I have to say Palmetto Bay’s resolution to launch a new Village Manager search peaked my interest.
We can all agree that after last week’s debacle with the no-show manager that Mayor Karyn Cunningham and the Village Council have to close the deal this time.
I have a couple of recommendations that I hope they will take to heart.
First, why not wait until after the November election when a new Council member can help pick the new manager. The interim manager can deal with the budget for now.
Second, more time and transparency will allow the public to hold the Village accountable for their choice. This is important because my sources tell me that the increasingly controversial Mayor Karyn Cunningham is greasing the wheels to have her BFF’s husband get the job.
Normally I would shrug that off as gossip, but I am hearing it from three sources. What say you, Mayor?
I’m hoping that by exposing this rumor to the light, it will spur a more competitive process that will yield a better result.
So let’s get down to what counts. The last thing the Village of Palmetto Bay needs is more headaches. It’s already the laughingstock of neighboring municipalities for its raucous and meandering council meetings.
It’s got big issues on the horizon including the COVID-19 tax hole that every community is dealing with. Some hard decisions are coming including cuts, possibly to essential services.
Like every community right now, Palmetto Bay is also dealing with other issues that require patience and creativity. Kids are going to be going back to school or not, and the Village has to stake its position and prepare for the fallout either way. Maybe Palmetto Bay should be thinking about helping its residents cover the costs of daycare for their kids if they go back to work or tap their reserves to offer businesses grants to stay open and keep their staff employed.
The typical strategy in a money crunch is to either raise taxes or allow rampant development to get the Village cash register ringing. But who can pay taxes when businesses are closing left and right because of COVID-19.
This choice for the next manager may be the most important decision that 18-year-old Palmetto Bay makes in its short life. Being careful and taking one’s time may be the best medicine for the Village in the pandemic.
If not, having a manager who left you at the altar will seem small compared to the problems that are on the way.