No more funny business. No more skirting the rules. Thalatta Estate now will be open at least 60 hours per week to the general public thanks to decisive action taken by officials with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection who determined after a site visit by its Inspector General’s Office that the Village will increase the hours of operation to 60 hours a week.
The new hours began on Apr. 28. There will be some closure of the park for private special events scheduled before the crackdown, but there will be no other exclusion of the public from the park for special events in the future after these contracted events have concluded.
It should not have come to this. Palmetto Bay’s government watchdog asked the mayor and council for fairness in the operation of Thalatta, but he was continually met with denials and outright mocking from Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and village staff. The actions from the state officials demonstrate that David Singer was correct in his concerns, which now have been addressed.
Mayor Stanczyk and the entire council owe Mr. Singer a public apology. The taxpayers can thank him for a job well done in exposing improper use of village assets and state tax dollars.
Thanks to Mr. Singer, area residents will have unrestricted use of the bayfront park that founding Mayor Eugene Flinn and the initial council fought hard to preserve for the public, thus properly putting the “bay” back in Palmetto Bay.
We at Miami’s Community Newspapers hope that this is a lesson learned by Palmetto Bay staff as well as by Mayor Stanczyk and the entire village council to respect the concerns raised by members of the public.