On the first day of public school, Mayor Eugene Flinn spent his morning talking to parents and students at Coral Reef Elementary. It was a hot, busy morning with a poorly timed 5-minute downpour. Still, he walked into Lots of Lox with a smile and spent some time with me while he sipped his coffee and received greetings from many of the patrons.
The Mayor of Palmetto Bay has been serving his community far longer than his tenure in office. In early 1996, Eugene Flinn was instrumental in creating Palmetto Bay. After a six year uphill climb involving many hearings and lawsuits, Palmetto Bay was born. Its 25,000 residents and 8000 houses now enjoy a reputation as one of the best areas to live in all of South Florida.
I started asking the Mayor about the ongoing improvements in Palmetto Bay. He immediately spoke about the Palmetto Bay Park project that expanded 5 acres of Perrine Park to 24 acres. “The focus is to help with the transition of Southwest Palmetto Bay,” said Flinn. “Before the park was expanded, there were lots of For Sale signs in the area. Now, that seems to have stopped. I think people see the value in parks well beyond just recreation.”
Flinn also brought up that we should see a soft opening of the Palmetto Bay library within the next 30-45 days and that the semi-annual traditional of Movie Night at Coral Reef Park is coming up on October 30. He asked me for a suggestion about what movie they should show that is in the Halloween spirit, but still appropriate for all ages. If you have suggestions, please post a comment and I will pass it along.
When I asked the Mayor why Palmetto Bay was a unique place to live he said that it was because of communication. He was passionate about saying “Palmetto Bay is in your face when it comes to communication. Other communities are far too laid back and don't get the participation like Palmetto Bay does from its residents.” Flinn says we have a comparatively large number of residents involved in our government process. They bring valuable opinion to our forums. However, that number could always be bigger.
Case in point is the upcoming October 21st State of the Village. He encourages everyone to come out and hear what's going on. We've got communities all around us who are is far worse shape than Palmetto Bay when it comes to finances. We continue to look for ways to improve our resources and services in a time where others are cutting way back. The Mayor expects we may actually drop our property tax this year. As a resident who is feeling the pinch, I certainly appreciate that news.