Monday, June 17, 2019

Half the story - leaving out a very important detail - the Truth: Palmetto Bay is hosting a regional MEGA Fourth of July event. Black Point's celebration moves to Palmetto Bay

Get ready. The historic and popular Miami-Dade County Fourth of July event held at Black Point has been relocated to Palmetto Bay.  And those familiar with Miami-Dade County's Black Point celebration will remember how large it is; how many people take part and enjoyed that event.  I am personally shocked and disappointed that it will not be happening for 2019. I am sure many others will share that view. But that is not the point of this blog. The point is that the Palmetto Bay Village council has apparently made a huge policy decision without input or even notice to its residents in adopting and combining the Black Point Independence Day Celebration with the much smaller event held in Palmetto Bay.

So much for the small town feel to our past Fourth of July Event put together for our Palmetto Bay residents. My initial concern is transparency. Just when were our elected officials going to tell us? This was not discussed at a publicly noticed Village Council meeting. This is not a policy decision to be made by a single member of our Village Council per our charter.

The County did not simply "donate" to Palmetto Bay, but instead the historic Black Point event is now part of the MEGA Palmetto Bay/Cutler Bay?Miami-Dade County event; placing the responsibility for this blended event largely onto the shoulders of the Palmetto Bay taxpayers. This has the potential to have a huge impact upon our community. The County's celebration at Black Point was a huge competitor to Palmetto Bay's event. When were Palmetto Bay Mayor and council going to tell the residents that the County Celebration at Black Point was canceled - no, actually, MOVED to Palmetto Bay? This is an important detail! I have posted the Mayor's quote below, as it is more important for what is fails to say that what little information it actually provides.  

This is our 6th year hosting Independence Day right here in our Village. With the support of Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the Village was able to secure great street entertainment, artists, and live bands,” said Mayor Karyn Cunningham.
Does anyone else here feel like they have been left out of the loop? 

CLICK HERE to view the source (posted as of 6/16/2019) - the official Palmetto Bay website. I am of the opinion that the facts portrayed by the Mayor and Village on this issue are far from accurately portraying the truth.

Let's face it - the quote was disingenuous. Nowhere does it say that this "support" is really to transfer costs and logistics of the Black Point event from Miami-Dade County, and move it all over to the Palmetto Bay venue. Will the "support"of the Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners go to offset the $50,000.00 Palmetto Bay has budgeted for this event or is it all for newer expenses? What is the amount of the donation? Has this decision been delegated to a single member of the village council as to how the contributions from the County and Cutler Bay will be used - simply adding to the cost of the event without passing on any relief to Palmetto Bay taxpayers?

$50,000.00 budgeted by Palmetto Bay. The event appears to be approximately 60% subsidized. Along with the $50,000.00 Palmetto Bay taxpayor investment, Cutler Bay appears to be contributing $4,000 plus some police and Parks personnel, $2,500 from the office of County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, a $5,000 grant from Miami-Dade County. There are many more donations, as usual, as there have been over the 6 year history of this event. Atlantico, the apartment developer, has made a donation as well as providing use of their facilities for parking and for the VIP area (I wonder who will be invited to be in the VIP area?) Will Cutler Bay be shuttling people into Palmetto Bay via their Town circulator in order to reduce traffic? 

The County did not providing funding in order for Palmetto Bay " secure great street entertainment, artists, and live bands" - Palmetto Bay has been able to provide great street entertainment, artists and live bands each of the past 5 years. The money from the County is a small part of the annual costs of the Black Point festivities that Palmetto Bay taxpayers will now be undertaking and undertaking without putting the question to its residents as to whether they want to transform our local event into a much larger regional event.

We would know the answers to my questions had this matter had been discussed in public, instead of these decisions (including potentially ill-advised decisions) being made within private offices.

Worse yet, if it doesn't go well, will Cutler Bay and Miami-Dade County decommit to donating in future years while leaving Palmetto Bay taxpayers holding onto the annual costs of this regional celebration?
Miami-Dade County banner displayed at Black Point - notification that their July 4th Celebration moved to Palmetto Bay
Transparency is important, or should be. Involving residents in the planning of events is important, or should be. Heck, involving the entire council at a publicly noticed meeting (held in front of the public) is important - was it? If so, which members of the Village Council knew the complete and full facts of this blending of events and when did they first become aware of it.
So the truth is that this is no longer a local Palmetto Bay event - the county has "donated" money to the Village of Palmetto Bay to take over the historic and very well attended Black Point event (which I and my family have enjoyed many times over the past years) and hold it here in Palmetto Bay.

Was this MEGA special event discussed by the council publicly or passed along from council member to council member via an intermediary? 

How much is this support adding to the MEGA regional fireworks show?

And why is this event (and important change) being promoted outside of Palmetto Bay, but not to our own Palmetto Bay residents?

I'd like to see the parking and security plans for these recently enlarged MEGA public event. Will parking occur along US1 or will the neighborhoods be asked to absorb the additional traffic and parking? Will Palmetto Bay residents be provided priority parking and seating or do they risk being pushed back in their own event at this 6th year?

The above are a few of the issues that should be discussed in public as we all have a right to know.

I have said it  before, transparency is dead in Palmetto Bay. But then again, that's why readership is going so well on this blog as this is a place where I can truly say, "you read it here first!"

I have posted the Village event poster (right) that has been distributed as of June 16. Where does it provide notice that this event has changed from its original scope and size?

I also think it prudent that those redirected from the County event to Palmetto Bay be made aware that the rules are different. Palmetto Bay relies upon Food Vendors to sell their wares to the attendees - the key difference from the Black Point event is that Palmetto Bay does not allow personal BBQ grills. Let's get the word out.


  1. Not cool at all. I have been going to black point for years and it has always been great. There is no way all people who go to black point mixed with people from palmetto bay are all going to fit there. And where do the thousands of people park?

  2. Sorry to read this! I’m glad you’re watching and writing about your community.