“My issue is not so much revamping zoning laws or instituting ones we need to operate and run, my concern as a young voter is I have seen this village create a community but over the last five years things have gotten worse and worse,” said Tyler Kalbec, 20. “This moratorium is exclusively aimed at private schools and churches and we are discouraging young people from seeking those things — education and faith — and though that might not be the intention of the council, in your efforts to protect people and create quieter neighborhoods we’ve seen nothing but greater dissention and disagreement among the entities in this community. This concerns me the way we approach this through frivolous spending on the law.”
Village resident David Singer, an executive the Berkowitz Development Group, a retail development firm in Coconut Grove, went a step further, encouraging residents to sign a petition to recall Stanczyk, Pariser and Lindsay. Singer, using Florida Statutes that require 10 percent of the total number of registered voters in a municipality sign a petition for recall, hopes to place the question on the November ballot.
“The majority of your constituents are tired of your wasteful spending, unnecessary litigation, hypocrisy and your divisiveness,” Singer said in an email to the council members and to The Miami Herald. Singer also called for a recall at the council meeting during public comment.
J.B. Harris, who was removed by the council at a previous hearing and who filed an intent to sue letter, was allowed to return and address the council. He, too, echoed Singer and called for the removal of Village Attorney Eve Boutsis.
“Lindsay’s sugar-coated words are another attempt to strangle Palmer Trinity now that they are allowed to have 1,150 students through their gates. The $600,000 in legal fees could have doubled the police force, beautified the entire strip, but you threw it away to torment an innocent school whose students grew up to be far better people than you ever will be.”
Boutsis, working with the national law firm White & Case, on behalf of the village has seen attorney’s fees spiral to more than $600,000 over the six-year fight. She called for a closed door attorney-client meeting Wednesday with the council, a move blasted by Fiore and Tendrich who wanted the meeting to be open to the public. Stanczyk, Pariser and Lindsay voted against opening the legal meeting.
“That’s been our practice all along. Once you lose that attorney-client privilege, it’s not good business,” Stanczyk said Tuesday.
Tendrich was not mollified. On Tuesday he said, “by them not agreeing it is taking away the transparency they are trying to say exists in our Village Council. If you are not going to let people hear what you are saying, you aren’t going to be transparent.”
The council majority, however, said opponents of the moratorium were incorrect. Palmer Trinity and Christ Fellowship, a popular church in the area, are not in the crosshairs with this moratorium
“That is clearly not true,” the mayor said. “People will understand when they see the product coming out. Once we are able to present it to them, as it’s worked on, and as they get to have input, their concerns will be allayed. They’ll feel better about the process and see the direction that is taken and see it’s not aimed at them.”
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