‘Can you hear me now?’ says village hall staff

By Michael Miller….

Michael Miller, Executive Editor

Oh well…nothing’s perfect. The brand spanking new village hall complex is done and is a wonder of modern “green” technology, but wouldn’t you know it, with all the fancy electrical wiring in the place, the array of solar panels on the roof, the complex plumbing system pipes and who knows what else running through the walls, not to mention the fact the whole structure was built super strong with extra reinforcing to withstand storms, the new hub of village government activity is a dead zone for cell phones if you’re indoors. The regular landline phone system is fine, but mobile phone users are out of luck and out of touch, and all those smart phones are just saying… duh?
It may just be that reception in that area is poor anyway, but with all the relay towers and antennas dotting nearby South Dixie Highway, it seems more likely it’s the building. The big Publix on the highway at 146th is pretty much the same way if you’re deep inside it, as are other large buildings with a lot of ironwork in them. ‘Course, staffers and officials can go up on the roof to make outgoing calls, but how are they gonna get incoming calls? Are there any communications gurus out there who can suggest a legitimate solution? Maybe a signal booster inside hooked to an outside antenna?

We get letters! Actually, this was a comment sent via our Community Newspapers website:

“I just read the article on your website about next weekends Jr. Orange Bowl parade. Thank you for posting the information. I was just wondering… are you aware that this year’s Jr. Orange Bowl Queen, Leia Schwartz, is a resident of Palmetto Bay? I was surprised there was nothing in the print edition of our local paper.”

There is now! And thanks to Leia’s family for alerting us to the fact. By our count, Leia is the third Jr. OB Queen from the village. Eliza Berse, who is now off to college, was the first and Hannah Shatzen was the second.

It’s time for trimming the trees… And no, we’re not talking about tinsel and lights. That was weeks ago. But we hear that FPL is going to be in Palmetto Bay in January with their maintenance crews, trimming trees around power lines, just to make sure branches don’t get whipped around in the breeze and knock them down. They’ll be working in the so-called “Perrine area” the first half of the month, and in the “Mitchell area” in the second half. Go to the village website (which is working again) at www.palmettobayfl. gov/ and look for the notice there. The links will take you to maps showing the specific areas. Asplundh…? Gesundheit!

In 2011, just recall the recallers!

Next came the results of two Commission recall attempts, one in which Ruvin validated sufficient signatures to recall District 13 Commissioner Natalie Seijas, largely on the same grounds. A second recall action of District 5’s Bruno Barriero failed due to an insufficient number of signatures from his district voters.

That left our 13 Commission members scheduling a December 29 meeting to determine when to call the Mayor’s recall voting and whether or not to combine Alvarez and Seijas voting on the same ballot, one the Seijas supporters claim would unfairly result in her removal along with a heavy vote expected to oust the Mayor from office. With each countywide balloting costing an estimated $4 to 5 million in logistical expense, it’s no small matter in the face of belt-tightened budgets already cutting back worthwhile county services. (Remember that when voting to recall the Mayor).

We applaud Commissioner Carlos Gimenez for refusing to take part in the meeting that flopped last week when only six of the 13 members showed up, failing to act without a quorum present. Gimenez protested the meeting itself on several counts, not the least of which was having the agenda include provision for some charter amendments involved but not all, as well as a review of dating the Seijas-Alvarez ballot.

Weeks ago, a few may remember our denouncing the entire effort to recall Mayor Alvarez without proof of malfeasance or criminal acts, a stand we were pleased to see Miami Herald columnist Michael Putney support last week by writing “…there’s a remedy short of a recall. It’s called an election, and citizens dissatisfied with their elected county representatives can replace them every four years . Kicking them out of office immediately by recall is an extreme remedy that should be reserved for those who commit grave ethical errors or acts of malfeasance…”

Now, it’s reported that at least two Commission members are playing politics with the recall dating to push personal agendas in an effort to secure the Mayor’s job for themselves!

Should that occur — in effect, kicking dirt in the face of voters who have already voiced their disgust with recent Board politicking – we’ll be among the first to call for their removal for “ethical” misbehavior. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll be pleased to remind our readers to vote NO should their names appear on any future ballot for the Mayor’s office.

Impatience has stirred Braman and his followers to mount an unwise and costly action for the recall of Mayor Alvarez. We hope sufficiently-intelligent folks turn out to vote against that action, if only to restore support of the traditional function of representative government instead of allowing momentary passion overrule the wisdom of established principle.

Lee Zimmerman, newly-elected president of Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations, will take the gavel for KFHA’s first meeting in 2011 at 7 p.m., Monday, January 10, in the Civic Pavilion at Kendall Village Center, 8625 SW 124 Avenue. District 7 Commissioner Carlos Gimenez is the speaker on “Proposed Changes to the Miami-Dade County Charter.”

West Kendall Business Association starts the New Year with a networking session on January 11at University Credit Union and first meeting on January 27 at a new location, Killian Palms Country Club ballroom, 9950 SW 104 Street, replacing the familiar Signature Gardens venue on SW 122 Street. For details on the organization now in its sixth year, log on to its web site at www.wkba.org.

Reminder: Friday, January 7 is the last day for pickup of discarded Christmas trees (with all tinsel and decorations removed) during regular MDC trash pickups. Starting Saturday, January 8, trees must either be taken to a drop-off location at nearest recycling depot, or placed in the waste cart as trimmed branches without overstuffing the trash container. Mulch from dropped-off trees will be available at 13 county recycling centers by January 15 with Kendall’s nearest location is the Sunset Kendall station, 8000 SW 107 Avenue.

Thought of the Day:

January 1st is no different from any other day of the year. It’s what you do with the opportunity for a fresh start that matters.


Richard Yager contributed to this column.

Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to michael@communitynewspapers.com.

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at michael@communitynewspapers.com

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