Palmetto Bay District 1 Councilmember Patrick Fiore conducted his fourth “Councilmember for a Day” working tour of the village on Saturday, Sept. 8, as part of his ongoing program to connect with residents and their needs.
Driving his own vehicle, the passengers for this tour were Palmetto Bay resident Stanley Kowlessar Jr., who is a two-tour Iraqi war veteran and whose father is a long-time Mangowood resident, and fellow resident Joe Casaday, a retired member of the U.S. Coast Guard.
“I was honored because they were both veterans,” Fiore said speaking later. “We started out at Village Hall and went down US1, talking about the construction that’s part of the FDOT project. Then we went down to 136th Street and we talked about the intersection of 144th which needs repaving, but that will be covered by the FDOT project.
“Then Joe had some concerns at Coral Reef Park so we went down there and looked at the Meditation Garden and the gazebo there, and a few other things, some of which are in need of repair.”
Fiore said that they then walked around through the park and the men expressed some concerns about the posted hours of the concession stand. Fiore also showed them the new bridge over the canal that was built in 2011, replacing the old one. “Then we went down 152nd and down by the bay and were looking at the protected areas there,” Fiore said. “We drove through the southern part of the city, down by the Deering Estate, checking if there were tree limbs down after the storm
Then we went back 184th and returned to Village Hall. Both men had some concerns about what was in store commercially for the Franjo Triangle.”
Fiore said that the tours give those residents who are interested a chance to find out how the council looks at issues that need addressing, and allows them to ask questions in an informal setting.
“It was a campaign promise I made, No. 1,” Fiore said. “It gives people direct access to their village representatives. I go with whatever the people want to show me. Instead of email or calling, they can use the Councilmember for a Day event. It helps them and it helps me be in touch with the people. Of course they can email or call me any time. I’m going to try to do the Councilmember for a Day events more frequently next year. They’ll be posted on the village website.”