Friday, October 19, 2018

I am proud to announce my Sierra Club endorsement!

I am humbled to announce that I have been endorsed by the Sierra Club.

I am proud of my record for sustainability here in Palmetto Bay. I have worked hard to get Palmetto Bay to be a green city and make it greener every day. Growth is smart growth - and limited growth. I am proud to participate as a member of the Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition among other environmental groups.  I participate and listen and work toward preservation of land from fighting to preserve 22 acres of endangered Pine Rockland at the Palmetto Bay Village Center, to working for grants (to pay in full) our park land. 

 As Mayor, I have refused to meet with developers in private. I am the only member of the Palmetto Bay council who can say this.  I have held meetings in public where interested members of the public can attend, listen and participate. 
              I am also proud of working with the original Village Council to renovate existing parks and buying new parkland, as well as bringing diverse park amenities including a dog park, softball complex, beach volleyball courts, and a skate park. I have seen to it that we include and protect our environment sensitive areas such as the 5 acre Pineland in Coral Reef Park. I have also worked with the team to purchase and preserve a bay front park (Thalatta Estate). Activities include Earth Week (to raise environmental awareness) and age friendly programming and promoting bicycling within the village. I participate annually with the various bike to work, alternative transportation events.

              I created “Shade Palmetto Bay” – our annual tree / plant give away (native of course).  This year, I put my money where my mouth is and personally donated 130 seedling pines for the giveaway.

              I worked for for recognition of our green spaces as Florida-Friendly Landscapes. Note that in our Village of Parks, Coral Reef, Palmetto Bay and Perrine Wayside Dog Park were recognized on June 18, 2018. 

              I signed on to the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and joined Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy – not just signing, but following up on and keeping the commitments made.

I opposed Amendment one in 2016 – sponsoring reso 2016-90 that passed by a slim 3/2 margin.  Both my opponents, Karyn Cunningham and Tim Schaffer, voted AGAINST my reso warning the public of the hidden agenda contained in Amendment one.

 I was the prime sponsor in bringing Palmetto Bay in as a participating municipality with the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact when it was formalized back in 2009/2010. 

I was the first of our local officials to advocate for the completion of CERP/BBCW in our region. See Palmetto Bay Resolution:  2007-044

I sponsored (with a single co-sponsor) Reso 2009-018 Urging the US Congress and Florida Legislature to fully fund Biscayne Bay Wetlands projects

Reso2007-073 – in support of the SFWMD request for congressional appropriation of funds necessary to bring the Herbert Hoover Dike into compliance with current levee protection safety standards

Reso2016-036 Urging the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the SFWMD to expedite Phase II of the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project.

Under my leadership, Palmetto Bay has led the way in green initiatives, building the first countywide LEED-certified park building at Coral Reef Park, followed by the very first statewide Platinum LEED-certified Village Hall! 

·                Palmetto Bay Charter member PACE – I serve on the district board
·                Preserving green space, creation of new green space/parks as well as updating existing green space and parks.  
·                Championed the creation of a Sustainable Community Plan (SCP). 

I sponsored resolution preserving the following acreage:

·       Ludovici Park, working with our Miami-Dade County Environmental Crimes to take ownership of land which had previously suffered mangrove destruction, restoring those mangroves and placing that land in the public domain, eventually becoming Ludovici Park – where a library now stands and the restored mangrove area rests, off the private ownership and in protective hands.

·     Land that the County was about to surplused to developers into public ownership -  soon to be known as The Woods along 168th street.

·     I was the sponsor of Palmetto Bay Resolution 2010-32, Opposing the FPL application relating to Turkey Point Units 6 & &, power lines, opposing the siting transmission lines down US1 (the subsequent administration pulled out of this effort, leaving Pinecrest and South Miami to win this effort without Palmetto Bay’s collaboration).

Notable resolutions are numerous, but some of my favorites that I sponsored include:

·       2005-043, calling upon the Board of County Commissioners to oppose any extension to the Urban Development Boundary (“Hold The Line”)

·       2007-049 Relating to protecting the land considered to be a wildlife sanctuary at SW 168th Street and 88th.

·       2008-078  Requesting Miami-Dade to authorize the use of low emission vehicles on County Owned Residential streets located within Palmetto Bay and the County as such low emission vehicles would assist with greening communities by lowering gas emissions and curtail use of gas, ensure slower speeds and thus protect residents, pedestrians and general public.

      2016-68, opposing the DEP's weakening of restrictions that would allow an increase in the release of toxic chemicals into Florida’s Waters.

·     Obtaining the Tree City USA Designation in my second term.

I am including the following blog posts I have written on these and other environmental topics.

We need to protect and prepare for our future, whether it is protecting our native Pine Rocklands, Mangroves, or Everglades.  We need to grow smart or not at all.  And don’t leave out transportation.  Transportation is another Number One issue (yes - there are more than a single critical issue facing South Florida) as growing gridlock is rapidly eroding our quality of life – but more on that in a future post.

I remain proud of my accomplishments to date as well as my ongoing commitment to continue the vision and work to further and exceed these past accomplishments, including:

Palmetto Bay seeks to become a model community for energy savings and environmental conservation. The Municipal Center is a testament to this goal. For more information, please feel free to review the following Official Palmetto Bay webpages:

  • Have You Heard? Green is the New Black!
  • Palmetto Bay Green Page
    And a few of my past blog posts, including:
  • May 4, 2018, Great response to our solar initiatives. Thank you to all who have participated.
  • October 9, 2012, Great news. It is official. Palmetto Bay's Village Hall receives Platinum LEED certification.
  • August 23, 2017, The Smart Growth Partnership - The Village of Palmetto Bay wins a smart growth award for its DUV Code.
  • Also see the article posted online through the Southeast Florida Regional Compact (an organization I have sponsored participating with):  Village Hall LEED Platinum Certified Facility
  • Obtaining certification of the first Green Certified municipal building in Miami-Dade County (our Parks building at Coral Reef Park).
  • Solar power initiatives.  Co-sponsoring Solar Co-Ops
  • Prime sponsor of permit fee waiver initiatives for Solar Panel initiative.
  • Championing the efforts to purchase and preserve Thalatta Estate - working with the willing seller to buy the property through the Trust for Public Lands and Florida Communities Trust to bring this property into public ownership for all to enjoy.
  • Went electronic, eliminating paper - for e-newsletters - first created e-currents and now "Your Village At Work."
  • Tree City USA Designation
  • Working for recognition of our green spaces as Florida-Friendly Landscapes. Note that in our Village of Parks, Coral Reef, Palmetto Bay and Perrine Wayside Dog Park were recognized on June 18, 2018. 
  • I have also actively worked to support the efforts of community groups such as LivableCutler at the county and state level to halt over development. These efforts led to public acquisition of 130 acres earmarked for CERP/BBCW. My entire family have been part of the volunteer effort to restore the acquired coastal wetlands.
  • Finally – I established a Palmetto Bay “Environmentalist of the Year” Award – to recognize and encourage environmental action.
Thank you Sierra Club! 

Eugene Flinn

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