The hot-button topic of reversing the law prohibiting stadium lights in “child care facilities, private schools, religious facilities, and other non-governmental uses” in residential areas across the village brought out a standing room only crowd to the May 5 Palmetto Bay council meeting ( Vote on private-field lights postponed, Neighbors, May 11). The crowd was full of people I see often at meetings, candidates and many people I didn’t recognize.
Councilman Tim Schaffer failed in my opinion to justify his support of stadium lights in the neighborhood private schools with his mantra of “fairness.” In my opinion, he is clearly not a supporter of the Neighborhood Protection Amendment when he denies that he ever supported ordinances that would protect our residential communities against negative impacts such as lights.
The public comment portion of the meeting regarding the lights lasted over 90 minutes. Many speakers told the council that they had never attended a meeting before but that this issue was so important to them. About 30 people spoke against the issue asking the council to support the residents in their desire for protection against the negative impacts of lights.
Schaffer never budged on his support for the lights and seemed untouched by the residents’ comments. John Dubois proposed meaningless changes, and Patrick Fiore (candidate for mayor) wanted to take the decision-making to a non-public closed-door meeting.
The only support for the residents came from Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and Councilwoman Joan Lindsay. They stood their ground as they always do in support of the residents and their desire for no stadium lights.
Two interesting facts came out of the evening:
1. Schaffer’s item would satisfy Palmer Trinity School’s non-legal demand for approximately 40 light poles on their fields
2. No candidates for office in Palmetto Bay who attended including Eugene Flinn, Karyn Cunningham, David Zisman or Patrick Fiore supported or spoke up for the residents’ opposition to stadium lights in the residential areas. Peter England, candidate for mayor, broke his perfect council meeting attendance record by not attending.
Pam Gorman, Palmetto Bay