Monday, October 28, 2013

Additional thoughts on Palmetto Bay, Pumpkin Patrol and public safety. Just who wants to replace the Halloween tradition in PBay? Palmetto Bay should support, rather than try to replace traditional holiday celebrations.

I spoke with several of my neighbors while they were setting up their Halloween decorations over the weekend.  The predominate activities for this last weekend were the UM home game against Wake Forest (I don’t know what make us sweat more, the heat at the game or the last minute comeback), as well as the two big TV games: FSU Saturday evening and the Dolphin game on Sunday. Many people were at their children’s soccer practices and games or birthday parties.
Which bring me to my point. One of my neighbors suggested, and it does strike me as odd that the village would try to “replace” ‘Pumpkin Patrol with activities based at a single Palmetto Bay park, adding there is no way the village could hold an event for the entire village and guests who come into the village for a typical Halloween.  One neighbor suggested that the movie night would be better set not on a school night; stating it should have been held on the prior Friday or Saturday evening.  Another neighbor commented that it would be ill-advised to not have ‘Pumpkin Patrol’, the enhanced police, as there will be many kids going door to door seeking candy, regardless of whether there is a movie at the park. Yes, Palmetto Bay has traditionally enjoyed Halloween. OCPC has its traditional Fall Festival alternative to Trick or Treating.
The debate continued.  A friend came up to Alexandra and I at breakfast Sunday morning asking point blank if this is a plan by the current mayor and council to corral the kids and get these little monsters off the streets, so they are not making noise and bothering people by ringing door bells and soliciting handouts from hapless homeowners who may not appreciate the interruption of the quiet enjoyment of their homes! (Ah, sarcasm, or so I suspect.  However, when I did repeat this theory back to one neighbor, I was met with a “hmmm, let me think about that” rather than a dismissive laugh).
My goal as the first mayor of Palmetto Bay was not to replace or redirect activities, but to try to nurture and support the existing culture while trying to enhance our quality of life. Many people in our community have developed significant traditional activities. Many play golf or tennis, and/or support our kids as they engage in scouting, dance, drama, academic or sports activities.  That is why we fought hard and built library building to attract the County; an amphitheater, added walking paths and gazebos to parks and even more parks including a dog park.  Why? Because we did a master plan and that is what people wanted. 
So then who wants to ‘replace’ the traditional Halloween in Palmetto Bay?  It does strike me as unfair and unwise to stop the added police patrols on a very busy and traditional fun-filled evening – Halloween.  Trick or treating was an event that I enjoyed as a child, was disappointed to see it nearly die in the late 80s and 90s and was pleased to see it regain resurgence in Palmetto Bay. My mother still sees less than a handful of kids at Halloween, if any at all.  That is sad. We have parties here and travel in groups in Palmetto Bay.  I would like to see this family-friendly event recognized and nurtured here her in Palmetto Bay.
Happy Halloween to my friends, neighbors and fellow residents – and yes there will be candy for the trick or treaters on our street.  And, by the way, both our dogs, Ginger and Timmy will be in costume.  I look forward to another once a year night of fun.

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