Thursday, November 14, 2013

And Now, The 18 Essential Miami Hotels, November '13 - Hotel 18 - Curbed Miami

In today's new release of Curbed Miami's Hotel 18 map, we're once again attacking the question, "Where should I stay in Miami" While our first version of this map included 38 choices, we've carefully editing this version down to 18. In this smaller, leaner selection, we've made some tough choices to bring you the best of the best, and only those hotels considered most essential via reader and expert recommendations

And Now, The 18 Essential Miami Hotels, November '13 - Hotel 18 - Curbed Miami

Monday, November 11, 2013

Coconut Grove Incorporation

To the residents of Coconut Grove

I would like to welcome the new Village Council members and give you your first assignment. As you know after the last attempt to incorporate the city commission allowed the Grove to establish our own elected Village Counsel so that we would have some say in the future of the Grove. Well you can see how well that has worked! They have continually moved in a direction opposite of what, it appears, the majority of the Grove wants. The last letter that Commissioner Mark Sarnoff sent supporting Grove Harbor should have been considered a slap in the face, by our elected Grove representative, to every Grove resident. He made it very clear that he did not care what we thought and that all the residents of the city would decide the future of the Grove!

What did they do? They gave us a Village Counsel and immediately neutered them, no public forum (meetings in City Hall), no funding, no voice and no vote!

I have done a very brief comparison, as to the feasibility, of the recently formed Village of Pinecrest and we almost mirror each other (see charts and their attached budget).


Here is a chart of the adopted Millage and property values

Millage Rates

As you can see we are in a very good position to be able to run and maintain our own city/village. We are paying more than three times the millage for some of the worst living conditions in Florida as to general village preservation, maintenance, crime, police service, etc.!

Towns and villages all over seek autonomy and the ability to self-govern certain issues, such as zoning, often decide to incorporate as a city, known as "municipal incorporation". State laws vary on requirements, such as the amount of population needed to incorporate and the number of registered voters it takes to successfully petition for incorporation. Despite these differences, the general process remains fairly uniform. Incorporating as a city is a drawn-out process, and according to the Florida League of Cities, it can take years to accomplish.

Benefits “Home Rule”

  • Specific benefits will vary according to the state or province, but incorporation typically provides advantages in many areas, including the collection of taxes, powers to establish police and fire departments, avoiding annexation to adjacent municipalities and a hyper-local form of government likely to be more in tune with the needs of area residents.

Here are some instructions to get the ball rolling.

1. Check with the secretary of state to determine the subtle details required to incorporate as a city. You must find out the minimum population needed and how many registered voters you need to pass the petition.

2. Survey the Grove to ensure you have the minimum population required to incorporate as a city.

3. Propose a feasibility study (see attached sample). Appoint a neutral party to conduct the study in order to determine if incorporating will be fiscally sound. You must have a petition signed by a certain amount of property owners or registered voters in the area that approve the feasibility study.

4. Hold a public hearing to discuss the feasibility study and the possibility of incorporation. If the feasibility study shows that it would be beneficial for the city to incorporate, hold hearings to discuss the matter with the residents.

5. Petition for incorporation. The petition must be signed by a certain amount of property owners or registered voters depending on the state law. If the petition passes, the voters must elect city officials to govern the new city.

6. File the articles of incorporation with the secretary of state. If the petition for incorporation passes and after city officials are elected, the mayor of the new city must file articles of incorporation to formally incorporate the city. The secretary of state can provide the forms.

It will not be an easy task because being part of a city requires us to request to leave the city, which I am sure, will require some legal action, then become part of the county and then request to separate form them. All of this would have to take place almost simultaneously and cost a few bucks but look what you will be part of by forming a “Village of Coconut Grove” that will last forever. By the way we were our own city till Miami annexed us back in the 20’s.

Sample Feasibility study;
Pinecrest Budget;

Grant Sheehan
3741 De Garmo Estates
Coconut Grove, Florida 33133

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Slap In the Face to Every Coconut Grove Residents

The last e-mail sent out by Commissioner Sarnoff should be considered a slap in the face to every Grove resident. Throughout the e-mail he reminds everyone that this is a city wide vote and that “ALL” the voters of Miami will determine the future of the Grove. It is time that the Grove should consider taking control of these types of matters and incorporating Coconut Grove so we can control our own destiny. It is not an impossible task. We can follow Key Biscayne and the Village of Pinecrest model.

Friday, August 16, 2013

How to manage your online reputation

I would like to share this Blog with you.

Managing your online reputation can be a daunting task at times – whether it’s because you’ve posted something less than smart on Facebook, someone assumes your name or someone is talking about you and your business and you can’t control what they’re saying. The Internet is impossible to control, and anyone can say anything about you – that, in the end, is the beauty of the Internet. However, it’s not just about what others are saying about you, but also how you conduct yourself online, and especially on social media that can damage your reputation.

Read complete Blog here;

Miamians Unite To Oppose Massive Grove Bayfront Development

Miamians Unite To Oppose Massive
Grove Bayfront Development

NEWSFLASH...In an occurrence about as rare as snow in July, Miamians all across the city are joining together to fight the loss of yet another piece of the Coconut Grove Bayfront to commercial development.

In an attempt to thwart the construction of more than 100,000 square feet of shops, restaurants, bars and a massive quarter of a million square foot parking garage on the Bay, Miamians are uniting like never before. More than 1,000 concerned citizens have signed a petition to stop this ill-conceived development from coming to fruition. The petition "STOP GROVE HARBOR" has drawn tremedous interest and support from all corners of the city.

The petition, online for only ten days has garnered more than 1,100 signatures to stop this project. A coalition has formed to organize a unified front to defeat this TAKING of OUR PUBLIC LAND for private use. Please join us in informing our elected officials of your opposition to their plans to take yet another piece of our historically important, uniquely scenic, and irreplaceable Bayfront and hide it behind facades of industrial and commercial buildings. The Bay belongs to all Miamians.

Have Your Voice Heard...Sign The Petition!




Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Stop Grove Harbor

If you ask, I bet this is what most of the Grove thought they were going to get, up graded facilities.

This starts on page 25 of the RFP after all of the other BS and pipe dreams. Lots of renovation/ redeveloping  requirements not changing the complete face of the Grove, no retail,  NO parking Garage !

Anything more than this is just some politicians wish list. I guess they figured they might as well see how much they can get while they were at it.

Out of the RFP page 25 so far back no one will read it.

Required Renovations/Redevelopment:

The Proposer shall include a detailed renovation/redevelopment plan for the individual marina/boatyard and restaurant components of the Property, including the following below.

Proposers have the option to combine the casual and formal restaurant uses in one facility, so long as the following requirements are met.

Marina Renovations:

Renovating the two (2) hangar buildings in place to provide for best utilization of available space for dry rack storage and/or other uses. Exterior and interior of hanger buildings should be completely renovated pursuant to the City Code Section 23 in a manner compatible to the adjoining Grove Harbor Marina hangers.

The marina pavement must be designed and refurbished or reconstructed to meet applicable design criteria for appropriate vehicles and loads to result from the proposed marina use and be visually appealing.

The successful Proposer shall have the entire dock/bulkhead alongside the waterfront portions of the Property evaluated by a licensed structural engineer with background in marine/coastal projects. The City shall have the right to review, comment, and consent to the report. The successful Proposer shall renovate and/or reconstruct the dock bulkhead to address all structural deficiencies identified and shall provide an aesthetically improved wall. The successful Proposer shall maintain the dock/bulkhead wall in “new” condition for the duration of the lease.

The successful Proposer shall be required to provide no less than 400 dry racks on-site.

Casual Restaurant Renovations/Redevelopment:

The proposal shall include a detailed renovation/redevelopment plan for a casual outdoor restaurant component with a covered outdoor area and patio.

Kitchen facility shall be completely renovated or redeveloped in order to comply with all current and applicable local, state and federal code requirements including all applicable ADA requirements.

Formal Restaurant Renovations/Redevelopment:

The proposal shall include a detailed renovation/redevelopment plan for a formal restaurant component, including the following:

Kitchen facility shall be completely renovated and/or redeveloped in order to comply with all current and applicable local, state and federal code requirements including ADA compliance.

Interior of the restaurant shall be completely remodeled.

Structural modifications/reconstruction shall be made to provide full height windows to improve waterfront visibility.

Mandatory Dock Improvements:

The successful Proposer shall include the following improvements to maximize boating access and transient dockage participation reflecting concepts in the Master Plan and all applicable government regulations and agencies:

Proposers shall incorporate a new floating dock with permanent piles at the formal and informal restaurants as well as new floating finger piers with permanent piles for the fueling and boat storage operation.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stop Grove Harbor Coconut Grove, FL

Here is a good perspective of what the garage would look like that the City wants to build on Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove, FL. Is this really what everyone wants to look at as they drive into the Grove. Look how it dwarfs the other buildings.  Copy of Veleta renderings.pdf Parking Garage on Bayshore

Monday, March 18, 2013

Help is Here: NAFCU’s 2013 Credit Union Compliance GPS


Written By JiJi Bahhur, Regulatory Compliance Counsel

We talk to credit unions every day. And, we hear the same concerns, fears and frustrations:

  • How do we keep up?
  • How do we know if this is the latest information?
  • Where can I find that guidance document?
  • When will someone explain this information in plain English?
  • How do we get everyone on the same page without busting our limited training budget?

It is with these conversations in mind that we created the GPS and are pleased to announce the 2013 edition (with a very shameless plug).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Avoiding Common Social Media Mistakes

Avoiding Common Social Media Mistakes: Social media offers infinite opportunities to interact with existing and potential customers, build your brand and promote your company’s offerings to the world. However, the vastness of social media also makes it possible that your posts will disappear into cyberspace without causing the impact you imagined.

How a lifetime income annuity works

When the topic turns to annuities, people's eyes glaze over, their heads nod and before long they're in a deep slumber. I hope the following clears up a few questions I have been asked.

By Walter Updegrave @Money March 6, 2013

To avoid the above reaction (I hope), I'm going to try a different approach to explaining how annuities provide income for life -- and why anyone retired or on the verge of retirement might want to consider buying one. >>READ MORE>>How a lifetime income annuity works:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

7 Most Common 401(k) Blunders

7 Most Common 401(k) Blunders:

These retirement mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars and delay your retirement.        401k plans offer a way for individuals to save money for retirement. The retirement account offers several benefits, but many individuals don't maximize them fully by making common blunders. Some of the mistakes made when investing in a 401k plan can result in having significantly less money during retirement than if the right decisions were made when contributing to the plan.

Read more: 7 Most Common 401k Blunders |