Accomplishments

Mayor Karyn Cunningham has spearheaded a number of initiatives during her time as Councilwoman and Mayor.

Our Parks

We are the Village of Parks and our public spaces are the places our community gathers. Under Mayor Cunningham’s leadership, the Village has taken steps to acquire more land to expand parks within the community and increase the tree canopy.

 

  • Initiated and passed policy to create funding for purchase of pocket parks and waterfront property.
  • Initiated and passed policy to identify walk up neighborhood parks 
  • Increased programming for all ages- including initiating Senior programming and field trips
  • Advocated for and voted for the popular Saturday Farmer’s Market at Coral Reef Park
  • Passed a budget that includes funding for a new Coral Reef Recreation facility
  • Passed a budget that includes design for newly acquired Veterans’ Park
  • Passed a budget that includes the creation of a Maintenance Fund for the maintenance of our public buildings and assets.
  • Improvements at Palmetto Bay Park including our basketball courts, playground, and skate park
Traffic and Transit

Traffic continues to be of great concern. As you know, in Palmetto Bay, the most consequential traffic decisions rest on the hands of the county. The Village has worked collaboratively to provide local solutions to our traffic issues.

 

  • Established the first of a kind Park and Ride using the Village’s IBus to transport commuters to the county’s Metrorail System to reduce vehicular traffic and the carbon footprint of the community.
  • Brought the services of Freebee to our community so that residents can leave their cars at home to travel locally in the Village
  • Initiated policy for support of Rail in South Dade and supported the County plan to provide BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) 
  • Strongly opposed bridging of 87th avenue and other areas of Palmetto Bay 
  • Worked in collaboration with the County and voted in support of Old Cutler Road traffic circle design for 136th street and 67th avenue to increase traffic flow
  • Initiated no right turns and dedicated enforcement dollars in the Malbrook area. 
  • Advocated at the local, state and federal level for funding for transit infrastructure projects
  • Voted and funded to initiate the beautification project on US1
Our Schools

Strong schools are the foundation for great communities and our Village is home to great schools. I have worked collaboratively with our School Board and private institutions to:

 

  • Increase the presence of Village police officers at public and private schools to help keep schools safer.
  • Promote partnerships between our local businesses and schools 
  • Fund school-based programs through our Community Policing Unit such as RAD Kids, DARE, and Do the Right Thing. 
  • Create the first Youth Community Engagement Board in the Village and served as a liaison to their many activities and projects
  • Host the Annual Principals’ Breakfast and Kid’s Town Hall to garner input from our schools and our youngest residents
Our Business Community

Our Mom and Pop businesses are the backbone of our community. To support them, Mayor Cunningham has:

 

  • Created partnerships with the Economic Development Council and the Palmetto Bay Business Association and Chamber south to develop strategies for the community’s businesses to rebound and thrive.
  • Hosted the first ever business lunch and learn to provide resources for Mom and Pop businesses in partnership with Chamber South, PBBA and FFCFC
  • Worked closely with local businesses and our Manager during the pandemic to provide support and CDC guidance.  The Village opened over 100 new businesses during the height of the pandemic. 
  • Launched a business survey for local businesses to see how we can better support them
Sustainability

To plan for the future of our Village and create a more sustainable Palmetto Bay, Mayor Cunningham has prioritized environmental education and policy that protects our environment and our fragile ecosystem.

 

  • Initiated a policy that will reduce flood risk through our CRS (Community Rating Scale) 
  • Passed policy to allow our residents to apply for matching funds to improve water quality
  • Increased budget for drain cleaning and tree trimming
  • Eliminated the use of dangerous pesticides in our park and public spaces
  • Partnered with local, state and national organizations, like Everglades Foundation and American Flood Coalition to provide educational opportunities for the community

 

Fiscal Responsibility and Transparency

Since taking office as Mayor, Mayor Cunningham has taken important steps to make our Village fiscally sound and more responsive to our residents.

 

  • Our taxes are lower than when I first took office in 2014 and one of the lowest amongst cities in Miami-Dade County 
  • Secured nearly 2 million dollars in grants from 2018-2021 for local Village projects
  • Advocated for and passed a budget that prioritizes our parks, streets, and maintenance items like drain cleaning, tree trimming, sidewalk replacement and draining cleaning. 
  • Initiated apps like Street by Street, Palmetto Bay Connect and IBus tracker
  • Decreased permitting fees for residents by 25-percent so those who are making upgrades to their homes can do so with less costs. 
  • Created the first Citizen’s Academy giving residents and business owners an opportunity to learn more about the governmental process and work of the Village of Palmetto Bay
  • Supported budget transparency by placing our check register and annual budget online
  • Fully redesigned website, that will be easier to navigate and more appealing to use.
  • Held four visioning sessions and created a Strategic Plan to serve as a road map for our budget that includes benchmarks
Development

Mayor Cunningham has led the way in holding the line on development by decreasing height and density in our downtown area and keeping transit-oriented development on the commercial corridor.

 

  • Passed policy that created a process for reviewing and making significant changes to the Downtown Palmetto Bay Code
  • Passed the new Downtown Palmetto Bay zoning code which lowered building heights and eliminated developer incentives for higher density
  • Passed a maximum 45 ft. building height Village-wide to reduce density throughout the Village
  • Voted for the first project that provided for set-asides for senior housing in a multi-family development in Downtown Palmetto Bay
  • Stood firm in opposition to the county’s plans for preempting our zoning and other initiatives that will negatively impact the fabric of our community
  • Passed policy in opposition of moving the Urban Development Boundary in South Dade. 
  • Voted in opposition to increased density east of Old Cutler Road
Public Safety

Our residents have said that public safety is a number one priority.

  • Decreased crime by over 47% in the Village
    Passed a budget that increased the number of Police Officers on staff
  • Passed policy to increase security/police presence at local events
  • Voted for additional equipment and training including night gear, motorized vehicles for events, and water equipment for canal patrols
  • Budgeted for police canal patrols to protect wildlife and keep our waterways safe for those who enjoy kayaking and boating 
  • Held a Public Safety Town Hall and passed policy to initiate and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and collaborate with police, schools, and places of worship to be better prepared to assist the community for any natural disaster or local emergency situation.

I am excited for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. How we deal with future development, environmental concerns, traffic and transit will impact our quality of life for years to come. I am proud of all that has been accomplished, but our work is not done. With your support, I look forward to continuing to move our Village forward while continuing to maintain the fabric and vibe that we have all come to call home.