A huge expense increase, going from $1 to as high as $1,800 per month, needs to be discussed at a public meeting where the case is made for this extreme expense increase, not placed on a consent agenda where its treated in a perfunctory manner, especially where I'm not sure there is legal authorization to continue this program once the period defined / approved in resolution 2018-13 expired. The Council authorized a 6 months trial program, not permanent ongoing service. The program commenced in June 2018, the six month trial period would have ended in December. This may be a 'wild' program, working without specific legal authorization. Continuing beyond the original 6 month should require a new resolution, new public process. I like the program, but we need to evaluate, see where it can be tweak and find out if there are more effective uses for this money. Transparency requires a public evaluation and report which includes ALL the costs, not piecemealing the costs at small, less noticeable bites.
Here is a link to my google drive where I have downloaded the materials specific to the proposed Park & Ride lease extension: Agenda Item 4.B.HRSR.PnR Lease.pdf .. This is a much shorter download as the entire official agenda online is 299 pages.
Also see Resolution 2018-13 (CLICK HERE) - this park and ride was to be a six month trial period. The period ended in December. It is time to EVALUATE - in the public view, not simply extend the lease at a 1,800% increase. Continuing beyond the original 6 month should require a new resolution, new public process.
I like the program, but we need to evaluate, see where it can be tweak and find out if there are more effective uses for this money. Transparency requires a public evaluation and report which includes ALL the costs, not piecemealing the costs at small, less noticeable bites. Hiding total costs is the antithesis of transparency.
Issues for discussion include:
- How many actually ride?
- Where did the $1,800 request come from? This is not disclosed. Have there been discussions or an offer from our current mayor as to that figure? This is poor, no, VERY POOR negotiation practice. I can tell you that it is very difficult to achieve a lower price when the party you are negotiating with knows how much you have to pay. Negotiation 101.
- Is the entire cost per rider the best value?
- Is this adversely affecting completing the Freebee? That was ready to go, yet the final approval has not reach the council agenda.
- Where is the Banyan Street Park & Ride? I will tell you that the cost will be prohibitive if you apply the proposed maxed cost of $1,800 for HRSR. Is that why we staff has appeared to drop that second park & ride lot?
- Could we do better at using the $1,800 per month, plus the other costs of riders – the bus/driver/gas/insurance, etc. to partner with a Ride Share program (as we did for the holidays) and use a private on-demand service at less cost to our residents.
- If we are to pay up to $1,800, monthly, would we not be better charging ourselves to use the East lot at Coral Reef Park and use that $1,800 monthly income for enhanced park maintenance?
- How does this payment affect Palmetto Bay's capacity to fund other programs, other initiatives Palmetto Bay wanted to provide under the 1/2 cent sales tax monies?
The issues listed above are only part of the issues that should be discussed at the 6 month trial review, before we move forward. Why is this mayor and council afraid to discuss these issues in the open, in public?
Note that the item is on the consent agenda, which means the item is not set for a public discussion, unless a member of the village council makes a written request to the Village Clerk by noon on Monday to pull the item for discussion.
Is transparency dead in Palmetto Bay?