On March 1, it was time once again for the Village of Palmetto Bay to roll out the BBQ and invite residents to celebrate incorporation as a Village 11 years ago.
“We were so excited when we incorporated that we wanted to forever celebrate,” said Linda Robinson, the original vice mayor and an early shaper of Palmetto Bay. “I am so proud of the committee that created this and how it gets better every year.”
Palmetto Bay’s Celebration Picnic is an amazing free party held each year in Coral Reef Park that draws families to meet their neighbors, talk and generally enjoy the fruits of their Village. Ron Williams, the Village manager, introduced the Village Council, each member quickly thanking their neighbors for attending the event. Then it was time for the fun.
The three-hour event treated over 4,000 people to music performed by local schools and organizations, bounce-house rides for all the children, carnival-style attractions, woodworking tables hosted by Pinecrest’s Home Depot, face painting, ball badminton and pop-a-shot.
“We served 3,000 ears of corn, 3,500 hot dogs, 3,000 slices of pizza, 3,000 Krispy Kreme donuts, chips, snow-cones, popcorn, cotton candy and 6,000 cans of soda and water,” said Fanny Carmona, director of parks and recreation, “and it was all possible because of the amazing staff. I thank them for their hard work.”
Among the many booths there were demonstrations and tours by the Miami-Dade County Special Response team, a valet bicycle parking area sponsored by Mack Cycle and officers Peter Judge and Patience Glasko from the Palmetto Bay Police Force fitted kids with free bicycle helmets. All the food and activities were paid for through generous donations from South Motors, Gus Machado Ford, AutoNation, 3Cs Preschool, The Corradino Group, Hollub Homes, Kendall Hyundai, Stantec, SunState Bank, Tip-Top Enterprises and Waste Services.
One of the most important areas this year was the Downtown Redevelopment booth. Started about a year ago by Village manager Ron Williams and run by director of building Ed Silva, the Palmetto Bay Downtown Redevelopment Task Force is knee-deep in envisioning the Franjo Triangle area as a vibrant, walkable, livework- play downtown. The plan is to attract private investment and new businesses to Palmetto Bay. Residents were asked to take a survey for their opinions and were entered into a raffle to win a $1,000 grill donated by Evening’s Delight owner David Zizman.
Throughout the sunsoaked day, there were smiles, hugs and laughs all around. One family, Gustavo and Rita Cuervo with daughters Olivia and Patricia, was resting on the edge of the picnic area taking it all in.
“This is wonderful!” said Gustavo. “We’ve danced, had some great food, took in a glorious day and had a nice time.”
COMMISSIONER BELL SPEAKS
District 8 County Commissioner Lynda Bell (representing Pinecrest) was the guest of the Palmetto Bay Village Voice on March 11. She spoke about her approach to public service, current issues and took questions from the audience.
Commissioner Bell said she was proud that she was able to bring open budget books to the public, open convenient County Service Centers so that people didn’t have to trek downtown, championed the new term-limits law, and that she helped remove parking fees for jury members.
“I’m from a humble background and was raised in a single-parent environment,” said Bell, “I feel it is my job to understand people and to assist at every level.”
Bell takes public transportation when needed and says bringing light rail, potentially on the ground within the busway, might be the right economic answer to getting areas south of Dadeland more connected.
“The most important concern we have today is the economy,” she said. “One of the things we did in cooperation with the Beacon Council was to launch http://miamidadesites.com. This allows businesses to find accurate information about our county and attempts to knock down barriers to entry, thus encouraging new businesses to establish themselves here. “I’m excited about that effort.”
HAL’S HOME SELLER’S SEMINAR
Sell faster. Sell smarter. Learn how to sell your home at a free home seller’s seminar held the first Monday of the month at Panera Bread (US1 and SW 136th Street). Learn from the Miami 5-Star Homes expert panel how to successfully sell your home. The next seminar is April 7 at 7 p.m.
Hal Feldman (MiamiHal) is a Realtor with RE/MAX Advance Realty. Contact him with your story ideas or real estate questions at www.MiamiHal.com.