Eugene Flinn tries for Palmetto Bay mayor a third time with rematch

Former and founding Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn will run for the village’s top seat again, challenging current incumbent Mayor Karyn Cunningham in what amounts to a rematch.

Cunningham beat Flinn with 61% of the vote in 2018 when he was the incumbent. It was his second stint on the job, after he snatched it from former Mayor Shelley Stanczyk in 2014. Once again, he says, the current mayor just isn’t up to snuff and he wants to “get our village back on track.”

“It has become increasingly evident that the current administration has lost its way,” Flinn said in a statement. “The Village’s policies run in stark contrast from the quaint, peaceful bedroom community our Village was always meant to be. It’s now being overdeveloped, overtaxed, and overburdened by bad policy decisions.”

Read related: Eugene Flinn wants his job back as Palmetto Bay mayor

He told Ladra that the taxes have increased since he was mayor and that tge stormwater fees have gone up 245%. He also said Village residents pay a 6% franchise fee for electricity that the rest of the county does not pay. He also feels that the Village is not getting what it deserves from the county and state and said he would be more aggressive with grants.

“There’s a lot of money we’re leaving on the table,” Flinn told Ladra, adding that he brought $24 million to the village during his administrations. He also said that the residents have been ignored.

These two were friendly when they served on the Village Council together

“I want to go back to our original form of government. We were very inclusive and resident centric,” he said. “We did make a promise to our voters that we could do it better than Miami-Dade. When we incorporated, we wanted to increase the voice of the people.

“My first act as Mayor,” he said in his statement, “will be to draw from our original vision and return to the principles that made this beautiful community one of the jewels of Miami-Dade by renewing a resident-driven form of government that engages and listens to the needs of the residents once again and not to special interests seeking to exploit it.

Read related: Palmetto Bay Council denies Village Center plan to build 485 homes, retail

“I am committed to stopping overdevelopment, pursuing a definite solution to our traffic challenges, and reclaiming Palmetto Bay’s original motto – ‘The Village of Parks,’” Flinn added.

Except that most recently, the Village Council has denied large developments, like the plan to build 485 homes at the old Burger King headquarters.

Cunningham was at a village meeting Monday night and provided the following statement:

“I’m proud of the work I’ve done on behalf of the village to ensure we have safe neighborhoods, a fiscally sound budget that is lower today than four years ago and a true commitment to strengthen our community without the overdevelopment that threatens our quality of life,” the mayor said via text.

“I’m prepared to take that message directly to the voters as I’ve done over the last few months as I know I’ll continue to earn their trust and support.”

The village website lists a third mayoral candidate who is not expected to get much traction: Alan “AlJohn” Farquharson.

Council members Patrick Fiore and Marsha Matson are also up for re-election. Matson has a challenge from  Russell Thomas Jones. But there is still some time. Qualifying begins Aug. 1 and ends at noon Aug. 12.