Monday night’s Palmetto Bay budget hearing felt like a repeat of each of the last four years, when council member Patrick Fiore voted against approving the budget.
Massaging a budget for better services or fiscal soundness is applauded but the idea of consistently voting against a budget in a village with over $13 million dollars in reserves is very difficult to understand. Fitch and Standard and Poors have reported on the quality of management in Palmetto Bay and by repeatedly awarding AA and AA+ bond rating since 2011. This year it appeared campaign rhetoric was being spoken by Vice Mayor John DuBois and Fiore when they refused to approve proper municipal budget policy. Their stubborn argument against approving the investigation of replacing the structurally unsound Coral Reef Meeting Building was apparently their sole reason for voting against the budget. It was made clear that without approving the policy, no action to study or seek resident input could be held. It was also made clear that no money was being allocated or spent on building, and any allocation would come back before the Council.
To me it was very interesting that none of the candidates for mayor or council in attendance had an opinion about the budget or any of the issues that night except Peter England. England’s comments showed the more than 30 years since his last service on a council and his lack of current knowledge of current police contracts. The village manager had made it clear that new 5-year contracts with Miami-Dade Police were the norm.
Fiore and DuBois’ repeated votes against the yearly budgets included votes against increasing police services, park services and public works. We live in Palmetto Bay for quality of life. Thank you, mayor and council who did vote for the budget to continue to provide the residents the services we demand in our police and parks.
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Richard Duncan, Palmetto Bay
Council candidate misbehaved
I urge the residents of Palmetto Bay to carefully consider their choices for their district council representatives. The “performance” of candidate David Zisman at Monday night’s hearing was theatrical, unprofessional, underhanded and most assuredly divisive.
The manner in which he attempted to sneak in consideration of a location of a fire station was appalling. But most disgraceful was the divisive outcome of his attempt. This community is finally getting past our history of divisive attitudes. I understand not everyone can be happy with every decision, someone feels at a loss. However, how we as a community make decisions can lead to a more unified feeling within the community.
The residents of 142nd Terrace were there to voice their concerns regarding the Farmer Road fire station location. We were allies and neighbors. We were hoping for an honest dialogue with our council regarding the proposed site, given the traffic concerns of Old Cutler Road and how that would gravely affect response times and residential safety. It is no secret that there are traffic concerns at this intersection.
But Zisman did not even consider how his proposal would impact his neighbors, nor did he care. He could’ve, rather should have, reached out to his neighbors in his thought process. We could’ve used all of our resources. Instead he chose to try to pull a fast one on all of us by trying to propose a site on the same intersection, across the street, thereby not addressing traffic/residential concerns. There is no place in my community, where I have lived for 24 years and raised my children, for this behavior, especially from a candidate.
Lisa Greenberg, Palmetto Bay
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