I have proudly endorsed both Karyn Cunningham for Vice Mayor of Palmetto Bay and Howard Tendrich for re-election to the Palmetto Bay Council District #2. My commitment to these two fine candidates was reaffirmed after reading a recent negative email blast from a so-called group of concerned citizens in the Village. My humble opinion is that we need to pull this village together in a positive manner and when we all protest student bullying in schools, we need to reject it in our community as well. Anyone is entitled to run for office, not just those from a self-selected group.
I learned an important lesson as Mayor of Palmetto Bay. It is not in the best interests of our Village to exclude new voices and different thinking. When we insulate ourselves from alternative thought, we exclude potentially great ideas and it ultimately hurts our Village. We need some new voices because all is not well in Palmetto Bay, yet we all care about our family, our friends, our neighbors, our Palmetto Bay. The so-called concerned residents should be reminded of that. Their e-mail attached anyone not part of their group, and interestingly, when comparing donations, conveniently left out the lawyer and developer monies received by Brian Pariser in his campaign.
Please CLICK HERE (or the link above) to read the entire constant contact link for full details. I have outlined 3 main points, which in my opinion are critical to the positive future of Palmetto Bay.
1. All is not well with government spending. The first Mayor and council left office as of November 2010. Total cash on hand for 2011 was $17,099,717 and the unallocated reserves for that period (budget year 2010/2011) was $11.4 million. Under Vice Mayor Pariser’s watch, the unallocated reserves are being spent down to just 8.3 million in this current budget. In less than two years the current council has foolishly spent millions of our reserves. It has become their private piggy bank. It is not their money. It is our money, and we appear to have little, if any, say in how it is being spent.
See Palmetto Bay approves budget, Miami Herald, 9/25/2012 – “The budget uses almost $2.3 million from reserves, but Mayor Shelley Stanczyk said that’s OK because the village has more than it needs in savings”
It was obviously wrong for the first council to save so much money. Pariser and company can’t keep their hands off it.
2. All is not well in protecting our neighborhoods either. Those who claim neighborhood protection miss the point. We could have had it, but we lost the opportunity to hold Palmer to 900 students. This happened all because the current Vice Mayor – a lawyer who I think should know better -- refused to make a tough decision, leaving it up to the courts, time after time. The court opined that Palmetto Bay’s 2011 zoning decisions amounted to “wishful thinking” or “more likely a willful disobedience” – 3rd DCA in 7/5/2012 opinion blasting Palmetto Bay for its blatant disregard for prior court’s instructions. Click the link to read how Pariser could have settled with Palmer, probably for 900, and in return, had Palmer dismiss all of its lawsuits.
Instead, he sat on his hands. We all lost.
Vice Mayor Brian Pariser promised “neighborhood protection” but it is little more than false promises and campaign hype! Residents are being used for political gain by the proponents, see Palmetto Bay says new rules won’t hurt churches, 10/9/2012:
After all the hype, there are few substantive changes. A single simple ordinance was promised, but now there are 8. 8 ordinances which fail to meet a goal to simplify the code. The Village Attorney clarified that: “It’s not really taking anyone’s developable property envelope,” she said. “We’re not changing setbacks. We’re not changing height. We’re not changing density.”
3. All is not well with proposed charter changes. Brian Pariser sat on the charter revision commission. They have proposed Charter changes designed to give themselves greater powers to hire their friends and take power away from professional management of Palmetto Bay. He has also led the proposal to add longer term limits. Government reformers have been working years for 8 year term limits for the County Commission. Cutler Bay has 8 year term limits, as does Pinecrest. The Palmetto Bay council wants to allow themselves 12 years through a confusing game of musical chairs.
We need positive leadership. Remember my long list of “Ps” formulated back when I was mayor? (Police, Planning, Public works, Parks, most of all People, among them)
Vote Howard and Karyn to end the divisiveness, the games and waste and bring the community back together. We need more family movie nights (remember those?) and less new regulations (Incorporation advocates promised that we would not become Coral Gables) and wasteful spending of Palmetto Bay’s hard fought reserves.
The continuation of the bad governance practices we have seen over the last 2 years could result in the Village going broke over the next four years unless you and I stop them.
We have to stop them by electing Karyn Cunningham and re-electing Howard Tendrich.
We have to stop the improper change in government by voting NO against their proposed charter amendments. If they have their way, they will soon be in office for life and will do great harm to our quality of life.