On the evening of Monday, Nov. 4, immediately prior to the start of her final council meeting as Palmetto Bay’s village attorney, Eve Boutsis was surprised by the original council members who informally gathered to present her with an “unofficial” proclamation in recognition of her longtime service to Palmetto Bay.
Attending were former mayor Eugene Flinn, former vice mayor Linda Robinson, former councilmember Dr. Ed Feller, and Scott Dennis, who was part of Palmetto Bay’s initial Village Policing Unit and is now the Chief of Police for the City of North Miami Beach. Former councilmember Paul Neidhart had a conflict and could not make it. Howard Tendrich (District 2, 2006-10) also was a participant to the unofficial proclamation, but was in Tallahassee.
“We were a big part of her service and we were all shocked to see that there was nothing on the agenda to recognize her longtime of service,” said Flinn, the first mayor of Palmetto Bay. “I decided to get the old group together and do our best to recognize her. There were plenty of people out there in the hallway who went up to her and also expressed their appreciation for her service. I think it’s important to recognize people who were so instrumental in everything that was done by this village.”
Linda Robinson, the first vice mayor of the village, explained the significance of Boutsis’ role after the death of Earl Gallop, the first village attorney.
“Although we all were in a state of shock when Earl passed, Eve, a member of his office, was able to calmly bring us through the tragedy,” Robinson said. “Remember, several of us had never been in politics before so she had the task to not only teach us the law, explain the law, but make valuable legal suggestions. She was always patient in advising us and most knowledgeable.”
Dr. Ed Feller shared that opinion of the woman who was departing due to a recent decision of three of the current council members.
“I have the utmost respect for Eve,” Dr. Feller said. “We were blessed by someone who cared for the village, worked hard with all of us, and I think did a very good job all these years as our village attorney. The members of that original council who were helped immensely by her when we started organizing as a village gave her that proclamation as a personal debt of gratitude from all of us.”
The unexpected ceremony just outside the doors of the council chamber before her last time on the dais clearly surprised and moved Boutsis.
“I was proud, honored and sentimental,” she said later. “The council had goals and objectives for the village and we all worked together and accomplished so much. Under Gene’s leadership and council guidance we created the village of parks, softball for girls, a skate park, Thalatta and the library. All our hard work can be seen all around the village. I appreciate that they recognized the team, the family, that we had become.”