Mayor Martha wants to know… are we getting notice?

“Is there still a law about sending out notices, posting them or putting them in a newspaper?” asks (WK Mayor) Martha Backer. “When there’s a Community Council meeting, I see it in the Neighbors section but where else is it sent?

“And since people aren’t reading handson papers that much anymore, is there some other place for the public to access the information? Do Town Hall meetings with Commissioners count as official meetings, or what?

“How about the availability of applications being presented at the Community Council meetings when acting as a Zoning Board of Appeals? If sent to my email, is that possible for, say, one type of meeting or another?” she asks.

Her comments followed a typical Community Council meeting last month when most of those attending listened but were totally uninformed about any details except for a brief agenda handout legal notice distributed at the door.

Mailed zoning notices are restricted to property owners within one-half mile of a property applying for any change of its existing zoning requirements – unless special circumstances may be involved. Otherwise, you have to read The Herald or monitor your Council website at to keep current with agendas and meeting dates.

Martha’s inquiry more importantly touches on individual Commissioner Town Hall meetings that are the only alternative to discuss other community affairs.

Many who serve Community Councils well know they remain handcuffed by a four-year suspension of reviewing all other community business by a Commission vote that “saved” $430,000 in fiscal 2009 by discontinuing quarterly Council sessions for that purpose.

Such “peanut money” for secretarial assistance, renting space and furnishing time and equipment for non-zoning meetings wiped out Kendall’s only collective voice in county affairs although voted as part of their responsibility by legislation that established the Councils back in 1996.

Without those community meetings, Councils only act on local zoning applications within their given territories. All other issues can only be taken up directly with a County Commissioner of which, Kendall has five, each representing specific districts within our gigantic unincorporated area.

Potholes need filling? Try Xavier Suarez, Javier Souto, Dennis Moss, Lynda Bell or newcomer Juan Zapata. Just Google a web site in their name to see if they cover your particular area, then ring up their office for inquiries or complaints.

Or, in the present incorporation muddied status with another study by another appointive committee, why not restore those quarterly sessions – if only as a nice way to recognize a New Year for Kendall in 2013?

Fulfilling community roles in both East and West Kendall are its Citizens Advisory Committees in Hammocks and Kendall Police Districts that meet the last Wednesday of each month, hearing speakers concerned largely with policing and security matters. However, both act as sounding boards, too, keeping up with local affairs. December meetings are postponed, however. Both Kendall and Hammocks CACs will next meet at the respective District Police stations at 7:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Visitors are welcome to become members, too!

BTW: Newly-seated District 11 Commissioner Juan Zapata is searching for convenient office space along Kendall Drive as of this writing. Aide Fernanda Sanchez provides her phone number (305-375-5834) for messaging the new Comish until his “uptown” office is in business.

Continental Park’s “Holiday in the Park” from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 starts with the Singing Miamians performing holiday songs at Dice House before Santa’s visit at 7:30 p.m. with chocolate milk and cookies for all. Amovie with popcorn and snow cones and hay rides through the neighborhood until 9:30 p.m., all compliments of Miami-Dade Parks Department and Continental Park HOA headed by Holly White.

Newest World of Beer franchise opened Dec. 3 in The Palms at Kendall’s Town & Country Center, raising over $1,000 to benefit Sylvia’s Angels, recently-established non-profit to help employees in service field with medical and life expenses connected with breast cancer. The Foundation is named for a 33-year-old South Florida woman who underwent double mastectomy for survival.

Can’t find enough to eat in Kendall? Next opening appears to be Shulaburger at the Kendall Market Square shopping center at SW 117 Avenue and SW 104 Street. Job application sign is on the door and workmen are preparing the premises for what appears to be an early-2013 opening.

Thought for the Day:

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Richard Yager contributed to this column.

Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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