We are at the crossroads in Palmetto Bay

The NPO moratorium to put a one year glitch in an event? Look for this to be an annual prohibition by Palmetto Bay unless you, the resident step in. Read SDM’s “PB: NPO – No Fall Festival? Time to Protest”

SDM makes noteworthy observations regarding the moratorium and its impact on community events. I read this one this and found it to be a potientially tragic. It is time for all members of our community to ask “where do we want Palmetto Bay to go?” I think the current council is overusing the term “bedroom community.” I believe we are an actively engaged, not a couch potato at home community. We need and should appreciate when community organizations hold public events. These events include your Art Shows (remember when one was held in Palmetto Bay by the Cultural Council?); Charity 10/5K run/walks; craft shows; youth concerts and plays; BINGO; community concerts and so many other examples.

Prior to becoming mayor, I was struck with the spirituality in Palmetto Bay between (Then) Perrine Baptist Church (now Christ Fellowship) and Old Cutler Presbyterian Church (OCPC). OCPC traditionally held an outstanding Christmas play that the entire community was invited to participate, attend and enjoy. OCPC still offers outstanding Christmas music and other events throughout the year that fills the facility to overflow crowds (a/k/a many people who enjoy having events to attend). The play, one of the last, if not the last was a live performance of “A Christmas Carol.” The OCPC event was a great seasonal bookend to Perrine Baptist’s Easter Pageant, another extremely well done event that my family and I looked forward to every year. Where else, so close to our home, could you watch a live performance that featured Jesus riding into the production on a live donkey. Events like these make communities great places to live. They are seasonal events and they are put on by the organizations at no cost to you, no assessment to your tax dollars.

I have posted some photographs from past Fall Festivals held at Christ Fellowship. From my daughter riding a pony (is that really highly offensive Henry?), to the Council participating in the event, yes the initial council maintained relationships with the local Churches and community organizations (CBOs). Why shouldn’t Christ Fellowship have its Fall Festival? It is open to all. It is really the community’s Fall Festival sponsored by Christ Fellowship.

Now another traditional event may be brought down by what I say are intended consequences of the Neighborhood Preservation and Compatibility (a.k.a. “Neighborhood Protection”) ordinance: Christ Fellowship’s Fall Festival celebration.

Read SDM’s “PB: NPO – No Fall Festival? Time to Protest” posted this same date, 8/24/2012, and read (as well as follow the links to the actual video – to see the facts as opposed to the council spin) how at the August 8, 2012 NPO workshop, Christ Fellowship Church’s Finance Director rose to speak against the NPO:

Here’s a quick look at just some of the operations that could be affected by the ordinance, some specifics. (1:23:49) One, we may not be able to host our annual Fall Festival. It’s a free event that we’ve done for the last 10 years and invited the community. We were unable recently to pull a permit or at least they came and asked about the permit; we were told we would have to wait to see whether we were going to be able to pull it. So, right now I am not sure we’re going to be able to do this.

SDM urges readers to go to the tape and listen to Mayor Stanczyk’s questions and the discussion with staff that followed the comments. The bottom line is that Christ Fellowship holds its Fall Festival in October, which falls under the ambit of the moratorium. (The moratorium, as readers will recall, prohibits the village from issuing building permits on non-residential properties in residential areas.)

In the hyper-regulated Village of Palmetto Bay, one must pull a permit to erect temporary tents if they exceed a certain size. In fact, there is even a special application for special events. (New Palmetto Bay Motto: We Regulate Everything!) The permit application clearly states:

Anyway, who cares if Christ Fellowship Church can’t have some loud, overpopulated community event? Isn’t this kind of noisy, smelly, religious…er, dusty non-residential use just the kind of thing the (Shelley Stanczyk, and Brian Pariser) see as a threat to neighborhoods?

Personally I, Eugene Flinn, find the Fall Festival to be a great community event. This is an event that should be nurtured and encouraged by the village, not condemned and hindered through local government hyper regulation.

I agree with SDM’s suggestion of some civil disobedience: Christ Fellowship should put up the tents, hold a service under them, and then start the festival. In other words, dare Palmetto Bay to cite the church for using the tents for a religious purpose.

When village police try to shut you down, link arms and pray for them. Maybe Mayor Stanczyk, Vice Mayor Pariser and Councilwoman Lindsay will get the message when they see your worshippers carted off to the hoosegow.

I am increasingly dismayed to see the direction that Shelley Stanczyk and Brian Pariser continue to mislead this village.

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