In addition to today being the Miami Country Day School Walk for Cancer: beginning at 8:00 AM. (Registration to walk is a minimum donation of $25.00). I am sharing the much anticipated news from Miami Shores Vice Mayor Donald Shockey (with his blessing of course).
I hope everyone is weathering the extreme temperatures and economic challenges we have all continued to face since my last update. Please see below for a description of recent Council actions and other Miami Shores Village issues. The Village Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month and the agenda can always be found before the meeting at www.miamishoresvillage.com . Please remember that the primary means used by the Village to communicate with residents is the Miami Shores Village News newsletter. For environmental and cost reasons, the newsletter is no longer mailed out but can instead be found on the home page of the Village website The last issue of the newsletter is attached. Remember to check the website at the beginning of each month so you don’t miss out on lots of important Village information, and be sure to read the column on the Village’s ongoing green activities.
I also encourage everyone to attend the meeting Tuesday October 27th from 6 to 8 p.m. at 6447 NE 7th Avenue next to American Legion Park off Biscayne Blvd to learn about the latest developments with the South Florida East Coast Corridor rail project which I believe offers significant economic and environmental benefits for the Village. You can learn more at www.sfeccstudy.com .
I look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at a meeting soon.
2010 MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE BUDGET:
The Village Council passed the 2009-2010 budget in September and it will soon be posted on the Village website. Mayor Davis, Councilwoman Holly, and I voted in favor and Councilman Loffredo and Councilman Herrera voted against. The budget included a small .5 millage rate increase to offset the dramatic 14.9% decrease in Village revenues this year. Since most tax assessments further declined in the August mailed notices, total taxes paid and revenue received will decline further in 2010 which will make next year’s budget process even more challenging.
The approved budget cut the salary of the tennis pro, who will now earn only instruction and entrance fees, as well as the hours of some attendants. A number of residents were understandably unhappy with these cuts which were indeed painful to make. I met with representatives of the tennis community, helped maintain funding for weekend hours, and offered a resolution to provide the tennis pro assistance in marketing his lessons. The resolution did not pass and no other funding resolutions were offered. The center remains open the same hours as in the past.
VILLAGE BOARD APPOINTMENTS, RECREATION ADVISORY BOARD OPENING:
At the last two meetings, the Council made appointments to various city Boards. Congratulations to those who were appointed as listed below. A vacancy remains on the Recreation Advisory Board with the deadline open until the position is filled. Anyone interested should contact Village Clerk Barbara Estep at Village Hall to pick up an application.
VILLAGE BOARD APPOINTMENT PROCESS:
There were fewer applicants than usual for Board positions this year. For many years, Board openings and the application deadline were announced in the mailed Village newsletter. This year, with the newsletter appearing only on the website, many people, including myself, were unaware of the deadline. When I ran for Village Council this past spring, I pledged to encourage more participation in our Village government. Unfortunately, in regard to the recent Board openings, the transition to a digital newsletter that appears only on the Village website did not advance this goal. I have asked that next year the openings and deadline be announced at Village Council meetings, on the Village sign board, on the website, in the Biscayne Times and Miami Herald, and in any other free venue that reaches our residents.
NE 2ND AVENUE CELEBRATION AND REVITALIZATION
I hope many of you were able to attend the fantastic October 2nd celebration of the completion of Village Place and to see the unveiling of the striking metal sculpture which now graces the front lawn of Village Hall. It was truly a wonderful event, and many thanks are due to everyone who worked so hard to make it such a magical and successful night. With the new wide sidewalks, shade trees, and colorful street banners and signage, NE 2nd Avenue has never looked better. Please make sure you rediscover our own wonderful downtown and support our great merchants and restaurants, and remember that street parking is both allowed and encouraged except for 4 to 6 p.m. on the east side (northbound) and 7 to 9 a.m. on the west side (southbound).
With the onset of cooler weather, bicycling is a great way to get to NE 2nd. stores and restaurants. To encourage bike use, three new bike racks have been installed so that there is an easy and safe place to lock up your bike while you shop or eat downtown.
SOUTH FLORIDA EAST COAST CORRIDOR COMMUTER RAIL PROJECT
As I have discussed before, I strongly support the reintroduction of passenger rail service on the existing FEC railroad tracks. This project is gaining steam as more and more people recognize the many environment and economic benefits of expanding rail transit. The latest project details will be discussed at a meeting on Tuesday October 27th from 6 to 8 p.m. at 6447 NE 7th Avenue next to American Legion Park off Biscayne Blvd. Prior my election, the Village Council voted to officially oppose the project, and specifically, the consideration of station locations at 96th and 87th Streets. One of the main reasons cited in opposition to the project is the perceived noise and traffic impact of additional trains. These issues will be addressed in depth at the meeting which will also feature a train noise sound demonstration. A station location at 87th Street could have tremendous positive impact on appropriate scale mixed-use redevelopment within walking distance of the station. This is one of the only commercially zoned areas in the city that could be redeveloped in a way that improves our quality if life and increases our property tax base. I urge everyone to attend the meeting to learn about the project and to express their views.
VILLAGE BOARD APPOINTMENTS:
Recreation and Advisory Board : John Longman, Darik Smart Fine Arts Commission: Michael Stock, Annette Taddeo Historic Preservation Board: Seth Bramson, Nina Korman, Christina Lane Planning and Zoning Board: Robert Abramitis, John Busta, Richard Fernandez Code Enforcement Board: John Patnik, Barry Perl, Bob Swan, and Robert Vickers Personnel Appeals Board: Herb Spahn Country Club Advisory Board: Mary Ross Agosta, Linda Mennes, Herb Spahn, Robert Swan General Employee Pension Board: Mary Ross Agosta, Averill Lynn Dorsett, Betsy Heagle