Cutler Bay

Town Council approves grants to schools

Cutler Bay town council members are working to curb violence at local schools through grant funding.

The main item

After noticing a 41 percent jump in reports on fighting at Cutler Bay Academy of Advanced Studies between the 2012 and 2013 school years, the town council knew it had to take action.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the council unanimously approved $5,000 in grant funding from the Cutler Bay Community Fund to Cutler Bay Middle school to support its positive behavior management program that reinforces positive behavior though a system of rewards. A total of $8,000 had been requested.

“I believe positive reinforcement is something that many people do not receive enough of, either at home, at work or in school,” Mayor Peggy Bell said. “I also believe it is much more effective than punishment. That said, we must also support the many students who daily choose the right path, through properly rewarding them as well.”

Other business

▪ High School Grant: As part of the Cutler Bay community fund, the council also approved a $2,500 grant to support the Cutler Bay High School COAST program. The grant will help students build and use a boat, and enables them to navigate Biscayne Bay for study.

▪ Golf Cart Use: The council unanimously approved a final vote on the golf cart ordinance, which allows residents to use golf carts on more streets within the town. The ordinance now allows for golf cart use on county-owned and maintained roads. They will still be prohibited on U.S. 1 and Florida’s Turnpike.

▪ Manager Rewarded: The council unanimously agreed to extend Town Manager Ralph Casals’ employment agreement through June 2017 and rewarded him with up to 120 hours to cash out each fiscal year.

They said it

“It’s very special to me. It’s a great opportunity to be manager of such a great and progressive town. It shows confidence from the mayor, the town council and the public. It shows all of the hard work done by the mayor, town council and staff.” — Town Manager Ralph Casals

The next meeting

▪ When: 7 p.m. Dec. 16

▪ Where: Town Hall, 10720 Caribbean Blvd.