commander Guerra, its also Major Guerra as of Monday, November 19, 2018.  The position of Village Police Commander carries with it the commensurate MDPD title of Police Major to confirm with the chain of command within MDPD. Major Guerra now wears the golden oak leaf, the insignia for the rank of major.

Major Guerra earned the village commander post, succeeding Major Gady Serralta, who now serves as U.S. Marshall of the Southern District of Florida. Guerra's promotion to Major followed in early November, announced at the 2018 State of the Address. The selection of (then) Lt. Maria Guerra continues a long-standing tradition of promoting from within our own ranks. 

Commander Guerra started her career in law enforcement in 1989 and over that span of time has earned more than 60 commendations. She has been part of the elite Northside Crime Suppression Team and, in 2003, was promoted to Lieutenant while serving in the Narcotics Bureau. She then became the first female K-9 Lieutenant in the Miami Dade Police Department. We were lucky enough to welcome her to our Palmetto Bay Policing Unit in 2015.

The manager's selection of Major Guerra was approved at a Special Village Council Meeting that I called for October 15, 2018 - the meeting called specifically for the purpose of the Village Council to take action on the Village Manager's selection of Lt. Maria Guerra as the Village Police Commander.
Congratulations Major Guerra, we look forward to your continued service to our community.

Eugene Flinn

Monday, November 19, 2018

FAQ - Examples of prior unsolicited proposal process in Palmetto Bay. One rejection, one resulted in an approved agreement

I am providing examples of how the unsolicited proposal process works in Palmetto Bay.

Here are two examples of unsolicited bids - and the procedure for how the public entity (Palmetto Bay) responded to the unsolicited bids per State law. 

REJECTED: The first is a (prior) Unsolicited Proposal for Parking Improvements for Village of Palmetto Bay through Private Public Partnership (PPP).  This was a REJECTED unsolicited proposal for a qualifying public-private partnership (PPP) for the Palmetto Bay downtown area. 

The discussion of the downtown parking garage was held at a special council meeting held on May 15, 2017.

The first firm presentation was performed by Bermello Ajamil & Partners.
The second firm presentation was performed by Structured Parking Solutions.

Following the firm presentations, the representatives from each firm answered questions posed by the Village Council where upon the following resolution (item 4A) was offered, passed and then deferred.
Councilmember Siegel Lara moved item 4A forward. Seconded by Councilmember Cunningham.
Photo credit: bermelloajamil.com

Manager Silva stated that based on the results of the bid tabulations, Bermello Ajamil & Partners was the firm selected to start the negotiation process for the project.

Motion: Councilmember Singer then made a motion to defer item 4A until the September Regular Council Meeting. The motion was seconded by Vice Mayor DuBois. Vote: All voted in favor (5-0). The motion passed unanimously. 

This proposal was eventually cancelled. CLICK HERE to see this proposed project (info taken from the official website of Bermello Ajamil & Partners): 
106,000 Total SF
  27,000 SF Office
  20,000 SF Retail
         464 Parking Spaces

Exampled of an ACCEPTED Unsolicited Bid proposal: The Village of Palmetto Bay received an unsolicited proposal for the management and operations of the "Parkview Cafe" at Coral Reef Park which became known as UP-No. 1516-12-002. The village responded in compliance with Florida Statutes 255.065. 

Resolution 2017-110 provides a summary of the successful UP process.  This is one example of how the process works resulting in approval/contract. 3 responses were received in response to this unsolicited proposal and one, "Hole in the wall" was selected and should be operational by early 2019.  The Village Council approved the selection of Hole in the Wall Tavern LLC, in October 2017, for the Management and Operations of the “Parkview Café” at Coral Reef Park pursuant to UP No. 1516-12-002.

More information regarding the two proposals discussed above can be seen in the resolution and materials available through CLICKING HERE

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Authoritative article regarding Unsolicited Proposals - Article Two, authored by Alexander Tachmes, Esq.

I am posting an additional article in order to provide yet more information regarding unsolicited proposals. I recommend reading the following online resource: Public-Private Partnerships Becoming More Popular, February 14, 2018, by Alexander Tachmes, Esq., who is a partner in the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP

Section 255.065, Florida Statutes, enacted in 2013, sets forth a comprehensive framework for those interested in pursuing public-private partnerships, providing  guidance to local governments that might otherwise be “ill-equipped to embark on such complex projects”.

This is not just another important read, but it is important as it may give some unstated reason for an unsolicited bid proposal, as the rational given sounds familiar. This article seems to have anticipated the Palmetto Bay Parking Garage situation: 
“Sometimes, for political or other reasons, a city is hesitant to issue an RFP or RFQ for a new project. If a developer is interested in a P3 but cannot persuade the local government to initiate the process by issuing an RFP or RFQ, the developer itself can submit an unsolicited proposal, which can serve as the catalyst for a P3. Assuming a local government wants to pursue the development of a project, after its receipt of an unsolicited proposal, the city can invite other bidders to submit proposals within a certain period of time. Or, the submission of an unsolicited proposal could provide the impetus to a city to draft and issue a formal RFP or RFQ for the subject project.”

This is additional recommended reading.

Author credit: Alexander Tachmes is a partner in the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where he is Chair of the Land Use and Government Relations Practice Group and a member of the Real Estate Practice Group. The online source notes that this article was originally published in the Daily Business Review on February 14, 2018.

CLICK HERE to view prior articles on this blog relating to Palmetto Bay’s Unsolicited Proposal-Mixed Use Downtown Development - UP No. 1819-00-002

Authoritative article regarding Unsolicited Proposals - Article One, authored by Al Dotson, Jr., Esq.

I am providing more information regarding unsolicited proposals.  Proposals of this type are not improper; to the contrary, they are common and provide a vehicle for the private sector to provide an opportunity that the applicable government did not know existed. See: Unsolicited Proposals for Public-Private Partnerships, Thursday, November 1, 2018, published in The National Law Review, authored by Albert E. Dotson, Jr., Partner in the law firm of Bilzin Sumberg

The article provides additional insight regarding the State of Florida’s P3 law, which provides the authorization for private firms to submit unsolicited proposals to state and local agencies.

As explained by Attorney Dotson, Esq., "Ordinarily, if the government likes the new idea, it must then conduct a competitive process that permits other firms to submit alternative proposals."

I am providing resources such as this article to assist interested readers; be they members of the Village Council, Staff, or fellow residents for purpose of taking some of the rumor and uncertainty out of the process.

CLICK HERE to view prior articles on this blog relating to Palmetto Bay’s Unsolicited Proposal-Mixed Use Downtown Development - UP No. 1819-00-002

Thursday, November 15, 2018

FAQ - Flinn Answers Questions. Recent question on how much property is involved in this Unsolicited Bid proposal.

I never shy away from answering questions. The recent question was how much property is involved in this Unsolicited Proposal-Mixed Use Downtown Development - UP No. 1819-00-002.  The initial answer is that, when combined, the total property coverage for the combined folios results in 4.6 Acres (4.5673553719008).  I show my math work below for you to review and confirm or contest.

The answer is not obvious for at least two reasons:

1. Will Guava Street be vacated and added to the property in order for all folios to be one single project site?  I am assuming that it will be, but I have not seen the actual proposal.

2. The village obtained use of Right of Ways by abandoning/vacating streets/partial streets around Village Hall to use for the courtyard along northbound US1. It is unknown as to whether this use will be transferred to the project bidder. This occurred on November 2, 2009, by council actions taken on June 1, 2009, Resolution 2009-53 and on November 2, 2009, Resolution 2009-94. Please follow the links provided to view the actual resolutions vacating/abandoning the applicable portion of a road required to complete our Palmetto Bay Municipal Center.  

The vacation/abandonment of these properties do NOT appear to be an issue, however, the  square footage of the abandoned/vacated right of way frontage used for Village Hall may NOT be included in the combined total.

There is the sewer lift station that is present on the southwest corner of Parcel A, at the intersection of Hibiscus and northbound US1. I am interested to see how that sewer infrastructure is dealt with in the unsolicited bid project (and I am sure it has been). 

Parcel   Folio                              Lot Size          Owner
 A/D     33-5032-004-3120 -- 113,100 Sq ft  Village of Palmetto Bay
  B         33-5032-004-3180 --   65,554 Sq ft  Hagan Properties LLC
  C         33-5032-004-3200 --  20,300 Sq ft  Dixie 176 Corporation

I have placed the official Property Appraiser Summary reports for these properties. You can access them through THIS LINK where you can download and review.

Note that when combined, the total property of the above folios results in 4.6 Acres (4.5673553719008). Note that this does NOT include any street vacation and I am assuming that Guava Street will be vacated (this is not confirmed).

See prior post, immediately below, from November 13, 2018, setting any new policy and reacting to the Unsolicited Proposal-Mixed Use Downtown Development - UP No. 1819-00-002

I will answer any additional questions as relevant.

Thank you,


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Campaigns are over - time for the first decisions, setting the course by the new Village Council - issue: setting any new policy and reacting to the Unsolicited Proposal-Mixed Use Downtown Development - UP No. 1819-00-002

Palmetto Bay has received what is known as an "unsolicited bid" for a 5 story mixed use project that includes a parking garage for no less than 450 vehicles in the downtown Franjo Road area[(the area is depicted in "attachment A - site plan", the .JPEG (posted to the right) of the site location plan].

CLICK HERE to download and view the entire 28 page document.

Initial statement as to "unsolicited bids": Unsolicited bids - and the procedure for how the public entity (in this case, Palmetto Bay) responds to unsolicited bids - are managed by State law.  See FS 255.065. Unsolicited bids are not unique to Palmetto Bay. Unsolicited bids are common and that is why there is a specific state law that provides for a process when received.

It is the responsibility of the Village Manager/Administration to follow the State Law upon receipt of an unsolicited bid and present the proposal and responses to the Village Council for their action.

It is the responsibility of the members of the Village Council to follow the law in their action on any unsolicited bid, in regard to accepting or rejecting the unsolicited bid and other responses.

The proposed project (presently proposed as a five story project):

The Development initiative includes the construction of a mixed-use facility including:
A 450 space minimum parking garage,
20,000 sf commercial retail spaces,
An entertainment component,
Open public spaces, and
A 120-key minimum hotel component.

The Village has also specified that, at a minimum, the Project must include:

Enhanced lighting,
Roadway interface,
Streetscape improvements,
Sustainable practices, and
Smart technologies.
The parking structure will provide a min of 450 spaces, with 85 spaces being designated for Village Hall use and the balance of parking being used to support other land uses which can be developed on one or all parcels shown in the attached site plan (Attachment A).
The mixed-use downtown development/parking garage component shall provide a pedestrian bridge connection to Village Hall Municipal Building in the future. The Project shall incorporate enhanced pedestrian-oriented amenities and ground floor activation along Franjo and US1, promoting walkability, activating street corners catering to pedestrians.

Involved land – four parcels of property (photos are of the existing properties): 

Parcel A in Attachment A is a Village owned parcel. The Respondent Proposer can develop the project scope on the full site or partial site.
Parcel B and C in Attachment A are not Village owned, however, current land owners have provided a Letter of Intent indicating interest in making their property part of the Village’s Mixed-Use Downtown Development Project.

The Project site can include three parcels. See (Attachment B) for survey information:

Parcel A- Folio # 33-5032-004-3120 Village Owned
Parcel B-Folio # 33-5032-004-3180 Owned by Hagan Properties LLC
Parcel C- Folio # 33-5032-004-3200 Owned by Dixie 176 Corporations
Parcel D- Folio # 33-5032-004-3120 Village Owned/ Village Hall Site

CLICK HERE to review the entire 28 page document.  This Proposal Requirements Document (“UP” or “Request”) is issued by the Village of Palmetto Bay, Florida (the “Village”), pursuant to Florida Statute Section 255.065, notifying interested parties that it has received an unsolicited proposal for the development of a parking garage and a mixed- use development in Palmetto Bay as a public-private partnership (the “Project”).  All information is contained in the Notice of Receipt of Unsolicited Proposal for Mixed-Use Downtown Development for Village of Palmetto Bay, Solicitation No: UP 1819-00-002

WHAT THIS MEANS – pursuant to state law, other qualified interested parties may submit a legally sufficient competitive bid for this project.

"The Village of Palmetto Bay (the “Village”) will accept other Proposals from qualified firms to deliver the Project and design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Project in accordance with the specifications set forth in this UP (“Proposal”). There are no Village funds allocated for this project."

TAKE NOTE: The Village’s project contribution is strictly land as part of a ground lease agreement with Developer.

Are you planning on submitting a proposal? 
Proposals Due December 11th, 2018 3:00 pm or earlier
Attn: Missy Arocha
Village Clerk
9705 E. Hibiscus Street
Palmetto Bay, Florida 33157

Friendly Reminder - FDOT District Six Tentative Five-Year Work Program Public Hearing in Miami-Dade County


Come Learn About the Florida
Department of Transportation's District Six 

6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Hilton Garden Inn - Flamingo Conference Room 
1695 NW 111 Avenue, Sweetwater, Florida 33172

 Can't attend in person? Join us online!
 You can participate in the public hearing via webcast and Facebook Live at the same time and date listed above. The presentation will begin at 6:45 p.m.

Register for the GoToWebinar here for Miami-Dade County only
Watch on Facebook Live @MyFDOTMiami


 Click here to visit our website

Monday, November 12, 2018

In memorium, Stan Lee passes at age 95

He lead a long and productive life, Stan Lee passed away at age 95.

Born on December 28, 1922, in Manhattan, New York City, NY.  He passed away on November 12, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA.

Stan Lee - Deadpool
Stan Lee's full name is Stanley Martin Lieber

Come on, admit it, how many watched a Marvel movie specifically to find the Stan Lee cameo?  Some were more obvious than others. He also played himself in at least one episode of the CBS Show "Big Bang Theory".

CLICK HERE to view a Wikipedia listing of the Stan Lee movie cameos.

Read the full article here in the New York Times: Stan Lee, Superhero of Marvel Comics, Dies at 95
Stan Lee - Big Bang Theory

Goals for 2019 - getting back into biking shape and raising money for outstanding causes - EBC Freedom Ride. March 31, 2019.

It is time to get back on the road bike - and raise money for an outstanding cause. I plan on riding the metric century route and it will take the next few months to properly prepare. Please let me know if you want to join me in the 2019 Freedom Ride.

The 2019 Freedom Ride is scheduled for Sunday, March 31.  

Registration opens January 1, 2019. When open, you can register at ACTIVE.COM/FREEDOMRIDE2019 for this March 31, 2019 ride. The ride starts at 7:30 AM sharp!

The ride begins with a one lap on/around the Homestead Motor Speedway racetrack and then heads south to Key Largo and back.

This is a fully supported ride with multiple rest stops and SAG. Lunch and beverages are included.

Past facts: The EBC Freedom Ride benefits the FREEDOM TEAM OF WOUNDED VETERANS, a branch of Achilles International.  The FREEDOM TEAM of handcyclists, accompanied by sponsoring cyclist-buddies, will be leading out the group of riders.  

The Century (100 miles) and Metric Century+ (65 miles) head to Key Largo. The 29 and 42 mile courses continue through rural south Miami-Dade County.

SAG support will be available on all courses for mechanical and flat tire assistance, as well as transportation for cyclists suffering from fatigue. 

Rest Stops along each route will be stocked with water, sports drinks, and energy snacks.

Lunch is included in your registration and is served upon return.

This is a fun ride for a great cause.  Join us.

Eugene Flinn

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Happy Veterans Day 2018 - Thank you to those (and their families) who have served our country.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank all US Military veterans for their service to our country. Everyone should take a moment to honor those who have preserved our freedom and protected all of our rights, including the right to vote. Veterans Day is a holiday honoring living military veterans. It is a Federal and State holiday observed by all states.

President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day on November 11, 1919. Other countries today also still recognize November 11th as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in honor of the Armistice treaty which ended WWI. The U.S Congress amended this act on November 8, 1954, making this holiday Veterans Day as we know it today.  

Military dot com list ways that you can celebrate and educate your children about Veterans Day: http://www.military.com/veterans-day/celebrate-veterans-day.html

History dot com offers a wealth of information about Veteran’s Day: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/veterans-day-facts

Thank you to every man and women who has served our county as a member of our armed forces.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Bobcat caught eating invasive iguana in Boynton Beach

Will nature step forward and provide a solution for Palmetto Bay's invasive Iguana problem?

Reported in the Miami Herald, online: Bobcat caught eating invasive iguana in Boynton Beach, by Monique O. Madan, complete article:

A visitor on a wildlife refuge tram tour captured a photo of a bobcat with its prey in its mouth Friday afternoon.

In a photo posted by the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach, a giant, non-native green iguana is seen hanging from the bobcat’s mouth.

“Green iguanas are not native to South Florida, so this bobcat is doing good by preying on a non-native species,” the wildlife refuge posted on Facebook.

Read more here:
Bobcat caught eating invasive iguana in Boynton Beach, by Monique O. Madan

CLICK HERE to view the FWC website and information regarding nonnative reptiles

Friday, November 9, 2018

Thank you Palmetto Bay!

I have enjoyed 12 wonderful years serving as Mayor of the Village of Palmetto Bay. Although eager to what the future will bring, I admit that I look forward to the freedom to participate as an engaged resident as I did from 2011 - 2014.

Each and every administration is held accountable for decisions made. Others now take on the responsibility of public office and will be judged by their own promises made and kept, their own accomplishments reached and their own handling of issues as they arise.

I remain proud of our accomplishments, and while not everyone may have agreed, we certainly moved our village forward from humble beginnings.

I am proud of my record for sustainability here in Palmetto Bay. I have worked hard to make Palmetto Bay a green city and make it greener every day.  Please click "Read more" to review some of my favorite accomplishments brought to Palmetto Bay. And, please feel free to review the official 2018 State of the Village Video to review some of the accomplishments of Team Palmetto Bay:

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The facts about the Palmetto Bay Village Center. Its not 485, its never been 485.

We hold the cards.  My opponent and her team either do not get it about the 22 acres or they have no qualms about deliberately spreading misinformation.

It could not be any simpler: The developer must transfer the 22 acres to the village as a condition to any change in developmental rights at the Palmetto Bay Village Center.

Not transferring the 22 acres means that that the developer has no right to 85 units, granted or reduced.

Not transferring the 22 acres to the village means that that the developer's rights remain as existed since 2008: 300 senior units, 100 town homes.

There has never been and never will be 485- based upon the traffic chokeholds that we placed in the ordinance we passed 3-2 in 2016.  We are in some serious negotiations, and those negotiations are delicate. The negotiations require that politics be put aside and we speak in a unified voice.

So far these negotiations are playing out as expected at the Monday, Oct. 15, hearing as the PBVC owners:

  • Objected to this ordinance, also alleging the timing is premature.
  • Threatened to not deed over the 22 acres (actually 40 acres) unless they get their way.
Strong leadership stands up to threats.  We countered with the fact that the PBVC loses all of their rights of the 2016 ordinance if they walk away, reverting back to the 2008 rights. The owners of the PBVC don't want this.

Here are some of the concessions I achieved Monday night (October 15, 2018):
  • The owners admitted that the final number will not be "485". 
  • The representative for the PBVC mentioned that negotiations are ongoing for 200 -- half of the units -- to be Senior housing units. That's a HUGE offer in regard to traffic reduction.
The Village Manager and our Village Attorney will now enter into negotiations that should result in a significant reduction of the overall impact of this property AND obtain endangered Pine Rocklands.

None of the above would have happened if Councilman Singer had not brought this ordinance forward. None of this will happen, or our final results will be reduced if we don't stand together.

Being mayor is a special responsibility that I take very seriously. I have to continue to work hard and represent the best interest of the Village. Contrast this with a candidate and her supporters who undermine the process for there own political gain.