Guest Blogger: How the Village Council is Wasting Your Money

flushing taxpayer money down the toilet
Palmetto Bay Resident Questions Village's Legal Battle With Private School

As most residents are aware, the Village of Palmetto Bay is embroiled in a protracted legal dispute over zoning issues with Palmer Trinity School, located at 7900 SW 176th Street.

While the legal wrangling continues, the battle lines between those concerned about quality of life issues and supporters of the school’s expansion goals have been blurred by the prospect of escalating financial costs on both sides to continue the legal fight.

J.B. Harris, a Palmetto Bay resident and parent of a student at Palmer Trinity, feels recent court orders favor the school’s zoning variance request.  Mr. Harris expresses concerns about the potential cost to property owners should the courts find the village liable for punitive damages.

Mr. Harris submitted the following blog, presented unedited, for our reader’s review and comments:


By JB Harris –

“REPORTING on the litigation front between the village council and Palmer Trinity School, recently three appellate judges granted the school’s motion to enforce the mandate of a lower court’s decision rendered in favor of the school. Among other things, the mandate allows the school to build out its south campus, which includes the clearing of trees and the construction of a chapel and other buildings.

For its part, the council has done nothing to comply with the order, although a public hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 21 at Christ Fellowship Church.

It will be interesting to see how those on the council, who care more about peacocks than pensioners, will advertise it or whether they will comply with the mandate at all.

With the recent appellate opinion, that now makes NINE judges who have told the council they are WRONG.

Last week Palmer Trinity also filed a motion to amend its complaint to add a claim for violation of its federal civil rights.

If the village is found to have violated the school’s civil rights, the school would be entitled to all its attorney’s fees.

On May 18th, the trial judge presiding over the state case heard the school’s motion to amend its complaint and Joan Lindsay’s motion for protective order, which was filed to delay the taking of her deposition.

In the end, the court granted both motions.

The school’s revised complaint now has a claim for punitive damages against the village, which if high enough could ultimately bankrupt the village.

In any event, once removed, I predict the federal court will return the case to state court.

As a result, the state court judge will cancel other pending motions set for May 26th, since removal to federal court divests the judge of jurisdiction.

On another front, Lindsay’s deposition was also set for May 18th, but Lindsay’s attorney filed a motion for protective order, as referenced above, claiming that since the village was removing the case to federal court, Lindsay should not have to sit for her deposition, at least for the time being.

Although removing the case to federal court should make no difference whether Lindsay is deposed now or later, the big mystery is why her husband Jerry Templer (alias Frank Burns), bothered to emerge from the bushes around Palmer Trinity while on a clandestine surveillance mission, to file yet another self-serving affidavit, trying to explain away the illegal destruction of Joan’s personal computer with e-mail evidence of her cloak-and-dagger dealings with her buddy Shelley Stanczyk, no doubt showing the two of them scheming up ways to use the fist of government to destroy an innocent school and to deprive innocent kids of a quality education.

Further, according to my sources, the school has or will be demanding that the village tender its insurance policy limits to cover the damages the council has caused the school with this frivolous, vexatious, expensive litigation.

Of course the council will refuse, although it should tender the policy limits, because to do otherwise exposes all residents to additional financial exposure in the form of special assessments to cover the cost of litigation, including judgments and attorney’s fees.

Residents should also be aware that not all of Palmer’s claims are covered by the village’s insurance policy, which will make the outcome for residents even more expensive.

Just what the residents of Palmetto Bay need during this time of economic crisis.

It all seems so desperate and unbelievable to think how much of your money the council is wasting month after month to lose.  Indeed, so outrageous is this profligate waste of money that every resident should demand an accounting of the millions frittered away by small-minded bureaucrats in the pursuit of selfish interests.

Given the fundamental truth that all political leaders, whether they govern small villages or large, possess a moral responsibility to set the tone for civility among their citizens and neighbors, it’s pathetic, as one outside observer recently noted, that “The Village of Parks has now become the Village of Hate.”

This is the legacy Stanczyk, Lindsay and Pariser plan to leave behind.

For those who voted for them, are you’re happy now? You voted against your own self-interest.

For the rest of us, recall anyone?

J.B. Harris


WHAT do you think?  Do you agree with Mr. Harris’ points and emotion?   Should all residents publicly request an accounting of the Palmetto Bay budget?  What can we do as a community to avoid similar disputes in the future?   We welcome your opinions and, as always, we encourage residents to submit guest blogs and story ideas about any village issues important to you and your family.

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  1. I am concerned about the fight but also concerned about the expansion of this school which WILL create traffic flow problems among other items. To Say it will not is absolutely ABSURD and anyone who believes that is either a FOOL or a LIAR. It is amazing that the majority of residents DO NOT want this expansion yet the school proceeds and then the lawyer (beetle on the cabbage of life) for the school says we will be a good neighbor. I understand about property rights butface up to it the majority DO NOT want this expansion. This article is self serving as he has a kid at the school (another mouth piece for the school?)
    I am against it but know that enough bribes from the parties have been passed to get it through as was evidenced by the hearing both my wife and Life Scout went to. Even he at the young age of 14 said, they have already made up their mind, right dad? He could smell the rottenness from the attorneys and politicans.

  2. Hope all you idiots that wanted seperate Governments from Dade Co. are happy now.
    Its only about $$$$$. That school is kicking back money to someone on those boards.

  3. Ralph, are you suggesting the school has bribed the very politicians who have engaged in the protracted litigation the school is now fighting? That's beyond absurd. I'm no mouthpiece for the school. I'm someone who believes in the rule of law and opposes the tyranny of government when it comes to circumcising the rights of private property owners. Should the school lose in its fight to enforce its private property rights, we all stand to lose. Finally, there will be no more traffic than already exists once the school's entrance is moved to 184th St., I don't care how many traffic studies Shelley Stanczyk commissions, or how many bushes Jerry Templer hides behind while counting cars.

    • How can you say there will be no more traffic? That logic doesnt make sense. If there will be no added traffic, then why the need for an entrance/exit on 184 street??
      Of course the traffic flow will increase AND slow down with what will have to be a school zone and the speed trap that will be setup by the lovely local PD. The speed limit on 184 is SLOW enough now in that area.
      Not sure on your logic either about some private corp. loosing its rights we all lose theory!!!!
      The residents are the only ones to lose.

      • Amos, as the Third District Court of Appeals has held, the school does indeed have constitutional property rights just like individuals. That's impeccable logic for anyone who owns property, corporate or otherwise. Without authorization, the council can no more dictate what a corporation can do with its property than it can an individual. Which means if you want to add an extension to your house, you should be able to do so without undue government interference. If that right is taken away from Palmer to do the same with its house, then your rights as a homeowner are at risk. Having said that, the council wants to spend your money needlessly and indefinitely litigating a losing battle. The best solution is to throw Fraus Stanczyk and Lindsay and Herr Pariser out of office so that more reasonable minds may govern.

  4. Once again it's all about the $$$. I hate Miami and am ashamed I have to say I live here. To top it off, I live In Palmetto Bay and as any fool knows, with the school expansion there will be more traffic because there will be an entrance onto 184 ST. But wait, I know, we'll just widen it some more, add a few traffic lights and it will be the new US1. So much for the quiet, peaceful, residental neighborhood!

  5. I guess no one really cares if the children get an education, you could always bus them to Liberty City to get their education!! If we don't educate them now we will be building more jails in the future. Of course the infinite wisdom of our elected officials prevails, cut money for education but more money for prisons construction. These will be needed in the to house those students we are not educating.


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