By Gary Alan Ruse…
Rose Garcia Infante is running for the Palmetto Bay Village Council District 1 seat being vacated by Ed Feller, MD.
An elementary school administrator who has lived in Palmetto Bay for 25 years, Infante ran for the District 1 seat four years ago and says that she has decided to run again this year for a number of reasons.
“Our village government, including the council, has done nothing about the massive number of US1 drivers cutting through Palmetto Bay streets to avoid the slowdowns on US1 during peak hours,” Infante said.
“During my summer vacation I sat on my porch one morning from 6:30 a.m. until 7:20 a.m. and counted 498 cars heading north on 82nd Avenue. This holds true for our principal avenues, 77th and 87th, and streets, 144th, 152nd and 168th.”
Infante wants to see the council and village manager meet with Metro Traffic Division and seek the extending of the green lights on US1 so traffic can move faster and more smoothly. She also wants to see more small landscaped traffic circles in the village to discourage commuters merely passing through, and 30 mph speed limit signs with strict enforcement, as in Pinecrest. But she is against speed bumps that may cause accidents with resultant damage to property or loss of life.
“Villagers as well as myself are concerned with this traffic problem,” Infante said.
“Also, I would like the council to establish an education fund where donations are collected through Dade County and each year distributed among Palmetto Bay schools. Schools could hire many of the teachers living in Palmetto Bay as well as retired teachers to tutor our students after or during school hours so that our A schools become A-plus schools.”
Infante said that she decided to run because the three seats that are “up for grabs” this year make up the majority of the five-seat council.
“Because I am an independent thinker without personal ties to other council members or candidates, I can be depended upon to work with the best interest of all Palmetto Bay villagers in mind,” she said. “I have excellent managerial skills according to my superiors in the school system. As a school administrator I also have good people-to-people skills and this is needed on the council.”
She lists among her honors received: Runner-up Assistant Principal of the Year for the State of Florida; Assistant Principal of the Year, Miami; district’s Paul Bell Reading Administrator of the Year, and Little Red Schoolhouse Award for her behavioral program by the Florida Association of School Administrators.
Infante wants to see no increase in taxes, citing the fact that Doral, Miami Lakes and other cities that incorporated around the same time as Palmetto Bay do not plan to raise taxes.
“I have spoken to many villagers and they do not want a tax increase,” Infante said. “I would like to vote on the council for no tax increases for that majority.”
She said she believes in the importance of maintaining the village’s attractive parks and has high praise for the village’s policing unit.
“Its officers are most effective and supportive,” she said. “In my elementary school, officers provide safety programs such as Buckle Up Bear, DARE, crosswalk safety, drug safety, water safety and bicycle safety. I would like for these to be offered in all village schools where appropriate.”
Infante said, if elected, she wants to have council members establish a volunteer group of villagers that could on Saturdays work to clean up the yards of some of the abandoned foreclosed homes to maintain an attractive village.
She is in favor of bringing more businesses to Palmetto Bay by providing tax breaks and other incentives, and of having the council do more to recognize the accomplishments of its residents. She believes her experience and skills would help her in achieving these and other goals.
“As a school administrator, I do my homework well, and I would do so on the council,” Infante said. “Palmetto Bay is a wonderful community in which to live and I would like to serve the people who live here as I have served the students and parents of Miami-Dade Public Schools for 49 exemplary years.”