Nearly 150 people attending Palmetto Bay’s State of the Village Address at the Village Municipal Center, Oct. 22, heard Mayor Shelley Stanczyk recap the village’s accomplishments in the past year.
The evening’s event began in the courtyard in front of the center with the unveiling of the new “pelican and mangrove tree” bronze sculpture by artist Michael McLaughlin, who also attended. Refreshments were served and attendees had a chance to mingle before the address.
The mayor’s speech took place in the council chambers as a formal ceremony with a color guard provided by the police, after which Mayor Stanczyk introduced the other members of thecouncil and staff. Also attending were U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; Cutler Bay Councilmember Peggy Bell, and Jacqueline Fals, chief of staff for Miami- Dade School Board member Dr. Larry Feldman.
Mayor Stanczyk recounted the year’s accomplishments in various areas, beginning with the one for which the village is known, and touching upon public works efforts as well.
“We continue to provide new programming for the parks, improve the village’s image through roadway paving and sidewalk improvements, and upgrade drainage systems,” the mayor said. “We also proudly maintain our Playful City USA and Tree City USA designations.”
She also talked about the efforts to create the Downtown Redevelopment Task Force to enhance the village’s commercial area and it’s economic viability to help keep homeowner’s property taxes down. A short film was shown of the “Downtown Experience” event, which introduced the project.
She next spoke about budget issues and the finance department.
“For nine straight years now, our Finance Department has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award,” Stanczyk said. “We also received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Village’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the eighth consecutive year. Our sound practices have been rewarded in other ways as well. Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings has provided us with an AA rating, and gave us an implied general obligation bond rating of AA+. This evidences our significant financial improvement and continued sound management. I’m very proud of our fiscally conservative approach.”
Mayor Stanczyk spoke of how the Village Policing Unit has one of the best response time rates of all of the Miami- Dade Police districts and contracted cities.
“They move quickly when we need them,” Stanczyk said. “Don’t take my word for it, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement recently ranked Palmetto Bay as one of the safest communities in Miami-Dade.”
She talked about specific repairs and projects for village parks and facilities, and efforts of the Planning and Zoning and Code Compliance Divisions. Communications and the village webpage were mentioned before wrapping up the evening’s address.
“In closing, I’d like to once again thank all of my colleagues on the village council for their dedication to public service,” Stanczyk said. “I’d also like to let all of our administrative and front-line employees know that without their diligence, Palmetto Bay wouldn’t be as remarkable as it is. Thank you so much. And to you, my fellow residents, please continue to be involved. Let us know what you think, and, most importantly, be proud to be residents of Palmetto Bay, the best village around.”