Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday winner of best early voting site - West Flagler Branch Library, 5050 West Flagler Street

Today's best bet for early voting, I was told, was West Flagler Branch Library, 5050 West Flagler Street

Several people told me they checked the elections department website and decided to spend the time driving rather than face the gauntlet of Palmetto Bay campaigners at the Coral Reef Library (reportedly a 4:00 wait time again today)

Several groups told me the same story, West Flagler Branch Library, 5050 West Flagler Street, took approximately 1 hour from arrival time in the parking lot to departure - that included actual time voting.  This was certainly a much shorter time than waiting at Coral Reef Library which is turning out to be the longest wait of the early voting sites in the South.  The coast was clear from Palmetto Bay campaigners as well.

At last check, the Elections Department site indicated a 1:00 hour wait.  Multiple people told me that the listed wait time was in the single digits for the West Flagler Location.  The County Hall location [Elections Dept. (Stephen P. Clark Center), 111 NW 1st Street] was also given honorable mention (take the Metrorail to vote).

Miami-Dade County - Elections - Early Voting Wait Times

Click the link above to check the official elections web site for updated information on the wait time.  You may find that you prefer to take a short drive to another location that may save you hours in line, plus you can avoid the gauntlet of campaigners at Coral Reef library.

Want to best avoid the gauntlet? If asked "do you live in Palmetto Bay (or where ever)" simply say "no". Smile at 'em after voting and tell 'em you voted for Karyn and Howard as well as against the power grabbing charter changes on the way out!

Miami-Dade County - Elections - Early Voting Wait Times. Click and check before you go

Miami-Dade County - Elections - Early Voting Wait Times

Click the link above to check the official elections web site for updated information on the wait time.  You may find that you prefer to take a short drive to another location that may save you hours in line, plus you can avoid the gauntlet of campaigners at Coral Reef library.

Want to best avoid the gauntlet? If asked "do you live in Palmetto Bay (or where ever)" simply say "no".

Or say hi to me if you see me there.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Time for village to settle with Palmer | Palmetto Bay - Litigation management. An important election issue

Time for village to settle with Palmer | Palmetto Bay
Click the link above to read Grant Miller, Publisher of the Palmetto Bay news, article.  Miller asks the important question: “Who will step forward to settle the Palmer Trinity issue, Palmetto Bay’s most divisive issue?”

It is election time and shouldn't litigation management be a key issue, especially for the current vice mayor, a licensed attorney who has managed litigation in Palmetto Bay more like a casino pit boss than a trained lawyer who should be looking out for the best interests of his clients, namely we the people. 

As Mr. Miller points out, “(t)he tactics of letting the courts make all the decisions have been devastating for Palmetto Bay.”  As well as “(w)ill 2013 be the year where a statesman (or woman) steps forward to show some leadership and bring an end to this black cloud overhanging the village?”

Now simply known as “the decision” the court published its opinion that the current Palmetto Bay Council (actually three of the five) 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.

Mr. Miller points out that word is out that all cases could have been settled. Perhaps he is taking in part of my prior blog post:  Update on Palmer litigation. The story of hubris and a very missed opportunity to settle from a position of strength (Monday, October 8, 2012)

I agree with Miller.  It is time for the electors of Palmetto Bay to stop rolling the dice and elect someone with some spine to take control over the endless litigation that is plaguing our community.  Miller is right, the residents and students are stuck in the middle, having no voice and worse, no ability to influence any change in ongoing lawsuits.

Don’t let the “wishful thinking” of Mayor Stanczyk and Vice Mayor Pariser continue as they roll ‘snake eyes’ at our expense.  “The politicians need to know that this is not about their egos. Lawsuits should be properly managed in the best interest of the residents.”

Pumpkin Patrol Update - public concern results in action

Pumpkin Patrol Update. Palmetto Bay councilman Howard Tendrich has stepped up and advised me (11:12 AM) that he is making sure there will be a Pumpkin Patrol tomorrow night.  It will be from 6 to 8 PM. That doesn't cover the entire evening, but we will take what we can get.  Thank you Howard for stepping up. Your responsiveness is one of the big reasons why I am supporting you. You heard our concerns, but the other guy apparently couldn't care less.

Monday, October 29, 2012

No free Palmetto Bay Halloween events this year. Thankfully Pinecrest and Cutler Bay did not let the Halloween revelers down this year!

Pinecrest and Cutler Bay kept the tradition of providing free and safe Halloween events for its residents.  No so in Palmetto Bay.  It appears that kids have to “pay to play” in Palmetto Bay. Thank you for nothing this year current mayor and vice mayor.


The Village of Pinecrest has invited its residents to participate in a free evening on October 31, 2012, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM (Click here to view the event details).  Residents are encouraged to come out and enjoy "track" or treating in a safe and friendly atmosphere at Evelyn Greer Park. The Pinecrest Parks and Recreation Department, along with local businesses, will be passing out treats for everyone. All ghosts, goblins, witches, and friends are invited!  Children must be accompanied by an adult and bring their own bag for collecting candy.

Participation in this event is FREE


The town of Cutler Bay sponsored a Haunted House and "Track or Treat" held last Saturday, October 27th, from 6-9pm at Cutler Ridge Park.  (Event Flier) Those in attendance experienced “the terror” of the haunted house, the adventure of the spider egg hunt, the costume contest, great food, and the "Track or Treat" which took place around the walking path.


It is election time and it is a fair question to ask how family friendly the current Mayor and Vice Mayor are in providing quality and free community events.  Now at Halloween time, I find it disheartening to continue to see families shut out of the free Halloween festivities in Palmetto Bay.

As of close of business, Monday, October 29, 2012, there no announcement from Palmetto Bay’s PIO (or even by the current mayor, who apparently is far too busy campaigning at early voting for her charter change to extend her term of office) even to confirm that the traditional Pumpkin Patrol will take place on Wednesday, October 31 (Halloween).  This event has been a tradition from 2006 and continued at least up until October31, 2011.  Read one of the original stores relating to Palmetto Bay's "Pumpkin Patrol" (Page 3 of 8 of the .PDF). Palmetto Bay would have 3 times the normal police on duty to participate; cruising the neighborhoods, making frequent stops along the way to hand out candy and mix with participants.  The Pumpkin Patrol has certainly assisted in fewer tricks and more treats in Palmetto Bay.  

Are we all on our own this year, without the added police?  Perhaps the current Vice Mayor was hoping we wouldn’t notice yet another event cut from the yearly programming.  Perhaps there is still time to throw this event together.

Let’s hope that the village council is just a bit off its game and will be getting the news out that in fact there will be additional police patrols out to keep those participating in Halloween 2012 safe.

There will be NO family movie night for Halloween 2012.  In the past, families were treated to Movie Night under the stars which began in 2006, kicked off with the 1984 classic Ghostbusters.  With over 500 people in attendance, a blockbuster of attendance that continued up to 2010.  Families were treated with free movie nights at Halloween such as MonsterHouse (2010);  IGOR (2009).  The prior administration attempted to hold at least 3 free family movie nights each year.

Apparently, in 2012, instead of the traditional free community movie night, kids were encouraged to pay $20.00 per child to participate in Halloween-themed Tennis Play Day, Oct. 12. 

Unfortunately, in Palmetto Bay, it appears that you have to “pay to play.”

I hope everyone can see why I feel it is so important to replace the current vice mayor with Karyn Cunningham, for new, family-friendly leadership in Palmetto Bay.

Early Voting and Palmetto Bay Charter reommendations

Taken from the latest South Dade Updates e-mail blast.  Please CLICK HERE to view this e-mail.  Please sign up for  these updates if you are not presently receiving them.

Early voting began Saturday and runs through this Saturday, Nov 3. CLICK HERE to view official elections Department information on where you can vote early. The closest location to Palmetto Bay/Pinecrest is the Coral Reef Library, 9211 SW 152nd Street. For Cutler Bay, the South Dade Regional Library, 10750 SW 211th Street, is the usual early voting site, but any voter may vote at any early voting site. There may be sites near where you take your children to school, shop, work or simply where you may be nearby during this period where early voting may be more easily accessible and less crowded.

This will be a huge ballot, so plan on voting early and be ready for delays. Some voters spent as long as 6 ½ hours at the polls on Saturday. It was down to about half, or less than have the wait on Sunday. Please don't leave your vote until the last-minute on Tuesday, November 6.

I have endorsed Karyn Cunningham and Howard Tendrich for Palmetto Bay council as discussed below. This e-mail also discusses the charter amendments for the first time.

There are many State and County issues on the ballot. I often get asked how I am voting. I will be happy to provide further information if you want to e-mail me at Or check the South Dade Updates blog as I have posted various articles from time to time on differing ballot issues and candidates. I am trying to keep the length of this update reasonable.

The length of the ballot for this election is absurd. It is the longest and most difficult ballot that I have ever seen in my years as a voter. Never before have elected officials placed so many items on a single ballot, as if to try to sneak things through, hoping that you will simply vote "yes" to give them what they want without reading carefully and considering the consequences.


Be careful and read the item before you vote. CLICK HERE to view the proposed Palmetto Bay Charter Amendments. The number one example is Palmetto Bay Charter Amendment # 4 - innocently entitled "Changing Term Limits" this is actually an anti-reform proposal that EXTENDS the present term limits from the present 8 to 12 years. Do not be fooled. We finally get a county charter question for 8 years for County Commissioners, but Palmetto Bay elected officials want to undo our earlier reforms and extend their terms.

Love it or hate it, but it does not belong in the charter. The Neighborhood Protection proposal belongs in the Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) and the procedural elements belong in the zoning procedures code, not charter. It is unwise to mix the two. You cannot properly amend your CDMP if it also requires a charter change to be consistent.

The purpose of a village charter is to define the type of government, which in Palmetto Bay is to have a manager - council form of government.

Items # 5 and 6 are bad proposals that allow the council members to interfere with the professional management of Palmetto Bay by the Manager and allow council members to meet with department heads or otherwise inject politics into the hiring of personnel. Don't let this happen. Vote NO and retain professional management. Elected officials should be required to discuss village business, our business, in the Sunshine, at a public meeting, not in private. Otherwise, each department head would have 6 chiefs; the manager and 5 separate councilmembers, all trying to direct the manager in different directions. Government in the Sunshine requires that the issue be discussed at a publicly noticed council meeting, discussed in public and publicly decide by majority rule. The public has the right to know. I was able to work effectively as mayor for 8 years under the current set of rules. The current council does not need, and certainly do not deserve a new set of rules.

Many of the other proposals make little sense; they are already provided for in the present charter and add nothing by passage other than risking adverse unintended consequences. I do intend on voting in favor of items #7, #10, and #12.


This election is important for the future of Palmetto Bay. I felt we worked hard to build a strong sense of community in the first eight years of Palmetto Bay. I would like to return to a Palmetto Bay that benefited from community events such as family movie nights (remember those?), fewer lawsuits and less new regulations.

I have strongly endorsed the reelection of Councilman Howard Tendrich and long-time resident and teacher/advocateKaryn Cunningham to provide a new voice for Vice Mayor. Both candidates have positive insight and will work to represent all the people of Palmetto Bay. CLICK HERE to view my full endorsement for both Karyn and Howard.

Karyn Cunningham will restore our sense of community and will work well with, not against, the other council members on items that are important to us; protecting our quality of life, our children, homes, infrastructure and our village finances. She wants to hold series of meeting to engage us, the residents in visioning sessions much like the first council did when we first created Palmetto Bay.

Howard Tendrich is the biggest supporter of green on the present council. He has been a big supporter, working with me in the past and continues the work of making Palmetto Bay a "Tree City USA." He has pushed for greater accountability and is the single present member of the council work pushed for publishing the village check register online. He was a huge proponent of making Palmetto Bay's Village Hall LEED Platinum. We cannot lose Howard's common sense on the council.

The strength of Palmetto Bay was the "Ps" that I enumerated through my years of service, Parks, Planning, Police, Public Works and most of all People. We were once one Palmetto Bay and we need elected officials who will work to build the sense of community we previously enjoyed.

One new wrinkle to local politics has surfaced, a new "P" in Palmetto Bay and that is the sudden emergence of a PAC. See may article on the South Dade Updates blog: (Click the headline) The PACman cometh in Palmetto Bay, but what is the expected return on this investment on just 2 candidates?

I humbly recommend that we all vote for Howard Tendrich and Karyn Cunningham and vote NO on the Palmetto Bay charter amendments, excepting #7, #10, and #12.

Pet's Trust Vote YES #24

Please Vote Yes to show support for a Pet's Trust in Miami. This is a straw ballot on the November 6 ballot- which means it is there to gage the community support for creating a Pets Trust. It is then up to the County Commission to make it happen.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at the polls. Join me in working to for positive government!

Eugene Flinn

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The PACman cometh in Palmetto Bay, but what is the expected return on this investment on just 2 candidates?

To candidates Brian Pariser and Tim Schaffer: What have you promised that it is worth 4 families to put together $7,500, including a $5,500 PAC (Political action committee) for this small municipal election? 

This PAC has sent out political mailers/advertisements, filled in my opinion, with political low blows, innuendo and tripe. The PAC has reported raising $5,500 in donations and loans on this single known report with $3,327.15 in expenditures reported to date. CLICK HERE to review the Palmetto Bay Concerned Residents PAC

This is a significant investment in just 2 candidates.  What do they expect in return?

And this does not include the personal donations that these residents have made to your campaigns

The families:
Jack Fell and Pam Reid
Anthony Gorman
Stuart Guthrie Family

Most Palmetto Bay residents are not big donors.  It is very unique that in Palmetto Bay, there appears to be a total of $7,500.00 in campaign monies coming from just four addresses.  This for a single municipal election.

Here are the reported donations to the PAC:

Jack Fell, 7210 Mitchell Drive, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158       $500.00 plus $3,000 loan (not from a candidate)
Ruth P. Reid, 7210 Mitchell Drive, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158  $500
Anthony Gorman, 14140 SW 72 Avenue, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158, $500
Phyllis Kaplan, 7898 Devonshire Way, Boulder CO 80301 $500 (out of state money)
Jean B. Guthrie Trust, 6969 SW 141 Street, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158, $500 (from a trust)

There have been direct donations to both Brian Pariser and Tim Schaffer from these same addresses:

Brian Pariser Campaign:
$100  10/09/12 Pamela Gorman, 14140 SW 72 Avenue, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158
$400  08/06/12 Stuart Guthrie, 6969 SW 141 Street, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158
$100  06/05/12 Anthony Gorman, 14140 SW 72 Avenue, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158
$200  06/05/12 Jack Fell, 7210 Mitchell Drive, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158
$100  06/05/12 Stuart Guthrie, 6969 SW 141 Street, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158
$100  02/27/12 Anthony Gorman, 14140 SW 72 Avenue, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158

Another gave directly, is listed on the PAC materials including the e-mail blast, but appears to have reported donating solely to the candidate:

$100 02/22/12 Gary Pastorella, 6940 SW 142 Terr, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158 to Brian Pariser
$100 06/21/12 Gary Pastorella, 6940 SW 142 Terr, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158 to Tim Schaffer

Tim Schaffer Campaign

$200  10/01/12 Jack Fell, 7210 Mitchell Drive, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158
$100  07/12/12 Pamela Gorman, 14140 SW 72 Avenue, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158
$400  08/23/12 Stuart Guthrie, 6969 SW 141 Street, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158
$100  07/25/12 Stuart Guthrie, 6969 SW 141 Street, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158

The Gorman family has reported $500.00 to the PAC, $300.00 to Pariser, $100 to Schaffer
The Guthrie family has reported $1,000.00 to the PAC, $500.00 to Pariser, $500 to Schaffer
The Fell family as reported $1,000 in donations and $3,000 in loans to the PAC, $200 to Pariser, $200 to Schaffer

$2,500.00 Total reported donations from the above to PAC that benefits 2 candidates and directly to their campaigns.
$3,000.00 total loans to the PAC that benefits the 2 candidates.

$7,500.00 from a total of 4 addresses in a single municipal campaign? What is the expected return on investment?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

SDM at it again, hooking me on Palmetto Bay’ politics with an Animal House reference.

Being part of the Animal House/MTV generation, (today’s generation has moved far beyond MTV), I love a good Animal House reference to take an irreverent look at the current Palmetto Bay situation.  Really, ask yourself, “was it over when the Germans bomb Pearl Harbor? ….” Afterall, SDM might even agree, insofar as driving out the bad guys, … this situation requires a futile and really stupid gesture be done on someone’s part.  And those efforts are being done.  The Palmetto Bay Council almost seems too much like the turgid Omega house, with all its rules, controls and self-righteousness. 

WIll Brian Pariser and crew (the 3 out of the 5) kick neighborhood Churches and Schools out of Palmetto Bay with the Neighborhood Protection Ordinance?  Will Palmetto Bay voters take it laying down because Mayor Wormer Stanczyk dropped the "big one"?  Who will just lay around and who will get up and do something about it?


An upcoming Miami Herald report on the Palmetto Bay elections contains some interesting comments from the candidates. SDM can’t resist the urge to comment on a couple of them.

There is an offer in the second half of this post, Schaffer to Palmetto Bay Residents: Settle Down!  As SDM notes, Tim Schaffer did his best impression of Kevin Bacon in Animal House (Read SDM for the quote)

SDM claims it will pay $20 to anyone who has seen Kevin Bacon and Tim Schaffer in the same room.

I figured out the catch, not only do we have to catch Bacon and Schaffer in the same room, but we have to figure out who SDM is to collect.  Hey, SDM, why not make it $1,000?