Friday, October 14, 2016
Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay Election Part 1. By Guest Blogger Tito
PB candidates for Vice Mayor
John Dubois is the incumbent. He and is currently under ethical review for violating FL Sunshine Laws (Herald 6/7/16) and has sued 10 locals and officials during his last 4 years in office (Herald 8/26/16).
Dubois offered his home to be used by an accused sex-offender in a case of home invasion that involved a 9 year old girl in the Mangowood neighborhood (CBS News 6/2/15, CBS News 4/28/16). Dubois said the accused was his friend's son and he was doing him a favor. Dubois also hosted a fundraiser for the sex offender.
Dubois also tries to influence county and local decisions that affect his property. Charged with an environmental violation by DERM for cutting down mangroves from his bayfront mansion (Herald 3/10/15), he helped to elect Lynda Bell to the county commission and also issued her a personal loan. Bell then spent much of her time on the council attacking DERM. Dubois lost this case and will have to pay for the violation and county legal defense costs. Faced with development rights on the Palmetto Bay Village Center that is two doors down from his home and needing votes on the council, Dubois is supporting David Singer for PB District 2.
Public records show a $500,000 loan between the Dubois and Singer and the loan is alleged to be in default as of August. If both Singer and Dubois are elected, Singer would be beholden to Dubois and votes would be suspect. Dubois' personal lawyer, Mr. Leary, had only one client. Now he has two. He also happens to be suing the Village of Palmetto Bay on behalf of Dubois' neighbor (of the horse farm property next to the library) to stop the council's 40 acre park decision. Dubois uses the same developer's lobbyist, Jose Castillo of Green Point Group, for his campaign management consulting as Cutler Bay's Loyzelle and Bell.
Erica Watts is a newcomer to PB politics. Watts has law and economics degrees. Watts positively utilized her background and developed extensive experience in public service with the Family Court. Locally she is a dedicated volunteer and is the President of the Coral Reef Elementary School PTA. She is also on the Palmetto Bay Education Advisory Committee and has been honored by both Miami Dade County and the Village for her innovation, leadership and public service. Watts has no sign of developer contributions on her campaign reports.
David Zisman runs a local fireplace business. He's running on his business experience but has TWO bankruptcies in his past (Herald 10/7/14). He got into local politics after losing a bid for a zoning variance. He ran for Mayor in 2010 and lost. He ran for District 1 in 2014 and lost. Zisman shares a love of heckling the council with David Singer. He's posted videos highlighting the relationship between Dubois and Singer but while the council considers serious issues, you'll likely find them together at the back of the room smirking at the proceedings and chomping on large bags of chips. Zisman has accepted campaign contributions from several developers including Wayne Rosen in past campaigns.
PB Candidates for District 2
Tim Schaffer is the incumbent. Schaffer runs his own financial services business and spent 15 years as a reserve and auxillary police officer. He ran in 2012 primarily backed by the anti-Palmer Trinity development folks. After lawsuit costs to the Village and the illegality of past council zoning decisions (Herald 7/6/12) impacted Village finances, he switched camps and worked to stop lawsuit hemorrhage and change the Village's legal representation. He has steadfastly supported the council decision to transfer development rights within the PBVC in order to stop potential owner lawsuits, save natural areas and create a park. In an effort to reduce traffic and head off further development, he recently passed a resolution to explore turning the old FPL power plant into a Village park. Sounds good but let’s make sure FPL cleans up. (GENIUS - LOL)
David Singer's campaign signs say "Stop Over Development..." but his background is in real estate development. He has accepted PAC money and campaign dollars from several development and construction companies. Singer supported the Palmer Trinity development, spearheaded the ineffectual "Recall Palmetto Bay" (New Times 10/22/12) and called supporters of former Mayor Stancyk, former Council member Lindsay and CCOCI a "merry band of mentally misfit followers". Inexplicably, many of these folks are now supporting Singer. This includes errant emailer Gary Pastorella. On opposing sides of a Firehouse location issue, Pastorella filed a restraining order against Singer after Singer sent numerous packages to the Pastorella home. Mr. Singer can regularly be seen on council meeting videos spewing personal attacks at the mayor and other council members during public comment. Singer doesn't yell at Vice Mayor John Dubois of course, because he owes him big and is said to be in default as of August.