Palmetto Bay

Police: Residents responsible for nearly half the traffic citations in Palmetto Bay

Palmetto Bay held a regular council meeting Monday night at Village Hall.

The main item

As part of the police commander’s report, Lt. Gadyaces Serralta presented a slideshow illustrating the number of tickets officers have given out in September: 482, an average amount for the village.

When members of the council asked how many tickets (moving violations and parking citations) are given to Palmetto Bay residents, the police commander was quick to respond.

“About half,” Serralta said. “I would say in the 40s [percentage]. That’s massive.”

Some council members weren’t pleased that residents are responsible for nearly half the village’s traffic citations.

“There are a few people that are not happy and upset. They live here and they think they can get a hall pass,” Council member Tim Schaffer said. “No.”

Palmetto Bay has been battling traffic for a long time. As cities have boomed and developed nearby, the village’s main arteries and major roadways including U.S. 1 are often clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

As a result, motorists speed through residential streets to avoid traffic, something the police have been been trying to reduce.

“It’s quite clear that you are going in to the nooks and crannies of Palmetto Bay,” Mayor Eugene Flinn said. “I’m pleasantly surprised. I think there’s a very good ratio, or maybe a very bad ratio, of the opportunities you have to write these tickets. It indicates that there’s a presence.”

Other business

▪ Website woes: Council members deferred an item to the next meeting that would seal the deal on a new website company that would redesign the village’s current site.

The council said it wanted to take a closer look at the procurement process before making its final decision on the vendor to be selected.

“We are looking for easier navigation,” spokesman Bill Kress said. “Clearly we have an opportunity to make it easier for the residents to find what they are looking for. Right now we are using these archaic menus; they are a little disappointing. We want quick and easy; an updated look. It’s been about five, six, seven years since we’ve revamped. We also need a robust calendar function that lets people see what’s happening.”

The site would take from six to eight months to launch, and would cost about $25,000 for the transfer of data and design, plus monthly maintenance and hosting fees.

▪ Finances: The council voted unanimously to refinance a 2005 loan that helped complete the Palmetto Bay branch of the Miami-Dade Public Library. According to a memo, based on the 2.51% interest rate and a 15-year maturity, the village will save about $193,000 by refinancing.

The next meeting

▪ When: 7 p.m. Nov. 2

▪ Where: 9705 E. Hibiscus St.