Village Council Meeting - May 3, 2016



The Miami Shores Village Council held their regularly scheduled Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM with the following individuals present:

PRESENT:                        Alice Burch

                                           Steven Zelkowitz

                                           Mac Glinn

                                           Herta Holly

                                           Ivonne Ledesma

ALSO PRESENT:             Tom Benton, Village Manager

                                           Barbara Estep, Village Clerk

                                           Richard Sarafan, Village Attorney


Doctors Charter School student and faculty representatives provided information and a video depicting their recent attendance at the Global Student Leaders Summit, held in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Coral Gables Sustainability Coordinator, Matt Anderson provided information on Coral Gables’ initiatives relating to climate change and sea level rise.



1)           VILLAGE CLERK                                                                                   Barbara A. Estep


Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved approval of the April 19, 2016 Council Meeting Minutes. Councilwoman Holly seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

2)           VILLAGE COUNCIL                                                                             

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING DOG PARK LOCATION AND FUNDING.                                                                                             Mac Glinn

Councilman Glinn provided background information regarding the dog park idea and indicated that he is very cognizant and sensitive of adjacent homeowners. He reiterated his idea, originally spoken of at the previous Council Meeting, of developing a dog park on the parcel in the southeast corner of the Aquatic Center. He stated that due to his background in construction management, he drew up a very conservative cost estimate of approximately $140,000 to $150,000.

Councilman Glinn moved to include funds for the dog park in the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget but would like to start the process now, using surplus funds to fund the development. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the motion. Council Members expressed their views on the location and discussed some of the details and issues still to be considered, i.e. drainage, resident only restrictions, parking, approval of site plan, etc. Councilwoman Ledesma urged Staff to consider contacting Alberto Ruder who has successfully worked to open dog parks in neighboring municipalities.

Mayor Burch opened the floor for public comment.

Elizabeth CowenMs. Cowen spoke in support of the dog park and began to read a letter received from Mr. Ruder into the record.

Sylvia Peraza                     Ms. Peraza also spoke in support of the dog park and completed reading the letter from Mr. Ruder into the record.

Mary Benton                      Ms. Benton spoke in support of the dog park to bring the community together.

Bob Smith                         Mr. Smith thanked the Council for their consideration on the dog park and thinks the location is a great spot. He talked about the possibility of charging an annual fee for a card which would help identify residents.

Janet Goodman                 Ms. Goodman talked of Waterways Park in Aventura which uses a chip embedded card for entry.

Miriam Rojas                    Ms. Rojas thanked the Council and spoke of the future use of Constitution Park.

Steven Shulman                 Mr. Shulman thanked the Council and especially Councilman Glinn for spearheading the dog park effort.


                                                                                                            Ivonne Ledesma

Councilwoman Ledesma introduced Mr. Steve Mumby, Doctors Charter School Board Treasurer, to discuss the rent negotiation issue. Mr. Mumby provided the Council with information regarding the School’s anticipated funding from the State and reviewed a number of necessary maintenance issues and repairs. Mr. Mumby outlined the School’s proposal regarding the rent reduction as well as the Village’s counter-proposal. Mr. Mumby clarified that the original proposal from the School is what is presently being offered. Council Members discussed the proposals and the School’s circumstances and requested hearing from the Village Manager or Village Attorney.   Mr. Sarafan spoke of the negotiation process and the uncertainty of the financial picture for the School and the Village’s budgeting process. He spoke of the market value of the building and the fact that the $180,000 rent falls far below the rental value. Mr. Sarafan indicated that he and Mr. Benton had been under the impression that Mr. Mumby was going to recommend approval of the Village’s proposal to the remainder of the Board.  The Village’s proposal had included funding for needed school text books and this subject was briefly discussed.

Council Members further discussed the School’s finances and they agreed that a rent reduction is in order. However, they indicated that there is not enough information being provided in order to make an informed decision regarding the rental fee. Subsequently, Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved to table the rent reduction issue. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion and the vote was 4 to 1 in favor of the motion with Councilwoman Ledesma dissenting.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz then moved to provide $100,000 in reimbursement funding for text books. Councilwoman Holly seconded the motion.

Mayor Burch opened the floor for public comment.

David Benjamin                Mr. Benjamin stated that the School needs more money and the community needs to understand that education is the community’s responsibility.

Abeer Jadallah                   Ms. Jadallah echoed Mr. Benjamin’s comments indicating that the School needs additional community support.

Kelly Jackson                    Ms. Jackson talked of the difficulty of putting a price tag on the School that is a jewel in the community.

Due to time constraints in that he needed to leave the meeting, Vice Mayor Zelkowitz called the question which resulted in a unanimous vote in favor of the motion.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz left the meeting following this vote.



                                                                                                                   Mayor Alice Burch

Mayor Burch spoke of Mr. Mumby’s resignation from the Board in order to move back to New York. She indicated that due to his position on the Board, she would like the Council to consider expediting the appointment process. Council Members discussed the issue and reviewed the current appointment time-line which is scheduled for the second meeting in June. There was no motion made and the Council consensus was to leave the appointment schedule as is. No further action was taken.


Ms. Estep read the announcements.

4)         PUBLIC COMMENTS (3 Minute Time Limit Per Speaker)

Laura Annese                     Ms. Annese spoke of the possibility of a Bed & Breakfast facility in Miami Shores.

Sylvia Peraza                     Ms. Peraza spoke of the Charter School and the need for them to operate within their allocated budget. She indicated that the School does not serve all of the residents of the Village as she has a special needs child for which the Charter School does not have programming.

Abeer Jadallah                   Ms. Jadallah spoke of the past mismanagement of the School yet their continued excellent grade averages. She reminded the public that the School is a municipal charter school, not a for-profit school.


MacAdam Glinn                Councilman Glinn thanked everyone for their attendance and their contacts regarding the dog park.

Ivonne Ledesma                Councilwoman Ledesma acknowledged Vice Mayor Zelkowitz for suggesting the visioning session and spoke of Mr. Mumby’s move back to New York, thanking him for his work and support of the Village.

Herta Holly                        Councilwoman Holly congratulated Ms. Jadallah and the students that attended the Global Student Leaders Summit. She further spoke about the dog park and its location. She reminded the residents that the Council has a responsibility for the budget of the entire community and that it is impossible for the Village to do everything that everyone wants at the same time.

Alice Burch                       Mayor Burch thanked the residents for attending the meeting and spoke of the Walk/Bike to School/Work day. She announced the Chamber of Commerce event scheduled for Thursday, May 5th recognizing the outstanding students of local schools.

6)         ADJOURNMENT

The Tuesday, May 3, 2016 Council Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.


                                                                                                                   Alice Burch, Mayor


Barbara A. Estep, MMC

Village Clerk