Friday, February 8, 2013

Palmetto Bay- time to listen to residents. Pinecrest mayor touts new bus service, plans for gardens - SDU's subtext? Villagewide strategic plans work!

Pinecrest mayor touts new bus service, plans for gardens - Pinecrest -
Congratulations Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner and Pinecrest village council on another successful year.

Two things struck me when I read this article.  

The first is how well Pinecrest is moving forward.  My opinion is that part of this is due to Mayor Lerner’s leadership through inclusion, something that is presently lacking in Palmetto Bay where we presently have leadership through conflict.  

I remarked in an earlier post how I feel we need to get Palmetto Bay moving forward in a positive manner.  See: Nov. 20, 2012, A holiday wish list for the new Palmetto Bay council | Palmetto Bay. The 2013 Palmetto Bay council has a chance to go positive this upcoming year. My item of #4, really should be a number one priority for this current Palmetto Bay council: It is time again for a village-wide strategy session. Goals need to be set. ... Pinecrest recently completed a major update to its strategic plan. It is time for Palmetto Bay to do the same. That is how we, the original council, got Palmetto Bay moving is such a positive manner, hundreds of one-on-one and town hall meetings, parks and Comprehensive Development Master Plan Meetings, surveys.  A lot of meetings, but even more listening.

I just fail to understand why Mayor Stanczyk refuses to entertain the thought of actually listening to others for a change and reassessing the wants and needs of the village. Come on, just listen to the residents, rather than telling us what we want.  It is not working. Every council member appears to differ in what they think they ‘heard on the campaign trail’ and there is clearly a disconnect that is affecting the morale of the village staff – and many taxpayers.

A revised strategic plan, if done through inclusion, rather than simply appointing her “go-to people” will establish reasonable goals.  The village government will work much more smoothly if the present mayor and council receive clear direction for the stakeholders – we, the people.  They may remain in disagreement in how to get there, but I believe the acrimony will end as they push to reach the same goals.  Again, those goals set by the residents, not the politicians.

I, for one, firmly believe the time is now for a new village wide assessment of our priorities. CLICK HERE to view the Pinecrest web pages where you can view the 2010 draft strategic plan and the 2012 update. Please note the intent of the Pinecrest council to budget for a community survey in 2013 to once again gage the satisfaction of residents with Pinecrest municipal services.

Secondly, what is the status of our prior municipal coalition? FPL is another divisive issue and it is time for a discussion as to whether the village is engaged or not.  Pinecrest is presently engaged in opposition to Florida Power & Light’s expansion of two nuclear reactors and transmission lines. Mayor Lerner clearly identified those in the fight:  “We (Pinecrest) in coalition with South Miami, Coral Gables and the City of Miami are preparing to fight that battle,” said Lerner, a former state legislator. No mention of Palmetto Bay. Why? 

The sad thing is that we presently have a council that refuses to take a principled stand, but is far too frequently found leading the victory parade after the heavy lifting has been done by others. 

I really wish we had some genuine communication from the present Palmetto Bay leadership along with inclusive goal setting so we can move forward in a positive manner in 2013. 

Please, Palmetto Bay council, the time is now for a strategic plan and one with an inclusive process that involves EVERYONE - not just a 5 member committee.


  1. Good idea. I am sick of hearing of them spend our money in ways I don't approve of.

  2. I would hope to see a new parks process, but I doubt it would happen. A villagewide process would rob the dirty dozen of their power over the village council. It is too easy for the current council to listen to the same 10 people who have nothing better to do than attend meetings and speak loudly, claiming that they speak for all of us. Well they don't.