A famous quote attributed to the US Congress:
“We [need] to pass the bill in order to find out what [is] in it.”But passage is clearly insufficient with this current council. Some Members of the Village Council are apparently voting on Village business, resolutions, ordinances, (budget perhaps?) without understanding the details. And by details, we mean important facts such as impact, effective and expiration dates; deadlines in general.
Please note that the Moratorium started in 2017 - brought forward by Palmetto Bay Village Council Member David Singer shortly after his election. Council Member Singer has been consistent in advising the council body that moratoriums have a legal lifespan, warning that the time was going on far too long. This was discussed in this video by the Village Attorney.
STOP AVOIDING RESPONSIBILITY; THE BUCK STOPS WITH THE MAYOR AND VILLAGE COUNCIL MEMBERS
Don't blame staff, the Village Manager or the Village Attorney. Neither sets policy. The bottom line – the council has always been kept up to date. Council Members can pick up the phone can call or personally meet with any Charter Officer about any item of concern. They were told at all time – were always kept in the loop. As stated by Attorney Lehtinen, it is the council who votes – and they have the responsibility to listen to what they are told; to read and understand what they are voting on.
ATTORNEY LEHTINEN PROVIDED AN ANSWER THAT THE COUNCIL DISLIKED
It all stated when Village Councilwoman asked Village Attorney Dexter Lehtinen if Palmetto Bay was in a “ZIP” – (Zoning In Progress – a form of moratorium or restriction on zoning applications). Listen for yourself and then read further below.
The excerpt posted starts where the council makes its biggest attempt to scapegoat the Attorney. It is the most important part of the exchange. After that, I invite you to start the video from the beginning and watch Village Attorney Dexter Lehtinen explain the status of the village rewrite of the DUV and how it got to this point.
WHY CAN'T THE PUBLIC SEE THE STAFF REPORTS?
The Village Attorney is an important part of the process. Unfortunately this current Mayor and Council have seen fit to remove important information from the website. No longer can residents download and view any Staff or Legal reports relating to items on the Agenda, that is if any are actually still being prepared and included - they certainly are not being read by this Mayor and Council if they are included. Even the actual proposed resolutions and Ordinances (the actual documents) have been removed from public access on the website.
STOP THE SCAPEGOATING.
The video excerpt attached here shows the utter legislative chaos and scapegoating that have become the cultural norm of this current Mayor and Council - and that is from those who participate. Some merely sit quietly either unwilling or incapable of engaging.
Outgoing Village Attorney Dexter Lehtinen corrects the record as he is unwilling to attach his name to the sad status of the product coming out (or not moving forward) from this current council. As stated in the details, perhaps this is why he "retired" from a municipal attorney position, seen by many as a plumb job. Attorney Lehtinen is not fully retiring, he remains an active member of his law firm as well as teaching at the UM School of Law - he just seems unwilling to continue on at Palmetto Bay under the current conditions.