A group of Palmetto Bay residents are responding to that challenge with the formation of Palmetto Bay Village Voice Inc. (PBVV). The group has incorporated with the State of Florida with the specific purpose to “…increase local government transparency and accountability through education and communication, and to promote active resident participation in our community.”
“Our goal is to ensure that all of the citizens of the village are informed and that they are heard,” said PBVV chair Rick Cook.
“Governments tend to travel the path of least resistance,” he added. “The community needs to know that when the village council and manager make decisions, those decisions are based upon the interests of the entire community and not just the most vocal section of it.”
Membership is open to every resident of Palmetto Bay. As part of the education process, at least one PBVV member will attend every official meeting conducted in the village and report to the group. Communications to members and other residents will take many forms — a website, www.PalmettoBayVillageVoice.org, meetings, email and guest articles in the media.
“Great things happen in our village all the time,” Cook said. “When they do, we’ll celebrate them. But when we see a wheel starting to come off, we’ll sound an alarm. There is no agenda except good government. Our mission is to educate, not to advocate.”
Palmetto Bay Village Voice Inc. board members are: Peter England, Eric Haas, Susan Ludovici, Paul Neidhart and James Thomas. Founding trustees of PBVV are: Jim Araiza, Arthur Bauman, Michael Biamonte, Craig Branson, Karl and Susi Cetta, Peter and Dianne Clancy, Rick Cook, Todd Cooper, Omi Diaz, John DuBois, Chet England, Peter England, John Eversole, Eugene Flinn, Eric Haas, J.B. Harris, George Hoffman, Duane and Sharon Kujawa, Susan Ludovici, David McDonald, John Morris, Paul Neidhart, Ben Powell, Chris Sailsbury, Lee Sterling, James Thomas, Joe Vendi, Karl Wulf, Dan Yglesias and Dave Zisman.