Palmetto Bay

Letters: Voters, candidates share views on Southeast Dade elections

I am very proud and honored to have served the village of Palmetto Bay as mayor over the last four years, and have done so with the dignity and respect that the residents deserve.

Our village is in better financial condition than it ever has been, with growing reserves of $13.6 million, the county’s sixth-lowest tax rate, low debt, and an outstanding bond rating of AA and AA+. Our award-winning parks have more programming than ever. The Miami Herald reported on a study by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement recently that we are one of the safest communities in Miami-Dade County.

Our resident committees have included a Building and Permitting Committee that successfully worked with the Village Council’s approval to simplify the permitting schedule; the ongoing Education Committee received unanimous School Board approval of the Education Compact; the Art in Public Places Board approved and unveiled a new installation at Village Hall on Oct. 22. The Tree Board continues to work to expand our tree canopy and is working in conjunction with Public Works on our Tree Survey. The Downtown Redevelopment Task Force’s goal is to improve our downtown area and shift the burden of taxes away from the residential area.

Our village is a success, but there is always more that can be done. As your elected representative, I will always work to continue to improve your village and your quality of life by keeping your taxes low, making our community safe, enhancing our parks, and making Palmetto Bay the premier place to live, work and raise our families.

During this political campaign some of my opponents have attempted to take the focus away from the positive accomplishments of the current council and opted to discredit the village in order to gain political advantage. I will not alter the focus of my campaign to engage in negative campaigning. Palmetto Bay residents are entitled to leadership that is respectful of everyone.

I would be honored to have your support to continue to make Palmetto Bay the best place to live, work and play.

Shelley Stanczyk, Mayor, Palmetto Bay

Flinn for mayor in Palmetto Bay

There are so many candidates vying for positions in public service of late. Prospective voters are faced with a smorgasbord of choices —not only in the well-publicized federal and statewide arenas, but in those of the county and, for some of us, even a municipality.

We are called upon as voters to be judicious in separating spoken claims from true intentions, counter-claims from mere mudslinging, and lofty pronouncements from true motivations. Little of this comes naturally to most of us. True, we are mindful of the consequences of having chosen poorly — perhaps even more mindful nowadays than we might have been six years ago. Whatever our point of view, we seek “leadership,” often without having a clear idea of what we mean when we say the word.

The best we can conclude is that leadership means many things, comes in many forms, takes many guises. After all, we look to leaders not only to frame the issues we face but to propose credible courses of action based on a sense of what their constituents’ convictions are on the subject. Faced with divisive issues, some leaders are made bold, others timid, still others quietly resolute.

It all comes down to that essential sticking point — the character of the individual leader. He must speak truthfully, from personal conviction and not personal whim. He has to make difficult choices between imperfect solutions, ever with a sense of duty to his office and to his constituents. Electoral choices regarding executive positions are particularly challenging in this way, but whether for president, governor or mayor, once matters of scale are put aside, the similarities are many. For these reasons and others, I wish to voice my public support for the candidacy of Eugene Flinn for the office of mayor of Palmetto Bay.

Theodore Nicholeris, Palmetto Bay

Ex-councilman endorses Flinn

I strongly support Eugene Flinn for Palmetto Bay mayor. As a former Village Council member, I had the opportunity to serve with Mayor Flinn as well as the current mayor. The differences are striking.

Eugene Flinn has a solid record of leadership. He worked hard to create a sense of community in Palmetto Bay during our initial years. Under his leadership, the village initiated the Green Corridor, substantially increased police protection, eliminated mitigation and established a modern green code, working to set aside green space and add parks to Palmetto Bay. He worked hard to protect our neighborhoods and surrounding green spaces while creating a solid plan for reasonable development of the downtown area — completing the Franjo Triangle/U.S. 1 Island Charrette. Tens of millions of dollars of grants were obtained to stretch our tax dollars and bring us new park facilities. He listens and has a team approach to governance. I was pleased to serve with him from 2008 to 2010.

Please join with me in voting for Eugene Flinn for mayor of Palmetto Bay.

Howard J. Tendrich, Palmetto Bay

Dirty trick used against Stanczyk

The mayoral race in Palmetto Bay pits three hopefuls against current Mayor Shelley Stanczyk. We have the usual candidate mailings touting promises of improvements, correcting wrongs, etc. However, a new piece of literature is being mailed and hand-delivered to homes in Palmetto Bay viciously attacking Mayor Stanczyk. The flyer shows doctored photos and images of the mayor intended to humiliate her, captioned by the author(s) “Elect Me Mayor Of Palmetto Bay — Or Else.”

While stupid and sophomoric, the mailing was crafted to appear as if it were sent by the mayor herself, and uses the address for her business as the return address. The police are now involved, a case number has been issued and an investigation is being started with the appropriate agencies. Ideally the person(s) responsible will be caught, exposed and punished. There is no place for such hate, deception and personal attacks in Palmetto Bay or anywhere else.

Chuck Latshaw, Palmetto Bay

Vote for Stanczyk, Clifford

I am writing as a Palmetto Bay resident and former vice mayor of Palmetto Bay to urge you to vote for Henry Clifford as your next District 3 councilman, and to retain Mayor Shelley Stanczyk.

Henry has been a homeowner, resident and civic activist in Palmetto Bay since 1979, and worked on the committee incorporating the village. He has been married for over 40 years, raised his children here, served and retired as both a fire lieutenant and educator. He has served on six village committees. He started the process to get us two more fire stations, is currently chairman of the Tree Advisory Board, and vice president of the Garden Club. He has appeared before the council often since the village’s inception, bringing thoughtful and constructive comments.

In short, Henry has been involved in virtually every issue confronting the village. I believe Henry is by far the most qualified candidate for the open Palmetto Bay District 3 seat.

Mayor Stanczyk has been and will be the strongest and most consistent voice on the council to protect the quiet enjoyment and value of our homes. She has stood up against special interests that have attempted to bully and intimidate her and the village. She will be vigilant protecting homeowner rights, while allowing Palmetto Bay to achieve balanced development, keeping taxes low as her record has proven, and delivering municipal services at their highest level.

Brian W. Pariser, Palmetto Bay

Lobbyists shouldn’t work on campaigns

Before you head to the polls to vote, I want to talk to you about a disturbing trend in local politics when a lobbyist acts as a consultant or manager on the campaign of political candidates. These lobbyists are able to raise huge amounts of money for a candidate’s campaign. When these candidates are elected, the lobbyist is then hired to lobby the very people they helped get elected. To me, this constitutes a conflict of interest and a serious breach of ethics.

This situation is now unfolding in Cutler Bay. Jose Castillo of the Green Point Group is managing or consulting for the campaigns of two candidates for office in our town, including my opponent in the mayoral race, Peggy Bell.

I ask that you look at Bell’s campaign finance report for September. In this report, you can find large contributions from special interests, including land-development attorneys and another lobbyist registered to persuade the council to change the zoning on an upcoming application. I have to ask: Why are these people giving thousands of dollars to her campaign? Are there strings attached to these donations?

This is not what we voted for when we incorporated. We wanted a better government that is responsive to your needs, not those of lobbyists or special interest groups.

In the next few weeks, you will be getting many misleading fliers in the mail from my opponent. When you get these mailers, I want you to know where the money to print them came from. I don’t need your money, but I do need your vote. Let’s send a strong message to these outside influences that Cutler Bay is not for sale.

I am not beholden to any lobbyist or special interest groups. Please vote on Nov. 4.

Art Nanni, Cutler Bay

Pinecrest spends too much on studies

Pinecrest council candidate Germaine Butler is correct stating that the village spends a lot of money on surveys even as the results are not always evident or heeded.

The costs and results of feasibility studies are not combined in one place. You must weed through legislative actions and agendas or Google to find the sum of $35,000 paid for the ill-conceived annexation study. Adding to the confusion, the 2015 annual budget posted online was the 2014 budget set into a template dated 2015.

When consultants mess up and the city doesn’t fix the problem, how would you know? This is the case of acreage slated for development that lacks drainage, floods neighbors and will be costly to address. If you didn’t know about the issue documented on, how would you find it?

The city has allocated $350,000 for its first stormwater master plan, yet didn’t mention the pending cost of implementing it during budget meetings.

I wonder if Pinecrest spends more on feasibility studies than comparable cities and if they also ignore or skew the results. Maybe another study will tell.

Hope Marcus, Pinecrest

How to sound off

To submit your letter, e-mail Letters must address a specific LOCAL issue, and must be signed with a name, city or neighborhood, as well as a telephone number for verification purposes. Letters longer than 350 words will not be accepted, and writers are limited to one letter every four weeks. Letters will be published as space allows, and may be edited for length, style and clarity. The deadline for letters is noon Wednesday.