Saturday, October 29, 2016

2016 - 2nd Freedom Ride - benefiting Wounded Military Veterans

It may be wet, but its for an outstanding cause. The EBC Second Freedom Ride is ready to roll, rain or shine Sunday, 10/30/16, 7:30 AM from Homestead Speedway.

Sitting around wondering what to do this Sunday? Here's a suggestion: Show your support for our Wounded Military Veterans. REGISTER NOW for Sunday's 2nd FREEDOM RIDE! 

I am looking for you to join us.

CLICK HERE for more information (Everglades Bike Club web site).


I hope to see you out there for this outstanding bicycling event benefiting such a great cause.  

 Checking in at Mack Cycle & Fitness on Saturday, 10/29/16 for the Sunday event.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Help the cause - Youth Board and Mark Merwitzer - working to ban Texting While Driving

Safe driving - no to distracted driving - save a life.

Please take 30 seconds to sign Mark Merwitzer's petition asking the Florida Legislature to ban texting while driving. Sharing the petition will go a long way in making Florida roads a safer place for everyone. Click on the link below:
Make Texting While Driving a Primary Offense in Florida.

Our Palmetto Bay Youth Board is hard at work to bring about positive change in our community.

Also see related post of September 17, 2016: The Village of Palmetto Bay Youth Community Involvement Board - Sat 9/17/16 update - Important discussion on safety legislation - combating distracted driving. The Youth Board met with State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and our County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava. 

Palmetto Bay Elections : A Resident's View - supporting positive candidates in Palmetto Bay

Editor's note:  The following endorsements are those of the group Who have signed their names below. 

Palmetto Bay Elections : A Resident's View

If you share our opinion that, once again, a Palmetto Bay election has been characterized by gutter politics and mud slinging of the worst kind, please read on. We, the undersigned, are attempting to offer some reason and logic to this election. We will not attack any candidate or position, our message is purely a positive one.
For the office of Vice-Mayor, we are recommending Erica Watts. Ms. Watts campaign has been entirely positive, focusing on her accomplishments, and not denigrating her opponents. She has a law degree, but chooses to be a stay at home mom for her son, Hunter in the 5th grade. She has been a community activist in Palmetto Bay, recently concluding her term as President of the Coral Reef Elementary PTA. Erica is running a bare bones campaign, accepting no corporate or developer funding. Her issues are: Traffic Relief, development appropriate to our Village, and the restoration of ethics and respect on the Palmetto Bay Village Council. We support Erica Watts for Vice Mayor.
In District Two, we are recommending the incumbent, Tim Schaffer. Once again we are pleased with the positive campaign he is running, focusing on his achievements, and not his opponents shortcomings. His four year term has allowed him to vote his conscience on a variety of major issues, including: Parks, Mass Transit, and controlled development. We are endorsing Tim Schaffer, for Palmetto Bay Council District 2.
There are 5 referendum questions at the very end of the ballot. We are recommending a 'Yes' for on all, and this is why. The first four questions basically return the Charter to what was adopted in 2002. These issues appropriately call for the return to the Council/Manager form of government which the Village adopted when it incorporated. The Council's role is governance, and the Manager's role is that of the CEO of the Village. Any attempt to change that, undermines the balance between those roles. This was the recommendation by the Citizen's Charter Review Committee, and adopted by Council for the referendum. The final question pertains to a study of the annexation of some 60 acres of land between SW 160th St. and SW 184th St.. This essentially moves the western boundary of Palmetto Bay from the middle of the south bound lanes of US 1, and the middle of the Busway. It is imperative for the redevelopment of Downtown Palmetto Bay to have control of both sides of US 1, for planning and zoning purposes. We are recommending a 'Yes' vote on all 5 questions.
Peter England-30+ year resident of Palmetto Bay; Chairman, Palmetto Bay PartnershipEric Haas- Palmetto Bay resident; CEO Sports Grills; member, Palmetto Bay PartnershipGeorge Hoffman- Palmetto Bay resident; CEO RSI; member, Charter Review CommitteeJose 'Pepe' Ceballos- Palmetto Bay resident; CEO Fast F.A. LogisticsMarvin Dunn-Palmetto Bay resident; retired FIU professor; author; African-American historian 
SOUTH DADE UPDATES - EUGENE FLINN - DISCLAIMER: Please note that this e-mail and its comments, and opinions expressed therein are those of the signators listed above.

I do happen to agree with positive endorsements and rejection of the gutter politics - I like the fact that the high road is being taken here, unlike those personal attacks and sensation misstatements that the current Vice Mayor and Mr. Schaffer's challenger appear to enjoy leveling at me. 

Photos of the Day - Events of October 27. BSA Troop 711 Dinner & neighborhood meeting

Another rich and full evening.  First a great start with local Boy Scout Troop 711.  A great troop that meets at St. Andrews's Episcopal Church here in Palmetto Bay.  It was spaghetti dinner night. Alexandra and I always enjoy spending time with our future leaders and the dedicated scout leaders/parents.  I have fond memories of my time as a Boy Scout.
Then it was off to a neighborhood meeting where I joined Manager Ed Silva and Maria Levrant from Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava's office to discuss traffic modifications currently being installed in their neighborhood as well as upcoming phase 2. 

Thank you Palmetto Bay - examples of a great place to live, work, play and learn - and Participate! 

Very truly yours,

Eugene Flinn, Mayor

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Update on how voting No on Amendment 1 is actually PRO SOLAR

I am proud to have authored the resolution put before the Palmetto Bay Village Council recommending residents to vote NO on (State Constitutional) Amendment 1 - The resolution passed by a 3 - 2 vote.  Most if not every other municipality that has passed this resolution has passed it unanimously, but that is another story for another time. 

I represented Palmetto Bay at Pinecrest Gardens on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, where Village of Palmetto Bay resident and artist Xavier Cortada along with Cutler Bay Solar Solutions' Raul Vergara explained why voting NO on AMENDMENT 1 is actually pro-solar.

Art Presentation: Let the Sunshine in Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay & Cutler Bay

Teamed with Cutler Bay Solar Solutions, Xavier Cortada painted three solar panels with suns, each named Let The Sunshine In. The idea is to raise awareness of the right way to vote on the Amendment by temporarily placing these panels in public spaces within Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.

Xavier Cortada has created a "friendly competition" that pits the three municipalities against each other to see which populous will have the highest percentage of NO VOTES on Amendment 1.(This is obviously another 'friendly competition amongst the sister cities where we all win.) The winner will get first choice of the art. Xavier Cortada will then award each of the art pieces for permanent installation, renaming them Let The Sunshine In Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay and Pinecrest.
Pictured below are three art pieces set as gifts for the three municipalities- art intended to help people understand and appreciate the sun and its renewable energy possibilities.
Click on the headline to read Hal Feldman's update: Attention Floridians: VOTE NO on Amendment 1

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mangowood Crosswalk - updates - potential modifications presented to area stakeholders

Update on the Mangowood 148 Drive / 82nd Avenue crosswalk.  Proposals presented to area stakeholders at a meeting held on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, in Mangowood.  
See: October 19, 2016, Photo of the day - Mangowood Crosswalk - documenting another step in safety. Note that we are not yet complete. for prior updates - part of ongoing updates on events and projects going on within the village of Palmetto Bay.  

The prior photos were actual recent additions to the Mangowood crosswalk (82nd Avenue at 148th) that were taken October 19, 2016.  These photos demonstrate the next step in safety. 

These photos represent proposals and not the finished project. This meeting is one of many, not the sole, definitive meeting.  I am always available to meet and discuss issues such as these. You can reach me via e-mail: or cell: (305) 302-3713.  

Thank you, 

Eugene Flinn, Mayor
Palmetto Bay

Join us on Wed, Oct 26, 7 PM - Pinecrest Gardens. Vote NO on State Amendment One

Meeting to shed some light on State Const. Amendment No. 1

Join us on Wednesday Oct 26 at 7:00 pm at Pinecrest Gardens to highlight the importance of protecting and promoting Solar in Florida, by voting NO on Amendment 1 .

We will have a special presentation by artist, activist, & Palmetto Bay resident, Xavier Cortada. 
Special thanks to Cutler Bay Solar Solutions for all you are doing .

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Opportunity to run the trails at Deerings Estate - Old Cutler Run Club 10/23 4:00 PM

Let's get fit Palmetto Bay! Old Cutler Run Club participants have an opportunity to explore the Deering Estate trails here in Palmetto Bay this Sunday, 4:00 PM.  Meet up at the Deering Estate Visitor's Center.

Trails, cooler weather, good friends, family time - it does not get much better than this. #GetFitPalmettoBay #WeRunMiami #WeRunOldCutler #BaptistHealth #PalmettoBay #CutlerBay #Pinecrest #running

Thursday, October 20, 2016

2020 is less than 4 years away. Getting Palmetto Bay ready to deal with even more growth down south

2020 - Are we ready to live next door to a city of 55,000 or more in less than 4 years (2020)? This is going to cause additional stress to our traffic planning.

I need my fellow council members to step up on this issue.  485?  We have provided the breakdown for the actual reduction of overall impact of density at the Palmetto Bay Village Center (PBVC).  We also have discussed how the Village council dramatically reduced the impact of downtown from a County max of 23-26,000 down to 5,500 (with the practical number closer to 3,000). 

But why are none of my fellow council members (including the vice mayor) talking about participating in managing the growth down south?  Growth is exploding down south and we will soon have a 55,000 resident municipal neighbor to the South, many (all at one point or another) wanting to drive north – adjacent to or even through Palmetto Bay.   

“The town’s population has grown by 27 percent since our incorporation and is estimated to be over 55,000 by 2020,” said Rafael Casals, town manager. “Our goal is to proactively implement roadway improvements and transportation options that will support our growth.”
According to staff, the main focus of the study is to identify residential areas with excessive speeding, cut-through streets, and restricting of commercial truck traffic. For planning purposes, the town will be divided into three corridors that will be studied independently and then collectively in the final master plan.
We have the same problems as Cutler Bay, though our population has remained essentially the same, if not slightly declines since our incorporation. 

I am working hard to get Palmetto Bay ready to deal as practically as possible with the tremendous growth down south.  I am looking forward to participation from the Vice Mayor and other council members, any/all of which can bring proposals forward rather than merely taking shots and misrepresenting all the results to date which has carefully managed our growth; which will prevent Palmetto Bay from ever becoming a 50,000 (or worse, a 55,000) resident municipality. 

Very truly yours,

Eugene Flinn, Mayor
Palmetto Bay

EYE ON MIAMI: Help Restore Pine Rockland and Coastal Wetlands - ...

EYE ON MIAMI: Help Restore Pine Rockland and Coastal Wetlands - ...: Need a break from the election? Do something to make a difference out enjoying nature. Date: October Saturday 22- Sunday 23 Time: 8:3...

From Eye On Miami -
Need a break from the election? Do something to make a difference out enjoying nature.

Date: October Saturday 22- Sunday 23
Time: 8:30 AM- 3:00 PM
Location: 18400 Old Cutler Rd, Cutler Bay, Fl 33157

*SE corner of Old Cutler Rd and SW 184 st. Park along curb on 184 st east side of Old Cutler Rd.

*Please bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent and work gloves. Water and snacks will be provided*

What is this effort about:
Florida's coastal communities and our Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands are increasingly threatened by rising sea levels and extreme weather events are being intensified by climate change. This is why local community restoration efforts of coastal habitats like in Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay are critical to reduce the impacts where rapid development is threatening neighborhoods and safety.

Please learn more and join these efforts by coming to our workdays 10/22 & 23. Come experience an ecosystem restoration hands on. Volunteers are wanted to continue to restore coastal wetlands, pine rocklands, and hammock habitat. Please, help create a natural buffer that will protect us and bring resiliency to our community. We will be planting native plants, mulching, and weeding.
You can also make a donation online The raised money will be used to buy hundreds of native plants and trees, and supplies.
SDU Editor note: You never know who will be in attendance at this event - and perhaps, if there is interest, time and things fall into place, we can have a tour of the Park that 3 out of 5 Palmetto Bay council members voted to protect through TDRs - the 22 acre PBVC site - a site that currently has mature pines and needs some love, but certainty no to development.
 (Photos above - 22 acre pinelands at PBVC - left - the Old Cutler Run club using it as part of their run trail and to the right, members of the Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition touring the site.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Photo of the day - Mangowood Crosswalk - documenting another step in safety. Note that we are not yet complete.

Two photos from the recent additions to the Mangowood crosswalk (82nd Avenue at 148th) that were taken Wednesday, October 19, 2016.  These photos demonstrate the next step in safety.  Please note that this does not represent a completion of the sidewalk process.  Please also take note that I would like to see this same modification, notification, at ALL crosswalks located within our Village of Palmetto Bay. 

We continue to work to make our pedestrian walkways safer and more complete.  Additional work that I would like to see include the crosswalk warning flashers (see the ones installed at 80th and 168th Street as well as 163rd and 82nd Avenue) and possibly LED lights embedded in the road surface, such as can been seen at the crosswalks at Miami International Airport. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Photo of the Day - Bailey takes a bath for a pet rescue fundraiser at Palmer Trinity School

A great cause.  Our dog Bailey takes a car ride and gets to meet up with members of Palmer Trinity School for a fundraiser benefiting Chain of Love.
Thanks to everyone who brought their dog to support Second Chance on Saturday! This PTS effort raised $538 for Chain Of Love Abandoned Dogs Everglades Homestead Fl.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Old Cutler Run Club Update - Last week Thalatta Estate, this week Deering Estate

Run club update. The run club met up at Thalatta Estate last week (Sunday, 10/16/16).  This Sunday will be very special.  This Sunday, October 23, meets up at Deering where we will have access to the trails on site.  This will be an extra special run.
Photo (above) and caption taken from the social media site for the Old Cutler Run Club: "Welcome to the Run Club Estate. This squad didn't let a little a Miami drizzle keep them from playing outside. @baptisthealthsf Old Cutler RC #werunmiami"

Photo of the Day - Rainbow over Palmetto Bay - Seen from Coral Reef Park - Sun., 10-16-16

There were occasional periods of sunlight on Sunday, October 16, 2016.  Just for fun, I am posting a great rainbow seen Sunday Morning, October 16, 2016.  The photo was taken as Alexandra and I made our morning jaunt through the Village of Parks.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Oct 15, 2016. Palmetto Bay is honored to host Hershel Woodrow "Woody" Williams and Gold Star Families

A great kick off to our veterans park. More promises kept.  This Veterans Park will be a model for properly recognizing our veterans, providing a place for our residents to go to and reflect upon the sacrifices made. Please take the time to read up on the Gold Star Mothers organization.

The Village of Palmetto Bay has been working with the members of the American Legion Marlin Moore Post #133 to create this Veterans Park/Gold Star Family Memorial Monument. This event featured a presentation by Hershel Woodrow (”Woody”) Williams, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from Iwo Jima.  October 15, 2016, was officially proclaimed as Hershel Woodrow "Woody" Williams Day in Palmetto Bay.

Thank you Marine Williams for your service, both during WWII as well as your continuous service thereafter in your efforts in regard to Gold Star Families.  Words cannot express our thoughts and thanks to the surviving family and friends of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country.  
Photos above (left) - Paul D. Amato, Liaison/Adjutant, Marlin Moore Post #133, Honored Guest/Presenter Marine Williams with Youth Community Involvement (YCI) Board members Jacob DeWitt and Jackson Ribler
(Above right) I am honored to proclaim Saturday, October 15, 2016 as Hershel Woodrow "Woody" Williams Day in Palmetto Bay.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

More evidence of work in progress. 94th closed at 180th. The work of Traffic Calming Palmetto Bay continues - it just got tougher to cut through this neighborhood.

More evidence that Palmetto Bay leadership takes traffic calming seriously.  Another area seeing the installation of a pilot program to address their specific issue.  Here is a street closure of 94th at 180th.
Yes, promises were made and we are delivery on those promises - the responsibility of managing the traffic growth not created by or within the municipal boundaries of Palmetto Bay is falling on us, the Palmetto Bay taxpayer.
Drive carefully.  Drive respectfully. 

We remain working together to make Palmetto Bay an even better place to live, work and play.

Very truly yours,
Eugene Flinn, Mayor
Palmetto Bay

The work of Traffic Calming Palmetto Bay continues - it just got tougher to cut through this neighborhood. 156 / Old Cutler Road

I take traffic calming seriously.  Promises were made and we are delivery on those promises - the responsibility of managing the traffic growth not created by or within the municipal boundaries of Palmetto Bay is falling on us, the Palmetto Bay tax payer.

Here is the traffic diverter set up today, Thursday, October 13, 2106 at Old Cutler Road at 156. 
This is a pilot program.  The delineators are not permanent.  Our goal is eventual placement of aesthetically pleasing curbing and other road modifications that will prevent turn ins and allow only a right turn to head north from 156.
Above: Photos of the present state of the pilot program modifications. 

Closing in on completing projects delayed for over 4 years.  I am proud to lead this village to address these traffic issues, working together to make Palmetto Bay an even greater place to live work and play.

Very truly yours,

Eugene Flinn, Mayor

Palmetto Bay

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Do you have students in our local Public Schools or have any plans to have your children attend? If so, please plan on attending.

The Education Advisory Committee for Palmetto Bay will be holding an Education Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, October 13, 2016 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM.

This meeting will be held at Southwood Middle School Auditorium, 163 SW 80th Street.

Please attend and participate.

More Answers to your questions - Checking the Palmetto Bay record - Coral Reef Park Baseball batting cages/storage - another 5-0 vote - but during a prior adminstration. Majority of Council stood up to attack from 2 members on the Neighborhood Protection Ordinance.

This is an additional update - this time answering the question as to the new batting cages/storage area at Coral Reef Park. The discussion before the council also morphed into what appears to be  an attempt to strike down the Neighborhood Protection Ordinance (NPO) as it applies to Churches, Schools and Institutions.

This is another of a series based upon some questions I receive during my meetings/walks in our parks.  I do believe that it is important to post answers for the public – for several reasons:

1.  It gets the answer out for all to see.
2. The answer remains available – there is no shifting or “evolving” of the answer to suit the specific audience or circumstance.

The storage batting cages were approved – again by a unanimous vote on March 4, 2013.  The meeting itself is contained in the minutes of March 4, 2013 – under the prior administration.  Only Vice Mayor DuBois and Councilman Schaffer remain from that administration.

The matter including the batting cages was moved forward by Vice Mayor John DuBois.  It was seconded by Councilman Patrick Fiore.  The minutes recording the discussion are found one pages 4-5 of 19 (CLICK HERE).  Ron E. Williams was the manager at that time.  Again, the batting cages were approved as part of Resolution 2013-18 on a 5-0 Vote - voting to approve were Mayor Stanczyk, Vice Mayor DuBois, and council members Fiore, Schaffer and Lindsay.

There was interesting discussion held at this meeting – as cited (and taken verbatim from page 6, 7):

Specific item (beginning page 4) - this was an item specifically regarding the Coral Reef Parks Master Plan, but then something strange happens; much like congress 2 members appear to try to undo the NPO:



Vice Mayor DuBois moved this item forward. Seconded by Councilman Fiore.

* * *
Vice Mayor DuBois stated that while he is in favor of approving the parks, he is not comfortable with having to modify the parks master plan and instead the Village should remove churches, schools, and institutions from the Neighborhood Protection Ordinances. Attorney Boutsis advised that the Village's Park plan does not have lighting currently, which approval would require a parks master plan amendment. She stated that this legislation is about approving what is currently at the park.

Vice Mayor DuBois stated that he is not in favor of making a master plan modification at this time until private schools and churches can be treated the same.
The matter was brought up for final votes after procedural wrangling (beginning page 7)
Councilman Fiore moved to approve the master plan, with an amendment for the Village Manager to provide quarterly reports concerning the tennis lighting, and to allow the same consideration for churches and schools. Seconded by Vice Mayor DuBois.

Attorney Boutsis advised that the amendment would not have an effect on churches and schools.

Vice Mayor DuBois suggested amending the matter to give the schools and churches automatic master plan approval for their master plan amendments.

Mayor Stanczyk noted that the motion is "meaningless", as there is no modification to the ordinances being considered.

All boldface emphasis was added
* * *
Finally, (Page 8): The question was called - All voted in favor of the motion (5-0.) Councilwoman Lindsay moved to approve government use at Coral Reef Park. Seconded by Councilman Fiore. All voted in favor. The motion passed unanimously (5-0.)
Please CLICK HERE to view Resolution 2013-18, the result of the March 4, 2013 public hearing/council meeting (JPEGs of this reso are also posted below)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The near miss - Hurricane Matthew. Preparing for the next time

We are all breathing a sign of relief that Miami-Dade was spared by Hurricane Matthew.  I want to thank everyone who was prepared, but I want to especially thank anyone who reached out to those in our community who needed assistance.  

Our Village Policing unit was ready and hard at work in case Hurricane Matthew created any issues. We dodge a bullet. It was great to see that Team Palmetto Bay - Police, Public Services & Parks all did their part and had our village ready and secure. It is all part of my 'Palmetto Bay "Ps"' which, of course, the biggest is PLANNING - and, of course "PEOPLE" as it is the people -who make up our residents, business owners, and staff that make our little #SmallTownUSA so great.  Here, in regard to security and safety, Great Job Major Serralta and team.

Related post of October 6: South Miami-Dade Emergency Hurricane Preparedness Meeting, held Wednesday, October 5, 2016, wherein I present some of the team effort that went into assessing preparations and working out cooperative efforts as we did at the South Dade Emergency Hurricane Preparedness Meeting.  I am proud of the intergovernmental coordination that occurred here in South Miami-Dade County - this was through the leadership of Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Giminez; our County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and Commissioner Dennis Moss.  South Dade was working together to prepare for whatever Hurricane Matthew might have brought.  Community leaders, Citizen's Insurance Officials and representatives from FPL met with State, County and Local government officials to assess and plan on how to best keep South Dade Safe! Thank you Rep. Kionne L McGhee for your leadership. See my short report on this collaborative meeting.   I posted updates on this meeting to both my Twitter (@EugeneFlinn) and Public Official Facebook page
I was fortunate that the storm, or lack of a direct hit, allowed me to address concerns throughout the village.  Through personal visits, and through police and/or staff, we maintained a constant presence thru the neighborhoods with minimal issues visible.  We are assessing and will continue to update our local Emergency Operations Plans.  

I'm extremely proud of staff and preparations, and I urge that we all stay vigilant as that future track has the storm looping back next week as a tropical storm (or much less). We will continue to monitor the situation to see if this projected track actually occurs. 

Thank you again, 
Eugene Flinn, Mayor
Palmetto Bay