Grassroots, not government, makes the difference

The United State Postal Service delivered a holiday gift to Coral Reef Homeowners (ACRE) by giving notice that the USPS had changed its mind and decided not to relocate its Kendall mail distribution center to the old village hall site at 8950 Coral Reef Dr. (SW 152nd Street) in Palmetto Bay.

Congratulations and credit to ACRE leadership and its attorney Scott Silver who worked so hard to make this happen. It should not have been this way. Sure, individual members of Palmetto Bay government, the mayor and council members, claimed to be sympathetic and offered support or sent emails, but once again, this local government failed to adequately represent the neighborhoods.

The local officials hid behind the so-called supremacy of the federal government which they claimed trumped local zoning rules. That may be technically correct, but ACRE and its attorney demonstrated that having the law on your side is not everything. The original mayor and council would have taken a stand and spoke with a unified voice, speaking through resolution and taking action which would have placed the USPS on notice of how bad the traffic would have been and how the impact would have been so detrimental to the neighbors.

What a difference a few years make. The unified voice of the original mayor and council has been replaced with a dysfunctional fractionalized council unwilling to speak with a unified voice to defend its neighborhoods. It is funny though, how this lack of effort never stops Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and council from jumping to the front of the parade when the residents win one on their own.

Sorry, Mayor Stanczyk and council, the credit for this short term win goes to the grassroots homeowners who acted on their own and hired their own attorney. But it is safe for you to come out from under the sheets as another bullet has been dodged for now.

And for the neighbors throughout Palmetto Bay, you need to take a good look at how this situation played out and be mindful that although you may have thought incorporation would deliver leadership to protect you, you can no longer count on this local government to act strongly in your interests next time a similar situation arises.

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