One would think that my last column asking Mayor Shelley Stanczyk to stop the ugly vendettas would have led to at least some temporary good behavior in an attempt to prove me wrong. Instead, your Palmetto Bay Village Council hit new lows at the July meeting. And village residents better start taking notice before the threats become physical and someone gets hurt.
How do you, as a Palmetto Bay resident, feel when it is brought to your attention that:
• A spouse of a sitting council member stands up in a meeting and “flips the bird” to the council when a vote does not go his way and then storms out of the meeting.
• A regular speaker at council meetings, and campaign worker for the mayor and spouse of this same council member, gets up and verbally attacks a council member’s appearance and accuses him of being mentally ill.
• Your mayor continues to challenge speakers, often with inaccurate information, and your mayor is too busy participating in this behavior to try and halt it.
This is more than sad. This is bullying and intimidation politics. Who in their right mind would have the stomach to attend council meetings and attempt to have positive input under these conditions? Things are really beginning to look, well, as the one speaker alluded to, “crazy in Palmetto Bay.”
It is made worse by the fact that none of the other council members are willing to stand up and correct this mayor who refuses to keep order, her duty under the Palmetto Bay Charter. The slide down the rabbit hole continued late into the July night when, after losing a vote on releasing meeting transcripts, Mayor Stanczyk was alleged to have loudly sniped out of order that this vote and its outcome would make Palmetto Bay a laughing stock.
You don’t have to read it here first, Madam Mayor, but your actions already have made once proud Palmetto Bay a laughing stock. It is a circus, but not one that is particularly enjoyable to watch. Reputations are hard to build and too easily lost and Palmetto Bay’s reputation already may be lost for good. All because you seemingly cannot facilitate a meeting requiring people to act like adults and communicate with more than their middle fingers.
But again, I blame more than just Mayor Stanczyk. The entire council is to blame. The other four cannot allow the meetings to be run so incompetently. It is time for voters to elect council members who actually can handle the gavel properly and move the meetings forward in a proper manner.
It sure would be nice for the residents to see some actual positive communication for the mayor and her supporters, some kind words for each other instead of salutes with only the middle finger. Residents deserve progress on important issues such as a recovery of the lost fire station at the USDA land; upgrade to the village code; acts and civility that lead to an improved property tax base, and an end to the very public discontent between and amongst the public and council members.
Palmetto Bay residents deserve better.
Note: Council meetings can be viewed online on the village website at www.palmettobay-fl.gov/content/streaming-media-archive