Friday, July 6, 2012

Appeals court slams ‘intransigent’ Palmetto Bay council - Palmetto Bay -

Appeals court slams ‘intransigent’ Palmetto Bay council - Palmetto Bay -

A strong article that is a must read for those looking for a full update on what is happening in Palmetto Bay in its litigation, because, at least up to now, no one has been hearing it from the elected officials. 

Sub headline: Palmetto Bay leaders appear to have willfully disobeyed a court order when they placed unreasonable restrictions on a school’s expansion, an appeals court said this week. by Howard Cohen

Everyone is asking what will be next for the 3 member majority of the Palmetto Bay Council, Shelley Stanczyk. Brian Pariser, and Joan Lindsay now that the appeals court has handed them another loss in their ongoing efforts to stop Palmer Trinty from expanding.

As reported,  Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal said the village of Palmetto Bay acted either from “wishful thinking” or “more likely a willful disobedience” when the Village Council placed a 900-student limit on Palmer Trinity School after a lower court told the city, in effect, to allow up to 1,150 students.

There were strong words from Councilman Patrick Fiore in the article, who as quoted states that “…the council majority of Mayor Shelley Stanczyk, Vice Mayor Brian Pariser and Councilwoman Joan Lindsay had wasted the taxpayers’ money on fruitless litigation.”

“Three members of this council, despite knowing what the village’s chances were of being successful in this appeal, decided to move ahead and continue to spend taxpayer dollars and, once again, the court has ruled in favor of the applicant,” Fiore said Friday.

The city hired White & Case, one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the United States, to work with City Attorney Eve Boutsis on the latest appeal.

Even before the latest appeal, the city’s legal bill on Palmer Trinity had come to $600,000.

I don’t think the message is getting through.  Herald Reporter Howard Cohen interviewed Shelley Stanczyk on potential next steps:  “Right now, it’s hard to say,” Mayor Stanczyk said. Legally, the village could apply for a rehearing or ask the state Supreme Court to hear the case.

“We haven’t had an opportunity to meet with Eve and haven’t had a chance to meet with the manager,” Stanczyk said. The council is expected to meet Monday night at its next regular council meeting. “The five of us have to make that determination,” she said.

It is also important to note that Palmer Trinity still has a lawsuit pending against the city for tuition lost due to the village’s decisions.

Stan Price, who has represented Palmer Trinity stated very stong words in the article, staring that: “I feel very elated and very pleased with the court’s order. It has taken us six years to get to this point of time,” he said. “The most telling was that Chief Judge Wells basically came to the conclusion that the city was acting in bad faith and its actions belie someone wanting to do the right thing. Judge Schwartz concurred and indicated that everything the city was doing was superfluous. That’s what we’ve been saying all along. But there are a few individuals in this city who don’t want a school in that city and the court has recognized the school’s right to exist and to expand. We’d like to think every time we’ve come to the end of the road but there’s another stumbling block. Is this the end? With this town, you never what the end is.”

We might know more on Monday (July 9 regular Palmetto Bay Council Meeting), but then again, Shelley Stanczyk and Brian Pariser continue to elude what I feel is their obligation as elected officials to properly advise village residents of the status and goals of the ongoing litigation, see:  Sunday, February 5, 2012, SDU post, An (unofficial) update on the PalmerZoning litigation; Palmer I, II and III. The present standard of court review


  1. AnonymousJuly 07, 2012

    The Three Amigos should publicly beg Palmer to allow the three to personally pay Palmer’s legal fees to date as a favor to the resident taxpayers who have been snookered by these three. Each and every voter needs to make sure you know who was spending your tax dollars on this witch hunt against children, this exercise in superfluousness and futility, and vote them out of office come November.

  2. AnonymousJuly 07, 2012

    Palmetto Bay has suffered enough under the incompetence of this mayor. It is time for Shelley Stanczyk and Brian Pariser to both resign. When an organization or state fails, it is the leadership that is the root cause. I ask both Mrs. Stanczk and Mr. Pariser, if either of you really want to see Palmetto Bay prosper, step aside before Palmetto Bay suffers even greater permanent damage.

  3. AnonymousJuly 07, 2012

    Mark our words. We have just begun to fight the Palmer bullies. This will go all the way to the US Supreme Court if we have to. This is about saving the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

  4. AnonymousJuly 07, 2012

    A fish rots from the head down.

  5. AnonymousJuly 07, 2012

    The best thing Palmetto Bay has going for it is its Mayor and council who are so willing to humiliate themselves.

  6. AnonymousJuly 09, 2012

    The court keeps slamming the council. Will the be the message they finally understand?

  7. AnonymousJuly 09, 2012

    Gene, I am sure that as an attorney you recognize just how devastating this opinion is to the future credibility of Palmetto Bay. Exercise in superfluousness and futility per Judge Swartz. Wishful thinking at best, and more likely a willful disobedience of the prior appellate court’s instructions. These are not terms often used by a court that usually provides great deference to a local government. The pump is primed for major bad things to happen if the 3 council members in the majority do not wake up and begin to show respect for the rule of law.

    I suggest that you use your blog to educate fellow residents on where this could go.