Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Palmetto Bay is actively working to enhance school/community safety, update by: Eugene Flinn - Mayor of Palmetto Bay |February 27, 2018

Community / school safety will take all the jurisdictions working together.  I am working in collaboration with our State, County, School Board and Local leaders.

Our children’s safety is too important. Since the devastating shooting in Parkland, I have been working with fellow mayors and our County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava to do our local/municipal part in making schools safer.

I have personally met with many of our State leaders and our School Board Leaders, including Current Chair, Ms. Perla Tabares Hantman, District 4 and Ms. Susie V. Castillo, District 5. I also held a telephone conference with our own School Board Representative, Dr. Lawrence S. Feldman, District 9. Based upon their feedback, I was able to prepare a memorandum and School Safety Legislative Plan Resolution to be presented to our council. ...

Click the link to the article to read the full comprehensive update:

(CLICK HERE) Palmetto Bay is actively working to enhance school/community safety, update by: Eugene Flinn - Mayor of Palmetto Bay |February 27, 2018

South Miami-Dade County Municipal / County leaders - united to make our community safer

I am proud to participate with this group of local leaders who are dedicated to working for resolution of this issue - safety in our schools and community is of upmost importance. It does take a Village; as well as a County, a State and a Nation! 

Everybody wants to keep our children safe. Together we can, and we must, do better.

As a nation, we are facing the reality that no place is sacred or free from violence; not schools or churches, movie theaters, dance clubs or concerts.

It is our job as local leaders to protect residents, and especially our children. Our hands are tied in some critical areas by state laws that prevent us from even having an honest conversation on the subject of gun violence. That doesn’t mean that we’re helpless.

But even if the state continues to block our calls for greater gun safety, there are a few things we can do in our local community by focusing on school security and community caring.

We continue to work together for our community.  Please review the complete joint statement issued by our County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Mayors Peggy Bell of Cutler Bay, Joe Corradino of Pinecrest, Philip Stoddard of South Miami, and Otis Wallace of Florida City. 

See (CLICK ON HEADLINE): We must do better to keep children safe, joint statement, Miami Herald Letters to the Editor, February 21, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Our Vets Matter. Palmetto Bay / American Legion hold 94th Birthday Breakfast Celebration for US Veteran Jim Ross

Sunday, February 25, 2018, was a great, patriotic, morning as we celebrated the 94th Birthday of US Veteran Jim Ross.

I want to thank the members of the American Legion, Marlin Moore, Post 133 who collaborated with Council Member David Singer and the entire Village Council to hold a special birthday celebration for Jim Ross, a veteran who served our country on his 94th birthday.

It was my honor as Mayor to present a proclamation to him recognizing Sunday, February 25, 2018, as "US Veteran Jim Ross Day in honor of his 94th Birthday" - as our way of officially thanking and recognizing his outstanding achievements, including service in the US Armed Forces in time of War.

It was in honor of Veteran Ross that the Village sponsored the cost of the Sunday, 2/25 breakfast for the first 30 veterans who reside in Palmetto Bay in attendance. This was a small gesture of thanks given their service to our country.
I also want to publicly acknowledge and thank Council Member Singer and his family (along with Laurel Auberbacher, who prepare breakfast at every other Sunday at the American Legion (breakfast is served every Sunday), which serves as a fund raider for the Post expenses.  

Breakfast runs in the $5-6 range. Breakfast, open to the public, runs on Sunday and is open it the public from 8:30 AM to 10 AM.   
Please take the time to go our, enjoy a local breakfast and support our American Legion.

Friday, February 23, 2018

2018 Bike To Work Day - Friday, March 2nd

For fun and fitness.  Join me.

Try bike commuting for ONE day! Ride your bike and meet residents, along with Village Council at Village Hall for a guided bike ride to celebrate Bike305's Bike to Work Day.
WHAT: Bike to Work Day update - join your Palmetto Bay friends and neighbors.
WHEN: Friday, March 2, 2018

DETAILS:  (See full information posted on flyers above and at bottom) Participants will depart from the Village Hall Parking Lot at 6:30 am to head towards the Dadeland South Metro Rail Station. Upon arrival to the station you will learn how to take your bike on the Metrorail and then head to the full Bike 305 County Event will be held at the University Metrorail Station, 5400 Ponce de Leon, Coral Gables, FL 33146 (across from UM) where all of the Bike 305 festivities will take place beginning at 6:45 AM including refreshments, giveaways, bike checks,  begin.  Open ceremony begins at 8:00 AM.
All participating cyclist will receive a FREE Bike305 performance cycling t-shirt (at the event held at the University Station), FREE one-way easy ticket on Metrorail (*limited quantities and must provide valid email address), FREE air & bike checks by Mack Cycle & Fitness and other goodies (while supplies last). Light refreshments and breakfast foods will be served at the University Metrorail Station.
For more information on Bike305's Bike to Work Day, visit Bike305 is a collaborative effort forged by the County Mayor in partnership with several municipal Mayors and Parks Departments to unite and support the connectivity of people and places through the county's bike trails. Throughout Miami-Dade County, Mayors are promoting the opportunity to achieve physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle by cycling to parks, attractions, shops, and events located on or near bike trails.

For more information on all upcoming Bike 305 events, please visit

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Wishing the best to Public Services Director Corrice Patterson

One of Palmetto Bay's first team members!  Long time employee and Director of Public Services, Corrice Patterson, was recognized by myself and staff for her many years of dedicated service to the Village of Palmetto Bay. As Mayor, I represented the village council at this event.  
Ms. Patterson is moving out of the State of Florida to pursue other opportunities. We thank her for her 14 years-plus years of service to the Village and wish her the best of luck in her new endeavors! She will be missed.

Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay remain committed to the most effective transit solutions. Participating in a panel before the South Dade Chamber of Commerce

The fight for rail continues. Cutler Bay. I took part in a panel today in Homestead before the South Dade Chamber of Commerce, General Membership Luncheon.

The main guest speaker was Alice Bravo, Director of DTPW.  All the South Dade municipalities were represented - Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Homestead and Florida City.

This was my turn to address Homestead/Florida Cities - areas undergoing growth and suffering severe traffic woes to get north.  ​There have been several recent Transportation Summits at the municipal and county levels. Director Bravo provided her update regarding the pending environmental studies by our County', as well as the different timelines of anticipated future actions.

We need rail, not a band aid. The ridership is there to serve rail.  The issues are first/last mile, parking and the fact that there is a shortage of buses to transport both those whoare riding as well as those who would ride if the County would deliver on the promises of the half cent penny transportation sales tax.  We have buses that qualify fully as "BRT" based upon what we observed in Los Angeles - known as the "Gold Standard" and aptly names their "Gold Line."  Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay remain concerned that there will be insufficient investment in transit - planning for 30-40 years out, not merely to cover the current County created transportation crisis.


Going for a World Record - and supporting #Wheelheroes - Jon Eggert Gudmundsson

World Records can be set just about anywhere - not just at the Olympics.  We have a local trying to set one right here in our own neighborhood -Jon Eggert Gudmundsson.

Photo: Miami Hal
Do you want to know more about that runner / bicyclist seen around town with the GoPro on his head? There is no reason to be alarmed – watch for a potential world record that may be achieved here in Palmetto Bay / Cutler Bay areas.  Be on the lookout for Jon Eggert Gudmundsson – he is a giant of a man who is currently running and cycling in our areas.  People are curious as to what this guy is doing with a video camera on his head. You can rest assured that he is not dangerous. What he is doing is attempting the longest triathlon in the world Guinness record supporting #wheelheroes.

You will see Jon around Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay running and cycling next few months. Here is the MiamiHal article describing what he is doing: South Floridian’s Quest for Guinness Book of World Records, February 11, 2008, by Miami Hal, Hal Feldman
“Run Jon, Run” Please spread the word so people will not be afraid of him – and be sure to root Jon on to break the record.

Good luck Jon - I wish you success on this endeavor. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Traffic solutions. Continuing the collaboration and implementation. South Dade at work on traffic

Thank you Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and fellow South Miami Dade Mayors - Joe Corradino, Peggy Bell and Jeff Porter, as we work with consultants, and our County  / municipal partners on updates, timelines on implementation strategies for many of the items vetted at the South Dade Traffic Summit.

County and municipal administrators / staff were preset including the TPO Exec Director, and Miami-Dade County Government DTPW reps.

The South Florida Commuter Service briefed us on van pools that service major businesses, ride share apps, and programs for carpooling to schools.  

We are working to get our schools engaged in this traffic effort.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Coyote FWC Workshop is confirmed for this Tuesday, Feb 20 - Recent coverage on Coyotes in Palmetto Bay

I am set to host the FWC Workshop relating to Coyotes in Palmetto Bay.  Please see the Official notice on the Village website (CLICK HERE).

(CLICK HERE) to View Miami Herald online, January 10, 2018, Coyotes are on the prowl in this neighborhood. So residents will be taught to 'co-exist', by Howard Cohen

NBC 6 has also covered the Coyote story: Jan 10, 2018 - Palmetto Bay Holding Workshop on Living With Coyotes

The above is all updated information from the prior post of January 8, 2018, FWC / Coyote workshop scheduled for Tuesday, 2/20/18, 6 - 8 PM, Have you seen coyotes in your neighborhood? Join the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for an informative workshop about coyote biology and ways to co-exist with coyotes. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Productive day in Tallahassee: Mayors Eugene Flinn of Palmetto Bay and Peggy Bell of Cutler Bay testify before the House Accountability Committee - advocating for the original intent of 1/2 cent transportation sales tax

A single-day legislative fly in was held on Tuesday, February 13, 2018.  This was a very productive day in Tallahassee. Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell and I were asked to appear before the House Accountability Committee advocating for the original intent of 1/2 cent transportation sales tax. 

Sometimes opportunities/responsibilities arise quickly, and it is important that we be as responsive to our legislative partners, as we ask them to be responsive to us.  It was Monday, 2/12/2018, during a legislative conference call that Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell and I spoke directly with State Representative Bryan Avila (R - Miami) (sponsor of HB 243) and House Minority Leader Kionne L. McGhee regarding an important hearing the bill had scheduled on 2/13 before the full House Government Accountability Committee.  It was at this late afternoon meeting (2/12) that Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell and I were asked to appear before the House Accountability Committee advocating for the original intent of 1/2 cent transportation sales tax.

Preparation was important and time extremely limited - working with our managers (Ed Silva and Ralph Casals) - we put together and I brought forward an add on resolution (Palmetto Bay Resolution 2018-23) at the Village Council Meeting held that same day (Monday, 2/12/2018).  This resolution was originally co-sponsored by Council Member David Singer. The resolution found a third sponsor and was approved as prepared.

Once in Tallahassee, we met personally with the Committee Chair, Matt Caldwell (R) and Democratic Ranking Member Rep. Barbara Watson prior to testifying before the full committee. Rep. Holly Raschein sits on this committee and met with us to hear our concerns as well.  Rep. Raschein has always been a good friend to both Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.

Above left - meeting with Comm Chair, Matt Caldwell
Above right, meeting with
Rep. Holly Raschein

The Government Accountability Committee reported favorably on HB 243 by a 17-6 vote after much dilberation.  

Meeting with Rep. Barbara Watson

Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay continue to work together for traffic solutions for our South Miami-Dade area.

Both Mayor Peggy Bell and I used our time in Tallahassee to advocate for our entire municipal legislative agendas.  I meet with our House and Senate officials locally, telephonically or in Tallahassee – at their offices, in the hallways or even at the airport.  The weather of Tuesday evening provided Mayor Bell and I with an opportunity not to be wasted – we were resourceful in turning a 2-hour flight delay into time to really dive deep into legislative issues of the session with our State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez.

Meeting with Sen Jose Javier Rodriguez


Monday, February 12, 2018

Results can happen! Look to LA. Investigating the facts on transit and seeing work combining with political will to address congestion. Part I - OVERVIEW

Sometimes you have to get out and see things first hand to separate fact from fiction.  Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell, Manager Rafael G. Casals joined Manager Ed Silva and me in Los Angeles.  And, right off, I will advise you that I was warned that I would be upset at what I saw. I was.  LA has made significant impact on its traffic congestion issues - moving forward on building many, many miles of regular bus, BRT, lite Rail and heavy rail - all in the same time that Miami-Dade has only talked, studied and avoided.

The bill is coming due - and Mayor Bell and I are here to contribute our "Two Cents" on this issue (as do residents of LA county, but more on that later).  See the Miami Herald article of Feb. 8, 2018, Miami-Dade warns of massive bus route cuts if state bill passes - by David Smiley and Douglas Hanks.

It appears that the tale of two cities is striking - in contrasts - LA has won the confidence by delivering on commitments, wise spending and addressing issues for its tax payers who have approved 4 of 5 referendums. Miami-Dade, in stark contrast, has avoided delivery and waffles, and denies through continued delays - paralysis through endless analysis. 
Our initial meeting - held Tuesday, Feb 6, 2018 with LA Transit Officials
Here is what LA County accomplished in the 1990s:

The Metro Blue Line opened in 1990. This is light rail line consisting of 22 miles.  The construction cost was $877 million.
The Metro Red/Purples lines opened during 1993, 1996, 1999 and 2000. These are actual heavy rail subway lines consisting of 17.4 miles served by 16 stations, including 6 shared. The cost was $4.5 billion to construct.
The Metro Green Line opened in 1995.  20 miles of light rail served by 14 stations, 1 shared.  The cost for this line was $718 million.

We toured all the systems:
Above left - bike share and local DASH routes. Above right - local on street service.  
Bus exclusive lanes in part of the city (reserved for buses during rush hours only)
Above left - local service bus. Branded, but standard - most important - cleaned daily.
Above right - a transit hub where you can transfer between bus and subway
Nothing unique - above - subway stations - what we will never see in Miami-Dade County.
but (above right) the rail cars are the same as our MetroRail Cars used by Miami-Dade Transit.
Immediately above, left and right - LA County, Miami-Dade County &
Palmetto Bay all have strong Art In Public Places Programs - and can
be seen both in LA and Miami-Dade County Stations. (photos of LA Stations)
 LA officials are proud of what they have accomplished since 1990
and they should be proud.
This post is the preview for the joint report that will be issued by Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay on our findings.  There will be coverage of our observations and communications with experts in LA - where many go to learn about the 'gold standard' of BRT.  

BRT, or 'Bus "rapid transit"'- is where "The rubber meets the road" and will be covered in a separate part as I want to provide detailed comment on how Miami-Dade's Transitway stacks up - my comments and observations may surprise.  Look for updates on the LA Transit, Fact-Finding investigation.