Friday, October 30, 2015

Palmetto Bay Twilight Color Run & Concert, Nov. 7, to benefit Palmetto High School

We are closing in on the first-ever Color Run in Palmetto Bay.

Run, walk or simply kick back and enjoy a concert. Its all good. Make plans to participate in the Palmetto Bay Twilight Color Run & Concert, Nov. 7, to benefit Palmetto High School.  CLICK HERE to read coverage in the Palmetto Bay News.

CLICK HERE to view event updates posted on the Official Palmetto Bay Village website

Alexandra and I hope to see you at this exciting event.

Eugene Flinn

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Commander Gregory Truitt Honored on Capitol Hill - VPB officials are there!

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen recognizes recently retired Village Police Unit Commander Gregory Truitt. 

It was my honor to be present with Councilman Tim Schaffer, the Manager and staff in Washington, D.C., when Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen recognized retired Village Policing Unit Commander Gregory Truitt for his service, in the House Chamber floor, Oct. 22., the remarks wee carried live (and archived here) on C-SPAN.

Don't miss out - see "Little Women" tonight at Miami Palmetto Senior High

The highly successful run of Little Women closes tonight at Miami Palmetto Senior High.

CLICK HERE to view the "Broadway World" - Student Calendar link for full synapsis.

Great cast. Meredith is Amy, a role she was born to play. See it tonight, Thursday, 10/29 at 7:00, at the Palmetto High Auditorium. Bring your kids and grandkids. This is a very family friendly show.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Poker v planning - where do priorities lie? We need a team, not late-night diversions.

You don't have to like each other to work together in the best interest of the community.  With that said, readers know that I get a bit aggravated every now and then which leads me to express my opinion in this blog.  I need to know where our council priorities lie - getting ready to make some serious decisions or late-night poker games.

Critical decisions are being made regarding our 'downtown district' that will profoundly impact this village.  While council members may not always agree (and that is healthy), our disagreements should be based upon equal education on the issue. Each and every member of this village council has a duty to be fully apprised of all available information and not rely upon a 'general whim' or preconceived standard. Leadership is working to make educated decisions, seeking out information - and sometimes this takes travel and personal effort to get engaged beyond Palmetto Bay's municipal boundaries. Yes, like it or not, at times, proper discharge of our duties require that we spend some money and travel outside our Miami-Dade County bubble to see what works and does not work (there is plenty to see in the 'does not work" category here in Miami-Dade County. There is no need to travel for that purpose). We posted and promoted this important trip - there was no 'fun time' scheduled here, but perhaps that was the problem.  The plan was to gather innovative ideas and garner support for the downtown redevelopment initiative. Some Officials and Staff attended the Transit-Oriented & Urban Real Estate Conference, Oct. 20-22, to learn new strategies that will enhance the future redevelopment of our emerging downtown district. The plan was for Vice Mayor DuBois and I to travel for a mere 30 hours.

I thought I finally had the commitment from Vice Mayor John DuBois to at least take a look at some quality redevelopment as well as finally get engaged in lobbying our Federal representatives in DC. It appears that I was wrong. And I hope that my impressions are wrong; that he did not actually choose to ditch the trip in order to resurrect a late-night poker game.

All we wanted from him was a single full day; to study, observe and participate in the process, to be part of a team effort.  This would also assist in upcoming workshops. Several village officials (Manager, our Planner and Councilman Schaffer) went to participate in a seminar - this involved more than a single day.  Part of our time was involved in seeking a change in a major project funding bill (that will be covered in the Manager's report to be presented to council/the public at the Monday, Nov. 2 Regular Council meeting) The flight was to depart just after 2 PM on Wednesday, October 21, returning (wheels scheduled to touch down) at 11:01 PM the following day, Thursday, October 22.

Well, it appears that Village Clerk can lead the Vice Mayor to the airport, but we can't get him on a plane.  Unfortunately, he called the clerk, after she dropped him off and departed back to Palmetto Bay, to have her come back and pick him up from the airport.  I was told that he was there in plenty of time. Did he really 'miss' the flight or did he get cold feet and 'cancel' the trip, preferring to instead spend a late evening (8:30 PM to the following 2:30 AM) playing poker with his poker group?  - the e-mail he sent out troubles me:
Vice Mayor DuBois can admit or deny its authenticity.

As far as travel, Madam Clerk, I suggest that you get people to the airport earlier so they don't miss their flights!

Vice Mayor DuBois is reimbursing the Village for the expenses in lost airfare and hotel room. That is admirable. The money however, is less important than being part of a team and keeping commitments - as scheduled to meet with our representatives as well as to get educated first-hand on successful re-development issues. Or at least, as an important note to me, do not schedule any out of town events that my conflict with the Vice Mayor's late-night poker games. 

(Editor's note - comment's have been 'turned off' for this post)

Group Photo - Photo of the day - Palmetto Bay's first Youth Advisory Council (YAC)

Meet Palmetto Bay's inaugural Youth Advisory Council.  Their organizational meeting was held on Monday, October 26, 2015. 
I am pleased to have sponsored the creation of this group.  It was an exciting night of firsts.  A chair and secretary wee elected from the group. District 3 council member Larisa Seigel Lara was present at the start, showing her support and wishing them the best of success.

(10/28 update:) CLICK HERE to view the official Palmetto Bay web news regarding this exicting group of youth.

This group will be fully engaged in our village.  We are looking for input. Not since the development of our first Parks Master Plan more than 8 years ago have we asked our youth what they want to see in their Village. It was long overdue. Councilwoman Karyn Cunningham is serving alongside me as Council Liaison to this committee. 

Our new “YAC” will greatly assist in getting teenagers active in our Village – a long-stated priority of Councilwoman Siegel Lara as well as myself and our entire Village Council. This YAC will:
  • Advise the Village as to the quality of life and recreational needs of the youth of our village.
  • Assist in the planning, promotion and implementation of programs and services for youth and teens of the village.
  • Participate in village events such as the village picnic, Earth Week, and sponsored events including, but not limited to Relay for Life, and other events as determined to be appropriate.
  • Foster a greater involvement of youth and teens in municipal governement and community service.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bike By The Bay - 2015 event was a great start. Photos. Thank you to all who sponsored and participated.

A great start - the inaugural "Bike By The Bay" - Saturday, October 17, 2015

The weekend of October 17 & 18 was a huge weekend for bike events with events going on in Coral Gables, Miami Beach, South Miami and south Miami-Dade.  Fear of projected poor weather fueled brief thoughts of cancellation, but sticking to the plan was rewarded with outstanding weather.  Hundreds got pumped up for the Oct. 17 road-sharing safety awareness event, "Bike on the Bay."  A fun morning of meeting up with friends and neighbors, riding along the Old Cutler Bike Trail, one of the most scenic places to ride a bike (or walk, job or simply take time to enjoy local nature).

Palmetto Bay was host to a share the road safety-awareness bike ride sponsored by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).  A safety-awareness event was held post ride at the Deering Estate Visitor Center Parking Lot. 

I was honored to participate.  Bike By The Bay 2015 was brought to you by these fine organizations and partners:
FDOT – District 6
Village of Palmetto Bay
Village of Palmetto Bay Parks & Recreation Department
Miami-Dade County Police Department
Miami-Dade County Parks Department
Deering Estate at Cutler
University of Miami Bike Safe & Walk Safe
Miami-Dade County Bike 305
Mack Cycle
Elite Cycling & Fitness
Green Mobility

Miami-Dade County School Board Vice Chair, Dr. Larry Feldman was also a proud participant. 

Please make plans to attend "Bike By The Bay" 2016.  More community bike rides are being scheduled, including the 2nd Annual "Mayor's Bike Ride" to take place the morning of the Village Celebration Picnic.

Let's ride - this event is just one more example of why we live here!

Monday, October 19, 2015

There's still time to get tickets for the 14th Annual Wine on Harvest Moon

Make plans to attend the Deering Estate Foundation's Wine On Harvest Moon. Alexandra and I bought our tickets, have you purchased yours?  Don't miss the opportunity to attend one of the "A list Events" held within Palmetto Bay.

"Spirits, Spells & American Lore" 
This year you'll be magically transported from Napa Valley to the deep south and upstate New York through delectable foods, aromatic wines and the unique sounds of the regions.
Members: $150.00 per person 
Non-members: $175.00 per person

Ticket prices are all-inclusive of food and wine for the evening. 
Please click here for a list of our Fine Food Sponsors.
CLICK HERE to purchase tickets online (tickets are printed off your computer).

Friday, October 16, 2015

Good news. We are officially settled. No longer will the words "Palmer Trinity" be followed by "litigation" in Palmetto Bay

The deal is done - as promised - as worked on. Friday, October 16, 2015. We settled the Palmer Trinity School litigation.

It took compromises – and all sides compromised.  We had to stop the bleeding.  We did.  Now we can move on and have the relationship with PTS as we all want it to be.  Remember – collaboration – partnership.

The "Ts" are crossed. The "Is" are dotted. The ink is now dry.  I am leaving the foolishness to others - I have work to do to continue to make this village a better place. I am looking for a very sound future relationship with this partner. 

When people think of "Palmetto Bay" and "Palmer Trinity", they should know that the "Ps" in both names stand for PARTNERSHIP, rather than "litigation."
Mayor Eugene Flinn, PTS BOD President Michael Biamonte, Manager Ed Silva,
PTS Headmaster Patrick Roberts & Village Attorney Dexter Lehtinen

John Dubois - Notice not to destroy evidence. What evidence? Ongoing lawsuit between John Dubois and Miami-Dade County

I was served this notice at Village Hall by Vice Mayor DuBois' personal attorney just prior to the start of the State of the Village Address.  I certainly will maintain anything in my possession, but I am at a loss to understand what information I could possibly offer John DuBois or his attorney. Can anyone assist me with understanding why the Palmetto Bay Vice Mayor wants to involve me in his personal litigation against Miami-Dade County?  This appears to be his ongoing fight, not mine. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

2015 State of the Village Address - Wednesday, Oct 14

You are invited!  Palmetto Bay Annual State of the Village Address - Wednesday, October 14 - 6 PM

Mayor Eugene Flinn will provide the annual review of Palmetto Bay operations, goals, and objectives.  This address will be broadcast live on Palmetto Bay Government Access TV-WBAY and via a live webcast from the Village website. 

Guests will also enjoy complimentary appetizers, wine, and desert items. Please RSVP at your earliest convenience by calling 305-259-1234.

Special thanks to Baptist Health South Florida (BHSF) for their continued support of this annual community event. 

CLICK HERE to view the official Palmetto Bay Facebook invite/info page for this event.

Updates will also be posted to the official Village website:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

This week was FIU week for me, Thursday PBBA, Friday HNBA Mentoring

A week that was very involved with FIU.

Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg is the fifth president of Florida International University and former Chancellor of the State University System of Florida.  

President Rosenberg was the featured speaker on Thursday, October 1, 2015, before the Palmetto Bay Business Association.  

We were updated on the great work of our local State University including the impact specific to Palmetto Bay; from the thousands of graduates to the hundreds of faculty and staff that currently reside within Palmetto Bay.

I am honored to once again take part in the HNBA Mentoring program.  This year's kick off was held on Friday, October 2, 2015, at the UM Student Union.  I am most impressed by the quality of the law students who participate in this program.  Law Students from as far away as UF are participating.  Law Students from UM, FIU and St. Thomas are also present.  I find this program to benefit me as much as the mentees. 
Photo above left, Maria Papasakelariou (FIU Law, HNBA Mentee), Eugene Flinn, Karel Suarez (FIU Law, my 2014/15 Mentee and current President of the HNBA Law Student Division).

Photo above left, Eugene Flinn with Maria Dantes Sanchez, Regional General Attorney at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, HNBA Region President, Region VIII (FL) and prominent resident of Palmetto Bay.

The 2015 kick off event was an opportunity for participating mentors and mentees to meet.  Assignments will be made and announced later this month. 

It is a wonderful opportunity for me to continue to participate in this outstanding program, being able to give back for the opportunities that I have been afforded.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Going green with the Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition Tees

Our Pine Rockland Tee shirts arrived on Saturday, October 3, 2015.  Green is my color.

Why the shirts?  Check out the Facebook page for the Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition or their website for more information.

The Tee Shirts were for sale briefly through - Save Miami's Pine Rocklands! Sales help support the preservation of the Richmond pine rocklands, home of the endangered Miami tiger beetle and other uniquely threatened species. The Tee Shirt campaign may reopen again, based upon ongoing interest.  Show your support.

Thank you,

Eugene Flinn

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Photos of the Day - some quiet spots in Palmetto Bay where you can appreciate nature.

So peaceful - an oasis just off Old Cutler Road- a huge traffic nightmare for so many. 
looking east from Deering Point - 6 PM - October 1, 2015
Not many other communities can boast such water access, as peaceful and as accessible as we enjoy here in Palmetto Bay.
Palmetto Bay Village Center
These crabs know where it is safe to gather. It is not presently legal to harvest these land crabs.

Traffic assessment update - field & recording work - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Village Officials were back out along assessing village traffic issues on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.  This is a collaborative effort organized by the Village Manager, Ed Silva who is working with Miami-Dade County to address 87th Avenue and its spill out onto the neighborhood streets.  I attended on Wednesday, with Cornice Patterson, our Director of Public Works; Joe Corradino, our Village Traffic Consultant and our incoming Village Police Commander Lt. Serralta.  We went high tech on documenting the ongoing traffic issue with the use of a drone (pictures included below) operated by Hal Feldman.
Sunrise exposes huge volume of cut through traffic on 84

Traffic circle
 The traffic circle is pictured above.  Traffic is presently backing up along 168 street to the intersection at 82nd Avenue, backing up down to and through the circle.  

WAZE may have helped to create the cut through situation - now look

See prior posts regarding traffic (and WAZE), including: Is WAZE adversely impacting our local Palmetto Bay traffic, an individual's gain at expense of entire neighborhoods? Research is ongoing. (9/13/15); and additional online materials:
WAZE - reading update. links to articles regarding Waze and small neighborhoods (9/14/15) 

PLEASE NOTE: This is all part of an ongoing process and this is an interim update on what is happening.  Efforts continue on all fronts through the listed departments in cooperation with Miami-Dade County.  I will continue to keep you advised.