Thursday, November 30, 2017

Chabad of Palmetto Bay's annual Chanukah celebration in Coral Reef Park - December 17, 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm

Thank you Chabad of Palmetto Bay, Rabbi Zalman and Chani Gansburg.

Another outstanding Holiday event held annually here in Palmetto Bay!  Rabbi Zalman and Chani Gansburg have asked me to invite the community to the the Chabad of Palmetto Bay's annual Chanukah celebration in Coral Reef Park on December 17, from 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm.

This year will it will take place at the back of the soccer field, near the farmers market.

You and your family are cordially invited.   CLICK HERE to view prior posts (and photos) from prior Chabad of Palmetto Bay events.

Please spread the word and let your friends know about it. this event is fun for the young and young at heart.  It is always well attended. We look forward to seeing you.

And again, a huge thank you to Chabad of Palmetto Bay, the members and Rabbi Zalman and Chani Gansburg!

First Responder Day in Palmetto Bay - 2017

I am pleased to support our first responders.

The 2017 First Responder Appreciation Day was held Wednesday, November 29, 2017.  The Village of Palmetto Bay and Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay welcomed Police, Firefighters, and EMS personnel to join the Village for either breakfast, lunch or both in appreciation for their dedicated service to our community. Presented was viewing of elementary student’s artworks and the reading of poems, to express their appreciation for First Responders

Thank you to Mercedes Benz of Cutler Bay, represented by Frank Jackson for their generous sponsorship of this event.
More photos are posted on my Facebook page:

Statement regarding public meeting regarding Cutler Plantation Property, 6 PM, 11/30/2017

I have received several questions and have come across several comments on various social media sources that I would like to address publicly.  At 6:00 PM tonight, I will hold my first-ever meeting with a developer outside of a zoning hearing. I called this meeting having it publicly noticed, inviting the public to be present, as I personally do not believe that any member of the village council should have ex parte communications on quasi-judicial (zoning) matters (see my prior post (CLICK HERE) on the "Jennings Rule". 

Other members of the council have met or will be meeting with the developers (and have on past issues – which I have not done in the past).  I do not want to be left out and I will NOT meet in private with any developers. I have therefore called this meeting held in public view (discussed at an open meeting).  Any/all village residents are invited to sit in and observe my meeting regarding this property.  You will be able to see any and all materials, including any plans and renderings presented so that Palmetto Bay residents are in the know as to what is presented to me.  This meeting will be the first of its kind, so I am looking forward to the cooperation of the presenters as well as those in attendance. 

I believe this is the only way to preserve transparency in government.  This provides additional public communication on an issue - and should prevent surprises.  Again, I have not and I will not meet in private with any developers on any issue that comes before the Village Council.  This meeting has been noticed as a Sunshine Meeting between Mayor Flinn and representatives of Florida Power & Light and CalAtlantic Group, Inc. See official Meeting Notice for details. (CLICK HERE) for official notice)

I look forward to seeing many residents in attendance. The meeting will be held in the council chambers.

And please note – this meeting is not a replacement for any other community workshops that this, or any other zoning applicants will hold relative the land use issues.

Your Mayor,

Eugen Flinn

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New solar co-op information session coming up for Southern Miami-Dade on December 4th - organized by Palmer Trinity and the CLEO Institute.

Is it time for you to go solar?  Not sure?  Here is a source of information to make your decision:

Neighbors across the county have formed the Southern Miami-Dade Solar Co-op with the help of Solar United Neighbors of Florida to make it easier to save money on the purchase of solar panels, while building a community of local solar supporters. The co-op is serving Miami-Dade residents in Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Homestead, Florida City, Naranja, Goulds, Redland and unincorporated neighborhoods west of US1 and south from SW 136th Street south to the Miami-Dade County Line. Join us for an information session to learn about solar energy, as well as how the Southern Miami-Dade Solar Co-op simplifies the process of going solar while providing a discount through its bulk purchasing power.

Southern Miami-Dade Solar Co-op Info Session at Palmer Trinity

Monday, December 4 
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Palmer Trinity School
8001 SW 184th St, Miami, FL 33157
Main Dining Room

"Oh This is Good! Call Starkist" - Just for Fun - Idea people.

Some claim to be "big picture Idea people" - leaving the details to others.  Details are important.  Ideas are important.  Making good ideas work is even more important, some would say critical.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Deering Estate offers many Holiday events - visit & support our backyard on the bay!

Plans for the holiday season - there are many in our back yard on the Bay, Miami-Dade County's Deering Estate - see: Celebrate the Holiday Season with ‘Mistletoe & Martinis’ By: Sharon Kersten.

Mistletoe & Martinis, is a holiday cheer to benefit the Deering Estate Foundation. The event takes place on Friday, December 8 from 7:30 p.m. ‘til 10:30 p.m. at the Deering Estate, that brings together friends, neighbors and donors for a special evening of holiday cheer, celebration and giving. This event is limited to 250 attendees where you can enjoy the historic Deering Estate grounds lit up and fully adorned for the holidays.

 (Images above from prior Deering Estate Holiday events)

There are great events throughout the year at the Deering Estate - scheduled and special events. Unique events like the solar eclipse viewing party that was held early this year and drew a huge crowd.

Here is a bold gift suggestion for the holiday season - a family membership to the Deering Estate - admission to the annual Deering Seafood Festival is alone worth the membership fee. 

Tickets for Mistletoe & Martinis are $75 for members and $100 for non-members. Space is limited, and tickets may be purchased at, or by calling 305-235-1668, ext. 263.

Additional Holiday Events at The Deering Estate (information supplied by the Community Newspapers article)

Festival of Trees Season Kick-off
Friday, December 1, 2017 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Professional and community organizations come together to transform Deering Estate’s grounds and Historical Houses as they come alive with holiday accents and decorations. Enjoy sipping on hot chocolate, nibbling on holiday cookies and listening to the sounds of the Yuletide Carolers as you wander through the Estate and tour the elegant and historic houses. Children can write letters to Santa and participate in Holiday Crafts while sitting under a large illuminated Ficus Tree.
$12 for adults
$7 for children (ages 4-14)
Free for Deering Estate Foundation members. Please note that tickets are non-refundable, rain or shine. Children under 4 years old are free.

Go to or call 305-235-1668, ext. 233.

Story-Time and Photos with Santa
Saturday, December 9 & 16, 2017; 10:00 a.m. – Noon.

Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s visiting the Estate! Enjoy story-time with Santa’s elves throughout the historic houses and photos with Santa inside the historic Stone House Ballroom. Children can also participate in holiday arts & crafts activities. Limited seating available. Free with Estate admission: $12 for adults & $7 for children (ages 4-14); Free for Deering Estate Foundation members. Children under 4 years old are free.
Photos with Santa: Holiday photo packages are available starting at $10 (cash only).
Go to or call 305-235-1668, ext. 233.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving - 2017

Alexandra, Katherine, Meredith and I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Like millions of others across this great country, we will celebrate Thanksgiving, honoring a tradition older than the nation itself. The Continental Congress proclaimed that the "inhabitants of these states" observe a day of Thanksgiving back in 1782.  Ever since then we set this day aside to give thanks for all our blessings, and this year we have many things for which to be thankful.

Please also take the time to remember and help the less fortunate.  Many families and children are doing with less.  Take the time to become involved in a local charity, with time, if not a donation. There are many ongoing charities that are looking for donations and volunteers - and their needs are 365, not merely at holiday time. Giving should be a yearlong concern, and not just a last-minute photo op.

I am thankful this year for the groups and individuals who put forth so much positive (one of the many "Palmetto Bay 'Ps'") energy - all of whom I will attempt to personally acknowledge in the next few weeks as Hurricane Heroes!  From single donors/heroes to large faith based organizations such as Christ Fellowship who have worked so hard both during post Hurricane Irma relief. Thank you to St. Richards/Holy Rosary for working with/hosting the Lennar Ice distribution. I will be posting my thanks for these groups/individuals over the next few weeks as my way of publicly saying "Thank you!" for your service.

This Thanksgiving is also special as thanks in large part to groups (again such as Christ Fellowship - who made 20 holiday baskets available - the Miami-Dade League of Cities, along with private donations) who partnered with me/the Village to assist those this Thanksgiving.   Thank you all.  And in honor and in the spirit of giving - we have kept those recipients anonymous.

There is much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Alexandra, Katherine, Meredith and I wish you and your family the happiest of holidays.  We will be thinking of those deployed overseas in defense of our Country, apart from their family during this holiday time. Take some time and say thanks to both those who serve our armed forces as well as their support system, their families who remain at home and continue to care for the family while our men and women continue to serve us in these challenging times.

Thanksgiving is the busiest traveling season of the year.  Please be aware and be safe.

One of my personal favorite quotes about a holiday:
On Thanksgiving Day all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment - halftime.
– (author unknown)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tree Lighting - Palmetto Bay Holiday celebration! Saturday, Dec. 16 - 5-9 PM, Village Hall

Ready for the holidays?  Another family friendly holiday event here in Palmetto Bay, our Village of Parks. I hope to see you there! 
This event does include the ever-popular tree lighting.
Palmetto Bay Holiday celebration!
Saturday, Dec. 16 - 6 to 8:30 PM, Village Hall
Palmetto Bay hopes to make this holiday season extra special for little ones and adults alike with our "Holiday Lights & Dine" event.  For the first time, Palmetto Bay brings dinner and a kid-friendly, Disney-inspired live show along with the magic of holiday lights and displays to Village Hall.  Enjoy a served buffet dinner for adults with special menu items for kids, Christmas carolers, live music courtesy of Councilman David Singer, and lots of oversized holiday decor and lighting!!  Plus, meet the show characters and enjoy the lighting of our Christmas tree.

Holiday Lights & Dine" is scheduled for Saturday, December 9th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.  Tickets for the event are $10 for adults.  Children ages 12 and under are FREE.  Tickets may ONLY be purchased online only in advance of the event.  There will be no onsite ticket sales.

Reminder - FT&I Charrette documents remain available on line

Questions about the original Franjo Triangle / US1 Charette and resulting FT&I? This research is important if considering a strike through ordinance rescinding the Village Downtown (DUV) district and restoring the FT&I.  

I have previously posted information on this FT&I district, as part of the DUV debate. See: November 16, 2014, The Franjo Triangle Commercial Island Charrette Report – posted online and Sec. 30-50.18 of the Village Code  Note that this is an 84 page document and is a slow download.  This is “A Citizens’ Vision Plan” November 2004 and was a partnership with Palmetto Bay and the Miami-Dade County Department of Planning and Zoning, Community Planning Section.  

This same Nov 16, 2014 blog post included links to the November 8, 2004, resolution accepting the Charrette report.(Resolution 04-89) (note that the links may be expired - and I will update).  This resolution details part of the public processes employed in this Charrette.    Also see numbered pages 19 - 26 of the actual Charrette report.

The Village Code was created by ordinance known as the “Franjo Triangle & US1 Island Zoning District" (FT&I) was eventually adopted as of May 1, 2006.  First reading was held February 6, 2006, second reading was held April 3, 2006 and a third reading was held on May 1, 2006.  

As always, I remain available to meet with you to discuss your questions and/or concerns.

Your Mayor,

Eugene Flinn

Just say NO to an increase in your Stormwater tax. This should have been discussed as part of the budget process.

Make no mistake about it - I oppose this tax increase. See the notice published in the Sunday, November 19, 2017 Neighbors Section of the Miami Herald, page 30SE (if your paper has not already been picked up by recycling). This notice is also posted on the official Village of Palmetto Bay - check the agenda/meeting notices page

We have aggressively performed Stormwater improvements within Palmetto Bay under my terms as mayor.  But is this tax increase really necessary and, if so, why was it not discussed during the Budget session in terms of evaluating what services and at what level, we spend our Village tax receipts?

We all want to improve our Stormwater - and we have been working hard to make improvements.

More facts are needed for notice - this notice may be "legally sufficient" but it fails the test of Palmetto Bay transparency in that it does not provide notice as to whether the financial impact on the taxpayers is nominal or substantial.

#YourVoiceMatters should not be a hollow political catchphrase.  It should mean that ALL members of the village council want to hear from EVERYONE and in a transparent process, not restricted to a select few who happen to have the ear of a council member. 

If there  is a council member promoting this tax increase, then that council member should come forward and make the case for it, rather than seeking to have the 'administration' take the fall for pushing a tax increase initiative - especially after the manager freed up over $240,000.00 that could have been used for stormwater. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Focus On South Florida: Jonathan’s Day 3

Focus On South Florida: Jonathan’s Day 3: 'Jonathan's Day,' named after Jonathan Mizrachi, the son of a CBS4 Miami employee, is a station-sponsored event that supports children with autism and their families.
I was honored to appear on the public affairs show “Focus on South Florida” hosted by Rudabeh Shahbazi.  Dr. Jennifer Durocher, Clinical Dir., NSU/Card and I are part of the team working to promote the 3rd annual Jonathan’s Day (hosted for the second year here in Palmetto Bay!). Please make plans to participate.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

‘Jonathan’s Day’ Returns To Palmetto Bay - December 9 from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Coral Reef Park

All are welcomed to join in and participate in this fun and information filled event!

The event is being held in conjunction with the University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD). CARD is a non-profit organization providing direct services to thousands of South Florida families affected by autism.

All are welcome to Jonathan’s Day on December 9 from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

CLICK HERE to view official CBS 4 online information regarding Jonathan's Day 2017.

CLICK HERE to view the official Palmetto Bay online information regarding Jonathan's Day 2017.

CLICK HERE to view a prior post regarding Palmetto Bay's first Jonathan's Day:  November 28, 2016, Palmetto Bay's Unique Abilities Fair / Jonathan's Day
The Village of Palmetto Bay is committed to fostering inclusion in our community by implementing and promoting positive programs that benefit children of all ages and all abilities.  In its 2nd consecutive year in Palmetto Bay, this day of inclusion and acceptance is named after South Florida's very own Jonathan Mizrachi, the 13-year-old son of a CBS 4 Miami News employee.  Despite being autistic, Jonathan's fearless attitude toward life defines him much more so than his condition, and his exceptional outlook is something to be celebrated.  The event serves to connect parents, friends and families to resources and information that enrich the lives of children with unique abilities in a fun and celebratory outdoor environment.

The event will take place on December 9th at the beautiful Coral Reef Park, located at 7895 SW 152nd Street, from 8 am until noon.  Everyone is welcome to Jonathan's Day; Fun in Palmetto Bay; all kids, all abilities, all ages!  Just come prepared to have a great time.  Don't miss being part of the community connection that makes Palmetto Bay the best place to live, work and play.

                                         Thank You to Our Supporters

Palmetto Bay is thankful to have the support from the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD) and the Association of Agencies (AOA), along with that of CBS 4 Miami News.  These organizations are key service providers for individuals and families with unique abilities, and they continue to pledge their commitment to these families by supporting events such as Jonathan's Day.

(information above from the Village web page for Jonathan's Day)

Village of Palmetto Bay / Peterson’s Harley Davidson / Sugar-4-Kids Fall Toy Drive events continue

Saturday, Nov 18, was yet another great day for family fun (and giving) in Palmetto Bay. Fun and giving.  Please consider making a donation of a new, unwrapped, toy for the 2nd Annual Sugar-4-Kids Toy Drive.

The Village of Palmetto Bay is teaming up with Peterson’s Harley Davidson and Sugar-4-Kids in hosting the Fall Toy Drive & Concert event and collect toys for the 2nd Annual Sugar-4-Kids Toy Drive. The village event was held on Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Municipal Center.  CLICK HERE to view the official Peterson's Harley Davidson / Sugar-4-Kids Fall Toy Drive online event page.
Attendees enjoyed great food from food vendors, live music from Cutler Stew and inflatable rides for kids.  
There is still time to enter into a raffle to win a brand new, loaded Harley-Davidson 2018 IRON 883 Sportster. Raffle tickets are $50 and can be purchased online or by visiting Peterson’s Harley Davidson South or Peterson’s Harley Davidson of Miami.

The raffle winner will be announced during the 2nd Annual Sugar-4-Kids Toy Drive, when all toys will be distributed.  The event will take place on Saturday, December 9th at West Perrine Park from 10 am to 4 pm.  Raffle winner does not need to be present to win.

The 2nd Annual Sugar-4-Kids Toy Drive has seen numerous events including a kick off party/toy drive held on site at the Peterson Harley Davidson. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Presentation from TPO at special council meeting - of 11/15/2017

The TPO is planning for 1.4 million new people moving into Miami-Dade County by 2060. Robert Piatkowski, AICP, Town Planner, AICP, Town Planner, from Dover, Kohl & Partners brought forward a short presentation to the Village Council at the special council meeting held on Nov. 15, 2017.  I will update with a link to the presentation when posted.

View the SMART Plan information by following this link:

following from the TPO webpage:
The SMART Plan intends to advance six of the PTP’s rapid transit corridors, along with a network system of Bus Express Rapid Transit (BERT) service, in order to implement mass transit projects in Miami-Dade County. To ensure the SMART Plan moves forward, the TPO Governing Board directed the Miami-Dade TPO Executive Director to work with the TPO FPC to determine the costs and potential sources of funding for Project Development and Environment (PD&E) studies for the projects, and to also take all necessary steps to implement the SMART Plan.
Follow the TPO actions through public meetings and online. #YourVoiceMatters

Palmetto Bay is contiguous to the South Dade TransitWay that runs from the Dadeland South Metrorail Station south to the SW 344th Street Transit Terminal (Florida City)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Will there be a Palmetto Bay Holiday Boat Parade in 2017? #YourVoiceMatters

The annual time of year has been reached when I begin to field questions about the date for the "Palmetto Bay Holiday Boat Parade." Many canal residents plan their holiday parties so that guests can enjoy this parade as well as donating to the canned food drive.

This year may be different.  The question is not "when", but "if". Will there be a Palmetto Bay Holiday Boat Parade in 2017?  Your support may be needed.  This is a true #YourVoiceMatters.  I am a supporter.  Palmetto Bay Holiday Boat Parade is a wonderful community event that brings participants, friends and neighbors together in the holiday spirit, collecting canned food for a good cause, and is supported both by members of the residential community as well as a local business.

This is not a Palmetto Bay official event (maybe it should be).  It is put together by an all volunteer group - The Palmetto Bay Canal Association - which is made up of Palmetto Bay (and Pinecrest) residents who are both users and stewards of our local canal system. The group includes pleasure boaters, fishermen, skiers, canoers and kayakers.

Click the link to go view my bog posts regarding this event, including prior posts such as Nov. 21, 2016, 7th Annual Palmetto Bay Canned Food Drive - oh, and yes, the Boat Parade - Sat., Dec 10, 2016, 5:30 PM; Dec. 22, 2013, The fourth Annual Palmetto Bay Canal Association Holiday Boat Parade held Sat, Dec 22, 2013, links to photos - and others. Once there, you can find other past articles by clicking on the label “Boat Parade” to see other posts and photos from prior events.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veterans Day 2017 - Thank you to those (and their families) who have served/are presently serving our country.

Thank you to those who answered the call to serve.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank all US Military veterans for their service to our country. Today, Saturday, Nov 11, 2017, everyone should take a moment to honor those who have preserved our freedom and protected all of our rights, including the right to vote. Veterans Day is a holiday honoring living military veterans. It is a Federal and State holiday observed by all states.

President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day on November 11, 1919. Other countries today also still recognize November 11th as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in honor of the Armistice treaty which ended WWI. The U.S Congress amended this act on November 8, 1954, making this holiday Veterans Day as we know it today. 

Military dot com list ways that you can celebrate and educate your children about Veterans Day:

History dot com offers a wealth of information about Veteran’s Day:

Please see a prior post:
Recognizing Purple Heart Awardees:  August 12, 2016, Recognizing our Purple Heart Awardees. Palmetto Bay is now a Purple Heart City!  This special day was made even more special in Palmetto Bay as we became a recognized "Purple Heart City" -

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Routine procedure is causing a temporary change to our water - see the County Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department for more information

I was asked about a recent change in our water here in Palmetto Bay (Water is a service provided by Miami-Dade County) - inquiries have been made regarding a chlorine smell in the water drawn from the tap.

Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department begins temporary change to its water chlorination method for two-week period beginning Nov. 6th. See their website: This routine procedure is an annual event where WASD partners with the Florida Department of Health of Miami-Dade County and the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER). County residents may experience some chlorine smell and/or taste in their water during this short-term period. This is normal as free chlorine has a slightly different taste and smell than combined chlorine. The temporary changes does not cause adverse health effects and is a necessary part of WASD's ongoing efforts to provide safe drinking water to Miami-Dade County residents.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

15 year history- creating the first LEED Platinum Certified Municipal Center in the Southern US

In honor of the 15th Year Anniversery - see a article still online from the Palmetto Bay News, a Community Newspapers publication.

See:  New Village Hall now open for business, by: Gary Alan Ruse, January 4, 2011

As (then founding/former) Mayor Eugene P. Flinn Jr., the principal champion of the first permanent village hall, is happy to see it completed.

“I am very pleased that we’ve got that project finished,” Flinn said. “I’m very proud of that building. It should be an outstanding and lasting legacy for our people. We have the first municipal building here in South Florida with that level of green technology, and it’s not going to be obsolete.”
Read up on the article.  It was exciting to oversee the creation of the first LEED Platinum Certified Municipal Center in the South (South US).

Also see: October 9, 2012, post: Great news. It is official. Palmetto Bay's Village Hall receives Platinum LEED certification.

Friday, November 3, 2017

TONIGHT! Festival Under The Stars - Family time in Palmetto Bay - Friday, Nov 3rd - 6 - 9 PM

Southwood Festival Under the Stars tonight!

SUPER excited to announce we will have an amazing chance drawing at Festival Under the Stars.  Who wants tickets to DISNEY, SEA WORLD AND AQUATICA?????  Yes please! 🙋‍♂️🙋

Each drawing entry will receive a small gift, AND those who purchase 5 Disney entries at a time will also get a Southwood T-shirt!

Make sure to get your entries in before 8pm at the event. 

The entry prices are as follows:
DISNEY (4 one-day park hopper tickets)
$15 per chance

SEA WORLD - (4 one-day tickets)
$10 per chance

AQUATICA- (4 one-day tickets)
$5 per chance

Best of luck to everyone!

Link to prior post: October 24, 2017, Festival Under The Stars - Family time in Palmetto Bay - Friday, Nov 3rd - 6 - 9 PM  -  A great event to enjoy with the entire family

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sometimes politics goes too far. First Budget Hearing Speaker - Fact Checking Gary P and CCOC

What was Gary watching? Significant fact checking is in order concerning a missive sent out which seriously misrepresented an occurrence held at the first budget hearing. Watch this video. This is one of those "Palmetto Bay checks the record" moments - a line used stated by others. This video speaks volumes and clarifies the record and serves as a warning about the "opinions" you may be receiving in your email. Fact check.  Don't rely upon third hand inflammatory fake news.

I usually do not respond to baseless unsubstantiated attacks. It just gives them attention they crave, but then there are times where the 'opinions' are so egregious, that a response is required. The video above if posted in order to allow you to fact-check the caustic inflammatory comment from Gary Pastorella in one of his e-mails where he once again goes off into a personal misleading attack. This e-mail was circulated by Gary Pastorella on October 17, 2017, with the subject line "Budget Vote: Services Maintained? Business Committee Funded? Were you flooded? Dover Speaks @PBBA,"

Please, after you watch the video above, explain to me how he could possibly write what he published in his e-mail.  The text below is taken verbatim from his e-mail:
During public comment a gentleman who volunteered that he had never attended a meeting before attempted to ask a question regarding the budget. His opening comment allowed the Mayor a great point of attack. The resident began with telling the Council he wanted to ask a question but was unsure how to do it instead of just jumping in with his comment. This gave the Mayor an opening to embarrass the resident. The Mayor, it seemed, did not allow him to finish his statement but instead informed him that the time to ask a question was during the budget workshops held June 27, July 12 and July 19.
I cannot let distortion go unchallenged.  What is important is that we do not begin to let their continued distortions go unchecked.  We cannot allow this to become the norm.  The facts do require checking - and correcting.

Comparing the e-mail with the video causes wonder as to whether the author was even present to view the exchange that he so missed the mark on reporting or was this part of a "committee effort" at just presenting distorted facts, hoping to state them loud enough and often enough that the misstatements become the truth, assuming that fellow residents who hadn't attended the hearing would believe him when he so wrongfully alleged that I "attacked" and embarrassed the speaker?

So why argue?  I have posted the 'exchange' for all to view and determine for themselves.  The speaker presented without interruption and the record reflects that 4 out of 5 members of the council - myself included, RESPONDED positively to his questions and concerns, offering helpful comments.  

I am pleased with how the council interacted with this speaker.  I remain at a loss as to why the helpful exchange, as evidenced in the video above, between 4 members of the village council and a first-time speaker evokes such a negative and destructive e-mail blast.

I thank everyone for their positive efforts in our village.  We are a family.  Families argue at times and I believe that through conflict comes resolution - but when that conflict is on an honest level.  Comparing the video with the e-mail attack illustrates why I ask everyone to fact check and be careful when reviewing comments made by Gary Pastorella - I am always available to discuss any issue or correct the record.

Thank you to those who took the time to 'check the record.'

I remain committed to advocating on behalf of Palmetto Bay for debris clearing and post Irma restoration - e-mail contacts listed

Palmetto Bay may have dropped out of the debris pickup business, but that does not mean that I, personally, am not here to address your concerns.  I remain committed to seeing Palmetto Bay through the restoration.

Please mail e-me at and I will forward it to those still involved in pick up and monitor to the best of our ability. You can also forward your concerns to everyone at once. Here are all the emails that your concerns will be going to:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Surprising - Palmetto Bay's contracted Irma debris pickup ends as of 10/29 for lack of a second

I have to say that I am very surprised. Palmetto Bay has backed out of Irma storm collection and area restoration.  The Palmetto Bay Contractors had ceased collection as of Wednesday, October 25, 2017.

The request from staff to extend the collection failed for lack of a second at the Special Council Meeting held Monday, October 30, 2017.  This meeting was specially called due to the time sensitive nature of the item to consider extending the debris removal services (CLICK HERE - to view the agenda items).

Yes, the debris pick up was not without its frustrations, but overall, our hired crews worked well in complementing the County efforts at debris removal. The Contractor satisfied the contract - the fact was that the level of debris was actually greater than estimated, which to me meant that it was even more important that we supplement the pick up rather than sit back and place the entire burden on the County. 

The renewal failed for lack of a second at the meeting:

The two-team collective effort is now down to one.  Miami-Dade County is now on its own and solely responsible for continued debris removal, to finish the first sweep and complete any additional clean up or specialty sweeps (including stump or hanging branch removals).  Our efforts died as no council member would second the resolution after Council Member Larissa Siegel Lara moved the item forward - and noting that she stated an intention to enter into a compromise, rather than a full approval of the proposed extension.

Please click the "Storm Restoration" label, and then scroll down to view some of my past updates regarding our efforts to get Palmetto Bay back to pre-Irma status.  

Our crews collected debris over a mere 29 days. Irma struck our area on September 10/11. They  were contracted to start debris removal at the Saturday, September 30, 2017, Special Council meeting.  The Crews started at 2:30 PM on that same day.  Our contracted crews  removed nearly 120,000 cubic yards of debris - as can be seen piled high at the east end of Coral Reef Park or at the second debris station off 168 and Old Cutler Road.

I was told that our crews averaged about 6,000 cubic yards per day, the first two weeks. Toward the end, the crews were averaging 5,000 cubic yards daily. 

Palmetto Bay is now out of the storm debris removal efforts, turning the responsibility back over to Miami-Dade County to complete the efforts. 

The crews will complete their contracted duties of grinding the piles located at both our debris collection points.  The ground debris will then be disposed of at a County/FEMA approved site.

I commend the work of the contracted crews who did work seven days a week to work with Miami-Dade County to remove debris from Palmetto Bay.  This effort greatly sped up the debris removal.  The village staff who were diverted to this effort (which included monitoring) will now return to their normal assignments, unless they are required to remain at the debris collection sites.