Palmetto Bay’s 2019 State of the Village Address and Celebration, which took place on Friday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m., was conducted for the first time at Thalatta Estate.
The invocation was by Pastor Sammy Flores from Christ Fellowship Church. Girl Scout Troop 328, Boy Scout Troop 711, Bagpiper Kenny Ahern participated in the opening and soloist Lisa Dias performed the National Anthem.
Mayor Karyn Cunningham came to the podium to present her address.
“The state of our Village is strong, safe, and together we are defining its future,” Mayor Cunningham began. “Public safety is a top priority. This year, we finalized a contract extension to ensure the future of our Palmetto Bay Policing Unit, and expanded community patrols. Thank you to our police department. You have my respect, admiration and love.
“We continue to foster a strong alliance with our top-rated schools, and we are vigilant about the management of your tax dollars. It bears repeating that we have passed a budget this year that maintains the millage rate to the lowest level in our history.”
Mayor Cunningham took the opportunity to say goodbye to retiring village attorney Dexter Lehtinen, thanking him for his service to the village and and wishing him well.
“We welcome our new in-house attorney John Dellagloria to the village family,” the mayor added. “John comes to the village from his private practice but has years of experience with municipal work, having served for the cities of Miami Beach, North and South Miami. In addition, he has served as a full-time lecturer for University of Miami’s School of Business.
“John will join our Charter Officer Team and work closely with Village Clerk Arocha and Manger Silva. Welcome John! Of all the talent we have to celebrate, I am most proud of the talent we have of our Village Council. Though we don’t always agree, everyone has a love of Palmetto Bay and works to listen, discuss and build consensus.”
Mayor Cunningham gave a long list of accomplishments completed by the council, and also presented awards to the following:
The Rosemary Fuller Award to Dr. Lawrence Feldman;
The Pay it Forward Award to Marvin Hollub;
Palmetto Bay’s Got Talent Award to Joan Rindfuss Hansen;
The Xavier Cortada Power of Art Award to ArtSouth;
The Gus Barreiro Champion for Children Award to Jim Haj;
The Palmetto Bay Small Busiiness Award to Joyce Masso, and
The Mayor’s Student Photography Contest top finishers to First Prize, Robert Hoel Junior; Second Prize, Julia Corradine, and Third Prize, Ana S. Gama-Ulloa.
“We are fortunate to have some amazing local, county, state and federal electeds that care about our community,” Mayor Cunningham said. “I would like to ask my council colleagues Vice Mayor Dubois, Councilmembers Fiore, Singer and Matson, along with Cutler Bay Mayor Tim Meerbott, Pinecrest Mayor Joe Corradino, Pinecrest and Cutler Bay Councilmembers, our Commissioner (Daniella Levine Cava), State Rep. Vance Aloupis as well as Pinecrest Councilmember Anna Hochkammer and Mayor Steve Losner to please join me on stage.
Mayor Cunningham concluded, “My mother use to tell me that you are only as good as the company you keep, and I am glad to be in such good company. I thank each of you for joining us tonight and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively to make our communities a better place to live, work, learn and play.”