Thursday, May 31, 2018

Our upcoming Budget process officially begins. Palmetto Bay 2018 Tax Roll Estimate is released

June 1 - is the start date for more than hurricane season. Budget season starts.  The Office of the Property Appraiser has released the estimate of the 2018 Property Tax roll.  Please note that this is preliminary.  The final tax roll will be released on July 1, 2018.  

The preliminary for 2017 was $2,812,000,000. The 2018 estimate is $2,927,000,000

The preliminary estimate allows us to get started with our budget. See below.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Village of Palmetto Bay - Materials are available to prepare for June 2, Parks Master Plan Visioning Session

Are you ready to participate in the update to our Palmetto Bay Parks Master Plan? I am providing a link to the current Village of Palmetto Bay Parks Master Plan (CLICK HERE).  This is a detailed (57 page) strategic document that took years to complete and involved significant public participation. Creation of this Master Plan involved surveys, onsite interviews, stakeholder meetings, analysis involving consultants, staff and council members as well as many, many town hall and Village Council Meetings.

Government Operations versus political campaigns.  Facts verses #FakeNews.  Palmetto Bay has a Parks Master Plan - as evidenced by the document I have just provided.  I keep hearing of village candidates who complain that we need a parks master plan, alleging that they have been waiting for one for years.  This is simply incorrect. Palmetto Bay adopted a formal Parks Master Plan in 2007. It was designed to be a 10 year plan. "Planning" is one of my "Palmetto Bay 'Ps'."  (As well as P for "Positive" - let's keep it POSITIVE here in Palmetto Bay).  Our Village has many active plans, including a Comp Plan, as well as Transportation and Bicycle / Pedestrian master plans (CLICK HERE).  There are many, many strategic plans in existence here in Palmetto Bay (including our annual budgets). The Parks Master Plan is just one of many documents used to guide the village.

Access and providing accurate information is just one of the many reasons why I continue to push for ALL DOCUMENTS to be posted on line. A simple visit to our Village website should be able to resolve any issues.  The Parks Master Plan is, and has been, a living document that has been updated when due.  A single (of several) examples of modification of our Parks Master Plan can be seen in Resolution 2013-44, passed and adopted on May 6, 2013 [but note that the approved site plan referred to as "exhibit 1" is NOT attached and therefore cannot be reviewed through viewing this resolution online. (referred to in Section 3., page 2, lines 29-30). This resolution and the exhibit are, however, attached to the Parks Master plan (page 40 of 57 of the online .PDF)].

Note that these studies are not done simply to sit on the shelf. They are useful tools to take the next steps forward.  These documents are a big part of Palmetto Bay's success in obtaining tens of millions of dollars in grants under my administrations.

How does Palmetto Bay compare in parks?  Palmetto Bay is truly the Village of Parks.  Palmetto Bay, itself, has 104.2 acres of developed Parkland that was accessible to its residents for recreational use. The population at that time was 24,903.  This provided that Palmetto Bay had 4.18 acres of developed parklands per 1,000 residents.  At the time this Parks Master Plan was completed in 2007.  This far exceeds the Miami-Dade County requirements of 2.75 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. The comparable (July 2007) were (LOS Standard): 2.9 for Pinecrest, 6.2 for Coral Gables, 3.7 for South Miami and 4.63 for Miami Lakes.

Palmetto Bay has additional park land potential that I have identified, including the Woods at SW 168/88th Court, 160th/89th, the Palmetto Bay Village Center site as well as potential lands consisting of FPL easement.

I strongly recommend that readers review the "Goals, Objectives, and Policies page - our Comprehensive Plan Recreation and Open Space Element, Section VIII, document numbered pages 28-29.

Please take the time to review and prepare.  I am proud of how we have created the "Village of Parks" which includes more than just the LOS of parkland set aside, it includes our people and our programming.  



[Please note that all photos placed on this blog post are part of the actual published parks master plan. These photos can be viewed full size by reviewing the complete document online (CLICK HERE)]

SOME INTERESTING FACTS, HISTORY & INITIAL COSTS
Of Palmetto Bay's Parks

THE FACTS: In the Beginning, the Village of Palmetto Bay was founded with one regional park, one small neighborhood park, and a virtually unused lake park that we assumed from Miami-Dade County.  I am proud to have led the original Master Plan process (completed as some of the changes were being implemented) as well as the fundraising in the form of seeking grants and appropriations for our Parks plan/efforts. 

Coral Reef Park
 - was cleaned up and rehabilitated from its pre-incorporation state. It hosts or has hosted Family Movie nights, 2Ks, 5Ks, youth sports, beach volleyball, tennis, walking, tot lot, (to name just a few of the activities) and is home to a small (5 acre +/-) native pineland area. This park is one of the gems of Palmetto Bay.

Palmetto Bay Park, did not come to us in the size or existing amenities from Miami-Dade County as Coral Reef Park. This has been a big work in progress. We took the original Perrine Park land (5 acres), plus an expansion area, negotiated with the County for the adjacent seven acres, paying fair-market value, and expanded it... transforming it into Palmetto Bay Park, a state-of-the-art venue offering a wonderful diversity of activities and attractions for boys and girls, young and not so young, including the largest boundless playground in South Florida where children of all abilities can play together. It also offers well-lit walking paths used by joggers and walkers; and a fully renovated community room for parties, ballet and meetings.

Perrine Wayside / Dog Park. We took a former quarry and turned it from a run down, neglected "park" - in name only and turned it into something special. Listed as one of the 10 best dog parks!
Thalatta Estate and Ludiovici Parks have put the "Bay" back in Palmetto Bay. Thalatta Estate remains one of the most serene parks in Miami-Dade County. Ludovici Park is home to passive areas as well as an amphitheater, a community-based library and community room providing activities for our youngest to the oldest residents of the Village and home to the Palmetto Bay Garden Club.

Libraries are awesome facilities - they not only encourage children to get excited about reading, but they are also great learning and social environments for adults. We enjoy an outstanding partnership with the Miami-Dade County Public Library system. 
 
Costs of the initial phase of the Palmetto Bay Parks Master Plan: Of interest, the total amount Palmetto Bay spent on the initial investment to make Palmetto Bay the most family friendly community in South Florida was $16.8 million dollars, not including dollars spent on such items as landscaping, signage, plumbing, electrical, and the like. That's right - almost $17 million dollars has been spent or budgeted on parks improvements between 2002 and the 2008-09 fiscal year. And no taxes were raised to make this happen!

That's the equivalent of more than $350 dollars per-year, per-household, over the initial six years - a small amount, considering the large reward.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Memorial Day - 2018. All patriotic members of our community are cordially invited to attend the Annual Memorial Day Ceremony honoring our departed sister and brother veterans on May 28 at Marlin Moore Post #133, 16401 SW 90th Avenue

Monday, May 28, 2018 - the day we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom.

We owe our peace and democracy to them. Please observe a minute of silence at 3:00pm local time to pay tribute to Americans who've died in military service.

YOU ARE INVITED - to remember Memorial Day Monday, May 28, at the American Legion Marlin Moore Post #133, Village of Palmetto Bay. All patriotic members of our community are cordially invited to attend the Annual Memorial Day Ceremony  honoring our departed sister and brother veterans on May 28 at Marlin Moore Post #133, 16401 SW 90th Avenue. 

Coffee and donuts will be served from 10:00 am.  The Ceremony will begin at 11:00 am. After the service there will be a complementary cookout. 

Please feel free to stop by and thank a veteran.
  
Visit USA.gov's Memorial Day page to learn about the origins of this federal holiday; read veterans' stories; find patriotic songs; get tips on barbecue, boating, and swimming safety; and more!Brief History:  

BRIEF HISTORY:  The first Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. 

Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The occasion is also marked in almost every State on the last Monday in May. 
Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day, asking Americans wherever they are to pause in an act of national unity. The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died for our freedom.  

The flag should be flown at half staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds and naval vessels throughout the United States, and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. All people of the United States are requested to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary period.
__________

The Remembrance Poppy and the Poem, "In Flanders Field"

“In Flanders Fields" was written on May 3, 1915 by Lt. Col. John McCrae who was a physician, poet, author, artist and soldier serving in World I. Flanders is a region of Europe that comprises parts of Belgium and France. This poem resulted in the remembrancepoppy becoming one of the world's most recognized memorial symbols for soldiers who have died in conflict.
This poem can be found online at http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/flanders.htm

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
_______

Questions about how and when to properly display the US Flag? One of many online resources:http://www.afa.org/members/uscode.asp




Friday, May 25, 2018

1,000 fewer pythons in the Everglades. Miami Herald Reports. I was part of one out of the 1,000.

There are snakes, pythons no less, here in Palmetto Bay.  CLICK HERE to view past posts, with photos, of past python encounters in our Village).  

These encounters and captures unfortunately did not count toward the python eradication stats kept by the FWC (CLICK HERE for other posts involving FWC, including our Coyote situation).

The python control has now broken 1,000 pythons.  See the Wednesday, May 23, 2018, article in the Miami Herald  (or online 5/22/2018) Florida's Everglades now have 1,000 fewer pythons, by Jenny Staletovich. 

Pythons are invasive and are devastating our local animal population. I'd like to think that I have been doing my small part, both in education through this blog as well as actually participating in a python "hunt" - I was on a python hunt on Feb 19, 2018 (with a licensed FWC guide/hunter) where we bagged this lil guy - 7 feet, 4 inch python. 
In the interest of full disclosure, this python capture took place on February 18, 2018.  The snake was not harmed as part of the capture. The licensed python hunter took the snake the next day to the FWC location where it was measured, logged and then harvested.  



Dead Serious: Miami-Dade District 8 Bicycle Safety Meeting | BikeSafe



I am committed to working within our communities to improve safety for every user. 

Bike lanes are just one example.  Bike lanes provide additional space for cars to maneuver safely and not get caught behind bikes.  Bicycles are less exposed to distracted drivers.

The law is clear: With the exception of a few types of high-speed, limited-access roadways (for example an Interstate Highway or the Turnpike), every FDOT travel lane is also a bikeway - no special signs or markings needed. In the state of Florida, the bicycle is considered a legal vehicle and may be operated on the street, unless there is some guidance otherwise, such as marked bicycle lane. The exception is the Mandatory Bike Lane Law: Since 2010, Florida law specifies that if there is a lane marked for bicycle use, then cyclists must ride in that lane except for defined exceptions. 

Bike lanes are therefore win/win. Safer place to ride, and re-opens the road to motorists.

Please see coverage in the Miami Herald: Her husband was hit by a car. Now she's pushing to make streets safer for bicyclists, by Linda Robertson

CLICK HERE to review the Village of Palmetto Bay Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan.

Subtropical Storm Alberto becomes the first named storm of the 2018 storm season.

Subtropical Storm Alberto - The first named storm of the season. You can monitor this and other storms on various weather sites including Weather Underground:
https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/atlantic/2018/subtropical-storm-alberto?map=ensmodel

Your Mayor,

Eugene Flinn

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Getting Ready for the 2018 Storm Season. South Florida Water Management District - May 24, 2018 press release on preparing for Memorial Day weekend rain event

May 24, 2018

SFWMD Prepared for Heavy Rainfall Expected from Tropical System; Urging Residents to Know Appropriate Drainage Authority to Contact when Reporting Problems 
District has already lowered canals with forecast predictions as high as four inches in some areas and after near record rainfall for the month

West Palm Beach, FL - The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has prepared the region's massive flood control system to move water and protect residents from flooding as a result of the heavy rainfall forecast over the next five to seven days.

"Much of South Florida, including the regions that will see the heaviest rainfall over the Memorial Day weekend, have already experienced an above average amount of rainfall for the past few weeks," said SFWMD Chief Engineer John Mitnik. "Our staff and our flood control system have been hard at work moving flood waters away from communities. The District will continue this work as the storm approaches and passes over South Florida."

CLICK HERE to read the full SFWMD press release of May 24, 2018.

Flood control in South Florida is a shared responsibility between the District, county and city governments, local drainage districts, homeowners associations and residents.

Rainy Season Readiness.
South Florida's annual rainy season typically lasts from June through October, a five-month period that brings 70 percent of our regional rainfall in an average year. The rainy season can also bring flooding, which may occur when large amounts of rain fall over a short period of time or from a single heavy storm, tropical system or hurricane.

During heavy rainfall, it's important to make the right call. Watch this video to learn more about South Florida's three-tiered flood control system and who to contact first in case of flooding.

Homeowners Association (HOA)
Local Drainage Authority
South Florida Water Management District

CLICK HERE to view the SFWMD Flood Control Page. The Animation Information video is embedded below.



Palmetto Bay is working with the SFWMD to ensure proper timing and operation of the Flood Control barriers.

Please CLICK HERE to view prior posts relating to Palmetto Bay's collaboration with the SFWMD

Your Mayor,

Eugene Flinn

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Update on the Parks Master Plan process. Next visioning session is set for Sat. June 2, at 9:00 AM at OCPC

Here is an update on the Parks Master Plan process. I am providing photos below of proposed renderings for your review. (Click on the individual photos to review in a slightly larger format.) How do they look to you?  The village will be holding this special meeting as follows :

WHAT:         Parks Master Plan Workshop
DATE:           Saturday, June 2, 2018
TIME:           9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
WHERE:      Old Cutler Presbyterian Church - Zeigler Hall
                       14401 Old Cutler Road
                       Palmetto Bay , FL 33158

NOTE:  NO DECISIONS have been made to date by the village council. This remains an ongoing work in progress.  The meeting on Saturday, June 2, will be another visioning session, an open discussion, and participation meeting/workshop to review any proposals and take comments. 

Park expansion will have impact on neighborhoods and expense and should / will be discussed.  There is an option of keeping everything "as is".  Do we, as a village, update, maintain, reduce or add? Do we have enough parking for new or expanded activities. Will the revised locations for new or expanded events result in parking occurring in the neighborhoods? Have we properly provided for additional parking?  What are the funding sources?  All this should be discussed.

I have requested that the full set of renderings be posted for view/download on the Village website.  You can e-mail me at eflinn@palmettobay-fl.gov if you would like the documents provided via e-mail.  Note that the documents are 8 MB.  

I have previously updated our community on the Parks Master Plan and will continue to do so.  

For the record, I have not taken any positions on any of the proposed changes to our parks master plan.  I am a huge fan/proponent of our Veterans Park and look forward to the completion of this new park.  I am also looking forward to the passive/native park at 168, but will it be truly restored to a native habitat or become another playground? Feel free to comments and provide them to me via e-mail at eflinn@palmettobay-fl.gov 

I personally do not think we need changes for the sake of change.  We have one of the best parks systems to be found anywhere.  We do want to be responsive to the desires and concerns of our residents.

This is another opportunity to come on out and advise the Village Council what, if any, changes are needed. #YourVoiceMatters. 

I will continue to provide updates. Photos of the proposed modifications are posted below. 
 
Remember, no votes have been taken by the village council approving or denying any proposals. Nothing contained in these renderings are guaranteed to occur.  No funding numbers have been attached to proposed modifications.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Florida Department of Agriculture will be inspecting trees in the Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and Coral Gables communities for a new insect pest

BE ALERT and advised - Florida Department of Agriculture will be inspecting trees in the Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and Coral Gables communities for a new insect pest beginning today, May 22 and expected to last through May 24.


2:00 PM update posted below.

Note that the purpose of this alert is due to the fact that teams will be approaching homes and looking into yards (with homeowner notification)


Dear Fellow Palmetto Bay resident,


I received notification late yesterday that Florida Department of Agriculture will be inspecting trees in the Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and Coral Gables communities for a new insect pest.  Our Palmetto Bay Police advise us that these area inspections will begin today, Tuesday, May 22 and are scheduled to run through Thursday May 24th.  

These are official survey crews led by the Florida Department of Agriculture who will knock at your door and identify themselves to you should these teams need to inspect any trees on your property.

I do not have full details of the pest survey, but I was advised separately and unofficially that it is a pest that affects palm trees. 

Please contact our Village Police if you see anything suspicious. Our police will check in and assist.  The non emergency number is 305-476-5423 (305-4-Police)

Let's continue to work together through positive efforts and dialogue. 

CLICK HERE to view the short civic alert posted on the official Palmetto Bay web site.


CLICK HERE to view the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Plant Inspection page - note - general information only, not specific to this survey.


Thank you.
Your Mayor, 
Eugene Flinn

UPDATES ON THE PEST INSPECTION

2:00 PM Update: Pest Identified: Phantasma Scale Pest Alert.

Thank you to Palmetto Bay Tree Board Member Don Pybas for tracking this down - info:  
https://www.freshfromflorida.com/content/download/79840/2332158/Pest_Alert_-_Fiorinia_phantasma.pdf

 


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Thank you Members of The Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay. Tree Planting ceremony held at West Perrine Park

The Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay continues its work to make a difference.  Here is another update on their service.

I am very proud of the community service provided through the members of The Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay. I was honored to participate in the tree dedication ceremony held on Saturday, May 19, 2018, along with County Commissioner Dennis Moss. This project dovetails with the Miami County Million Trees effort.
The Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay has donated over $10,000 to programs at West Perrine Park as well as making it one of the locations for the Rotary International Tree Planting Challenge.  Rotary International President Ian Riseley challenged all 1.2 million Rotarians to plant trees, one for all 1.2 million members of Rotary International. 

35 trees were donated/planted by the Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay in West Perrine Park.
Thank you Members of The Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay.

Thank you blood donors. I met some great, generous people on Friday May 18

Giving the gift of life! Thank you to those who where able to donate.

I met some great people at the Palmetto Bay blood drive held on Friday, May 18, 2018. Thank you to all of those who took the time to stop by and give the gift of life. This is so meaningful to people who require transfusions, undergo surgery or suffer an accident.

Again, thank you to those who rolled up their sleeves and donated.



Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety. Participating in the "Dead Serious" campaign.

On Friday, May 18, it was my privilege to represent Palmetto Bay in the first meeting of County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava's "Dead Serious" campaign.

Pinecrest, Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay were present through elected officials and concerned residents who participated with Miami-Dade County, district 8. Miami-Dade County Parks, TPO, Bike 305, Everglades Bike Club, FDOT, Police and UM. Everyone working together.
Great collaboration & commitment to pedestrian and cycling safety. We’re creating an action plan for more education, infrastructure, enforcement and uniformity. #DeadSerious #VisionZero #completestreets #community

Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization
Miami-Dade Parks Miami-Dade County Government Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works Miami-Dade Police Department FDOT South - Miami Area Bike305 University of Miami Cutler Bay, Florida Palmetto Bay, Florida Village of Pinecrest Peggy Bell Eugene Flinn WIOD Miami's Community Newspapers