Thursday, August 24, 2017

Population Growth Comparison - Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay

I am posting here the Official Population Estimates (for April 1, 2017) prepared by the University of Florida, Bureau of Economic & Business Research. 

 Municipality      Change in Population     4/1/2010      4/1/2017
Cutler Bay                 +     4,936                      40,286         45,222
Palmetto Bay            +        730                       23,408         24,138

I am waiting on the population estimate relating to the Village of Pinecrest.  I will post those numbers here, once received.

Any challenge to these estimates must be filed by September 8, 2017. 

These figures become permanent and information for all applicable jurisdictions will be available on or close to October 17, 2017. 

CLICK HERE to view the official website for the University of Florida, Bureau of Economic & Business Research.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Smart Growth Partnership - The Village of Palmetto Bay wins a smart growth award for its DUV Code.

The Smart Growth Partnership of Southeast Florida (SGP) has awarded the 2017 SMART GROWTH EXCELLENCE AWARD to the Village of Palmetto Bay (the Village) and Bermello Ajamil & Partners (B&A) for the Village’s Downtown Master Plan and Downtown Urban Village Regulations. 

Historical note: Bermello Ajamil & Partners (B&A) were hired to prepare/write the Village’s Downtown Master Plan and Downtown Urban Village Regulations at a Special Council Meeting held in January of 2014 as reflected in Palmetto Bay Resolution 2014-07 (CLICK HERE).  The cost was not to exceed $120,000.00.  The vote to proceed on this plan was 2-1 with Council Member Joan Lindsey and Mayor Shelley Stanczyk voting in favor and Council Member Patrick Fiore voting against.  Vice Mayor John DuBois and Council Member Tim Schaffer were absent from this vote.. 
The Award presentation: On Thursday, September 14, 2017, the Smart Growth Partnership will be hosting an Education Event at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, where Palmetto Bay and  been invited to receive the awarded the 2017 Smart Growth Excellence Award for the Downtown Master Plan and Downtown Urban Village Regulations.

Mission Statement - of
Smart Growth Partnership

Smart Growth Partnership is a collaborative of diverse professionals and organizations providing leadership, advocacy, and education to promote livable, sustainable and green communities. To that end, the partnership will support the principles of Smart Growth for the South Florida region.

About Smart Growth Partnership

Smart Growth Partnership is a collaborative of diverse professionals and organizations providing leadership, advocacy, and education to promote livable, sustainable and green communities. To that end, the partnership supports the principles of Smart Growth for the South Florida region.

Smart Growth Principles:
  • Provide a range of housing opportunities and choices
  • Aim to increase efficiency of utilizing water and energy resources
  • Preserve and create open space
  • Create distinctive buildings and neighborhoods with a strong sense of place
  • Promote mixed land uses serviced by a variety of transportation modes
  • Make development decisions more predictable, quicker and cost effective
  • Create walkable sites, neighborhoods and community designs
  • Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration
  • Promote regional collaboration
  • Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
  • Take advantage of compact building design
For more information about Smart Growth Partnership visit:

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Traffic Circle Update - New Traffic Circle will be OPEN for School Opening Day Traffic

I am pleased with the hard work of our Village Management team and contractors.

ANNOUNCEMENT! New Traffic Circle will be OPEN for School Opening Day traffic (but not fully completed)

As previously reported, our contractor has been working extended hours to ensure that the new Traffic Circle at the intersection of SW 168th Street and SW 82nd Avenue will be open to traffic this Monday, August 21st.  

Although not fully completed, the circle will be open from 6:30 am to 9:00 am and again from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  It will be closed for the rest of the time to allow for the remaining work to be completed within the next few weeks.  The circle will re-open during the same times on weekdays until fully completed.

We thank you again for your patience during this period.  If you wish to learn more about how to use a traffic circle, check out this video from the Florida Department of Transportation! (CLICK HERE)

We also have the video created by members of our very own Youth Community Involvement Board and MiamiHal.  CLICK HERE or video preview below to view the updated community video.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Police - preparations for managing traffic for Start of School

Team Palmetto Bay is working to plan for the start of Public School for Monday, August 21.

Photo left: MDPD/Village Commander Major Gadyaces S. Serralta assessing and working with our Public Services Team to prepare for traffic beginning this Monday - plans are being made - for circle open as well as detours remaining in place.

The team is hard at work attempting to get this traffic circle open for Monday.  The weather this weekend will have a significant impact upon whether we reach this goal.  Either way, our police will be needed and they will be out there to assist traffic on Monday, the start of public school.

We appreciate you patience in this time of "construction ugly" as we work for a long term gain in easing traffic flow through our village.

Unacceptable - failing to fund essential government services

I am opposed to cutting essential services. More to follow. For now, please see the notice posted below.
Please see below on Clerk of Courts actions that will impact our police and residents severly.

Due to a Statewide shortfall in funding, Miami-Dade County Clerk's Office will no longer be able to provide front counter public service assistance at the following locations – Hialeah District Court, Martin Luther King Office, North Dade Justice Center, Miami Beach District Court, Coral Gables District Court, South Dade Justice Center and the Sweetwater sub-office as of Close of Business Friday, September 8, 2017
Please refer to the locations listed below to obtain these services and note our reduced service hours 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and expect a longer waiting time.  You may also access our automated voice response system or visit our website.
For Traffic and Criminal related matters:
For Civil related matters:
For Marriage License related matters:
For Parking related matters:

Update on Coyotes in our area – updated/better photos – have you seen any?

I am continuing to receive reports of Coyotes in and around Palmetto Bay.  Most recent reports are regarding the Deering/Kings Bay community in Coral Gables, bordering Palmetto Bay.

Please take efforts to protect your pets.  One reader has advised how he lost a cat to a coyote.  He is now active in "coyote patrols" in his neighborhood and has noted several areas where he has observed coyotes gaining access through holes or gaps in fences.

Please send me any personal observations you may have encountered.

Please see a prior guest post: June 4, 2017, Guest Post - Coyotes in Palmetto Bay? What have you seen?

This guest post addressed legitimate concerns about Coyote sightings here in Palmetto Bay. I am posting new and better photos alleged to have been taken of Coyotes on the USDA land adjacent to Deering Bay.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Traffic Circle update - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - "Live" with Steve from Palmetto Bay Public Services

The contractor crew is hard at work - past 7 PM on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, to get this traffic circle done - and done right!  

I went "live" on Facebook with a report from Steve, from Palmetto Bay Public Services, to update:

I thank you all for your patience to date.  Drive safe and rest assured that Palmetto Bay is working hard to manage the traffic issues.

Here are some additional photos that demonstrate the progress to date:

 Above - the excavator and drainage containers are in and 
digging/placement should commence on Thursday, 8/17/2017.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Traffic Circle Safety - Please take the time to view this creative video by Mark Merwitzer, Jackson Ribler & Justin Merwitzer. Edited and produced through the talents of "Miami Hal" Feldman.

Our Palmetto Bay youth stepped up and prepared this outstanding video.  

This is outstanding work by Mark Merwitzer, Jackson Ribler & Justin Merwitzer. 

Edited and produced through the talents of "Miami Hal" Feldman. 

Drive safe Palmetto Bay.

Here are some stills from the effort, filmed Sunday, 8/13/2017:


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Weekend update - Traffic Circle project Intersection of SW 168/82 - photos of progress

The work for Saturday, August 12, 2017.  The heavy work is completed for the weekend.  More cement was poured on Saturday. The curbing is in. The cuts for drainage and crosswalk are poured. Work is moving swiftly.

Kudos to our Palmetto Bay Manager, Ed Silva; Public Services Director Corrice Patterson and project Team!  Palmetto Bay's Steven Diaz, from Public Services is working hard, pushing the contractors and making good things happen at this site.

Here are additional photos documenting the work to date.

The project is moving nicely.  
Please drive carefully and be respectful of the neighbors absorbing the traffic detours. 

Photo above - Steven Diaz, (in background behind the circle) Palmetto Bay Public Services 
- Project Director for this Circle Project - he is hard at work to deliver a quality project on time!
Photo above - Steven Diaz, Project Director - Palmetto Bay Public Services

Thursday, August 10, 2017

UPDATE: Traffic Circle project Intersection of SW 168/82 - photos of progress

I am sharing the official update (Thursday, August 10, 2017) regarding the Traffic Circle construction:
Good afternoon,
Following is an update on the above-referenced project as of this afternoon, August 10, 2017.  Please post an update on the website as soon as possible:
Traffic Circle at the Intersection of SW 168/82
On Wed., August 9th contractor completed removal of the traffic signal box and all underground wiring.  In addition, necessary equipment and materials were delivered to the site commencement of construction work.  Subsequently, contractors were out this morning despite the rain and have commenced construction of the traffic circle (See pictures here).  Please note that temporary stop signs have been placed at the corner of SW 82nd Ave and SW 165th Terrace to provide for safe access to this intersection during the duration of this project.  Signs have been placed to indicate detours.  There will be no access to vehicular, pedestrian or bicycle traffic at this intersection through the duration of this construction project.
Please pay close attention to travel lane closures and detours which you can find on the project MOT. You are also requested to exercise caution when workers and heavy equipment are in operation. Obey all posted signs and speed limits and allow extra time to reach your destination. 
Thank you,
I will continue to keep you up to date. 

You can reach me either by e-mail at or my cell (305) 302-3713

Thank you,

Eugene Flinn, Mayor

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Public meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017, 6:30 to 8:30 PM to discuss possible bridging of 87th Avenue

Do you have an opinion or stake in the 87th Avenue bridge?  All sides need to attend and voice your concerns. Please see the e-mail from our District 8 Commissioner, Daniella Levine Cava.  This meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 30 6:30PM - 8:30PM and will be held at the Palmetto Golf Course Meeting Room, 9300 SW 152nd St, Miami, FL 33157

Here is a verbatim of the e-mail:

Dear District 8 Residents,
The Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) has agreed to present transportation updates at a community meeting to be held at Commissioner Levine Cava’s request. This presentation comes after the Commissioner requested that DTPW delay moving forward with plans to pursue a bridging project across the canal at 87th Avenue until further data could be obtained and public input received. 
Traffic engineers will present their study data on the possible bridging of SW 87th Avenue across the canal, north of SW 164 Street, which is being recommended by DTPW.  Before this project could move forward, it would need approval from the Transportation Planning Organization (TPO). I serve as one vote on the TPO and I am eager to hear from you on this issue. 
The engineers will also provide updates on the new signal management system and discuss traffic modifications along Old Cutler Road. 
Commissioner Levine Cava has not taken a position on the bridge proposed on 87th Avenue, and recognizes that the Village of Palmetto Bay Council has voted to oppose it. She believes it is necessary for the County administration to receive and consider input from the area residents, municipal governments and other stakeholders before proceeding.
DTPW will be available to answer questions and address concerns, as well as to welcome all public input.

I respectfully request that you plan to attend and participate.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Your tax dollars - full millage chart for all municipalities and the unincorporated area (UMSA). Read on to find your Overall Total Millage (combined property taxes)

Every property owner pays a tax for municipal services - regardless of whether that property is situated in an incorporated or unincorporated area (its called "UMSA" and substitutes for the municipality) -  some areas have “Debt Service" and other Miscellaneous Millage tacked on as well. 

I have posted the full mileage chart for all municipalities and the unincorporated area (UMSA). Read on to find your Overall Total Millage (combined property taxes)

                   (I selected 6 neighboring municipalities and compared with UMSA)

17.8636    DORAL
18.2638   PINECREST
18.2930   PALMETTO BAY 
18.3545   CUTLER BAY        
20.6293   SOUTH MIAMI
22.4787   HOMESTEAD

Every county resident pays into Miami-Dade County School Board
7.1380 operating millage
0.1840 for debt service.

Countywide Property Tax millage
4.6669 for operating
0.4000 debt. 

All municipal (and UMSA) residents, but for those living in only 5 cities pay for
County Fire Service –
2.4207 for operating and
0.0075 for debt service. 
All municipal (and UMSA) residents, but for those living in only 5 cities pay for
County LIBRARY Service –
0.2840 for operating –
ZERO   for debt service.

County special (voter approved Property Tax) –
All property tax payers in Miami-Dade County pay 0.5000 for the Children’s Trust

All properties in Miami-Dade County are assessed the following REGIONAL Millages:

0.1359  South Florida Water Management  
0.0471  Everglades Project
0.1477  Okeechobee Basin
0.0320  FIND

No municipality is left out on the chart (posted as a .JPEG below).  You can also view this same chart of the 2016 Adopted Millage Rates online, Miami-Dade County, :
2016 Adopted Millage Rates
Want more information regarding your taxes?  Regardless of Taxing authority, the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser is your best source for information.  CLICK HERE for main page


Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs  (CLICK HERE)
Glossary of terms CLICK HERE - defines terms such as “ad valorem tax”; "Real property"; "Save Our Homes (SOH) - Amendment 10"; "Taxable value"; to "Timeshare period titleholder"

Thank you for reading and preparing for our 2017-2018 budget hearings.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Budgeting for our 2017-18 fiscal year. I remain committed to "government 'lite'" in Palmetto Bay

September is budget hearing season in Palmetto Bay.  The decisions made for this upcoming year will impact the municipal services you receive, how much you pay in taxes and, if the decisions are not controlled, can lead to far-reaching impact on future budget commitments through increased recurring budget commitments. 

Several budget workshops were held in July - but note that the important steps are the actual budget hearings  to be held in September. The actual decisions are made at these hearings.

Note that our budget is an ordinance, it is passed in a first, then second reading. 

FIRST BUDGET HEARING - Monday, September 11, 2017 - 7:00 PM
(Preceding Regular Council Meeting)

SECOND BUDGET HEARING - Monday, September 25, 2017 - 7:00 PM

Note that both budget hearings shall be held in the Village Hall Municipal Center, 9705 East Hibiscus Street, Palmetto Bay, FL 33157.

Please note that the village council has set the maximum milage rate, and has determined that our property tax rate will NOT be increased for this coming fiscal year, beginning October 1, 2017.  The Village Council may still reduce our property tax rate for this upcoming year - based upon the restraint shown through the budget process. 

The budget process will be the time that we review the services we receive and whether Palmetto Bay remains committed to "Government Lite".  This is OUR money, YOUR money, and you need to stay involved. 

It is important to review what other areas pay, as well as the services that are provided.  I am posting below the comparable municipal tax rates; UMSA, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay are posted below:

1.9283  Unincorporated Miami Dade County (UMSA) - Paid by residents in surrounding areas such as the Falls, East Kendall, Goulds, The Redland, etc. (This is the rate we would be paying had we not incorporated.) 
2.3000  Pinecrest
2.3292  Palmetto Bay
2.3907  Cutler Bay

Please begin your own review and contact me via e-mail at or via phone at (305) 302-3713 to discuss. 

Please see my post from last year (September 29, 2016):  Palmetto Bay Mayor & Council approve the lowest property tax millage rate in Village history - 2.3292 mills.,

I was proud of the collaboration of the village council in lowering the tax rate - as that is the direction our tax burden should be heading.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Grant Miller, Community Newspapers: Metrorail to Florida City: Build it now!

The time is now - editorial in the Community Newspapers
The Metrorail may finally be getting its long-overdue extension. Now we just need to decide where to start.
...the South Dade Transitway is the easiest of the six SMART Plan corridors to develop. There is an existing right-of-way, Route 38 Busway Max, which runs the same route the rail would. The rail extension could begin immediately, and compared to other corridors, the construction would be minimal; the new rail will likely run at ground level utilizing an overhead line instead of a third rail system. In total, it should cost half of what an elevated rail would.
At a Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce panel last month, District 13 Commissioner (and Commission Chair) Esteban Bovo and Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez agreed that the Florida City extension should be prioritized. They’re hardly alone.
Almost 15 years have passed since Miami-Dade County residents approved the People’s Transportation Plan (PTP), a half-cent sales tax overseen by the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust (CITT) to fund an enormous expansion of Miami’s mass transit: 88 new miles of Metrorail and 635 new buses. To date, the PTP has raised more than $2.5 billion.
But during the 2008 financial crisis, the CITT voted to use those funds to support and maintain the present transit system. As a result, fewer than 200 buses have been added and little progress has been made on extending the rail. 
CLICK HERE to view the entire op ed by Grant Miller, Community Newspapers: 


Media Group Lifestyle, 5 questions with Nancy Lawther, Education Advocate

A must read about Nancy Lawther who is passionate about protecting education. Ms. Lawther is a tremendous resource to both the Palmetto Bay Village Council and our Village of Palmetto Bay Education Advisory Committee.

See: Media Group Lifestyle, 5 questions with Nancy Lawther, Education Advocate
Photo credit - Media Group Lifestyle

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

NBC 6 Investigators - Here’s some of what the original Peoples’ Transportation Plan was supposed to fund, and the progress 15 years later:

In my opinion: A classic chicken or the egg argument.  Did we miss the mark on the promises (and redirect spending) due to failure to receive he anticipated Federal dollars or are the Feds withholding the dollars (albeit there are less dollars more than in years past) because of the way the PTP monies were redirected?

CLICK HERE to View the NBC6 Investigative Report online: Broken Promises of Sales Tax Hike Loom Over Transit Debate
By Tony Pipitone

Here’s some of what the original Peoples’ Transportation Plan was supposed to fund, and the progress 15 years later:

• 89 more miles of Metrorail -- instead, there are four additional miles
• 1,191 buses -- currently 815
• 70 percent increase in transit service miles – there’s been a 7-percent increase
• 17-mile elevated line roughly parallel to the Dolphin Expressway – never begun

About $1 billion of the money intended to fund the projects has instead been diverted to pay operations and maintenance costs for projects not covered by the PTP.
"This is the greatest story of mismanagement of a special tax in the history of this county certainly," county commissioner Xavier Suarez told the NBC 6 Investigators.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The True Costs of Driving - Car owners don't come close to covering the price of maintaining the roads they use.

Past article posted online - The Atlantic dot com (Oct 25, 2015) :

This article was brought to my attention by Paul Schweip, Palmetto Bay resident, avid cyclist (including a cycling commuter). He has served as a member of the Charter Commission for Palmetto Bay. He also serves the Miami-Dade County Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee, serving a term as Chair, and is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Urban Environment League and The Stiltsville Trust. He was appointed to the Trust from Commission District 8. 

Thank you Paul for posting this article that I am forwarding via this blog.