This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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After years of fighting, the residents on November 8th passed the referendum reserving for the residents all lands along the Intracoastal Waterway for recreational purposes only by an overwhelming majority.
Development interests, fronted by a non-profit organization headed up by former Chamber of Commerce President Mike Arts, mounted opposition to the residents’ referendum petition by raising money to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a losing effort to advance the commercialization of Boca Raton waterfront properties.
During this political battle, underwritten by Chamber of Commerce/Developer interests along with the Hillstone Restaurant Group, threats of a court challenge were made in an intimidating manner to sway the outcome.
Well, now after a dramatic, embarrassing defeat at the hands of the voters, the Chamber/Development interests have proceeded to court to achieve through a legal challenge what they could not achieve through the elective process….
Talk about sore losers….
On 1/9/17, a complaint was filed in the circuit court Palm Beach County challenging the results of the petition referendum (see Complaint below.) This complaint has been received in City Hall and will be the object of a legal defense by the City Attorney. Additional pleadings will be forthcoming over the next few weeks or months in defense of this legal challenge.
What is questionable however is whether the City Council/Administration will mount a vigorous legal defense for the residents?
Three of the five City Council members actively campaigned to defeat the residents’ referendum. The Council as a whole created the opportunity for this lawsuit’s challenge. The Council, over the objection of residents, changed the zoning designation to commercial on the site knowing full well that there was a resident driven referendum vote in the process. Not to be too conspiratorial but…
How can the 28,000 residents who voted in favor of retaining green space in a city that seems hell-bent on developing every available parcel trust that their interests will be protected by a City Council and City Attorney who are openly opposed to the outcome they are obligated to defend?
Residents in Boca Raton must come to realize that the current elected leadership is overly influenced by the Chamber and Developer interests; that those influences cannot and will not stand for the proposition that the residents won; and that the only way to change this is to change the leadership on the City Council and in the City Administration.
Lawsuits take time; lots of time….this legal challenge will be here way beyond the March election….so…remembers…
Your vote is your voice; let your voice be heard on March 14th and vote for the candidates that represent the voice of the resident…RESIDENT FRIENDLY candidates….they will be easily identified!
Check out WPTV’s coverage below of BocaWatch Publisher Al Zucaro filing to run for Boca Mayor:
Below is the complaint filed challenging the resident’s referendum:
Run AL run!!! MBGA. Make Boca Great Again!
My working assumption is that this lawsuit was filed with the tacit approval of our City Council and it’s not hard to figure out which member was the principal mover. Reprehensible.
YOUR VOTE DOES NOT COUNT
Community notables, former Chamber of Commerce presidents Mike Arts, Randy Nobels, Jerry Fidele and Chamber CEO Troy McLellan have mounted an attack upon your vote to preserve our waterfront parks as stated in the above article.
And, all of this with the complicit help of Mayor Susan Haynie, Robert Weinroth, Jeremy Rodgers and Mike Mullaugh.
Robert Weinroth stated publicly he would not support your right to vote on the issue – Rodgers, though he said he would support the vote and Mullaugh sit by and let it happen. They know what’s going on. Mayor Haynie? She said she will honor the “will of the people”, but watch as these four elected officials cave to the financial pressure and support from the Chamber and developer crowd. How they react to the suit will speak volumes about their loyalties to those who elected them. My bet is they will back down to the Chamber and development crowd because three of them want their support and money at the expense of the residents.
Take an interest in your community. Make your voice heard and vote truly count on March 14.
You are selfish but I give you credit for leading the sheep to the pools to do your bidding. I hope Gerry Richman is true to form.
I meant polls.
Developers have milked millions from the city while using Chambers leading as their front-men, all at the expense of the residential community. Now they seek to take away the vote of the resudents whom they have always ignored in order to line their pockets. March 14th cannot come fast enough so the residents can take back control of our city.
Boca Raton owns the property and the residents of Boca Raton are the ones who can determine the uses of land and properties the City of Boca Raton owns. Now is the time to elect rational development members who will balance public and private use without being tied to special interest groups. The referendum was the option chosen by the residents and they overwhelmingly approved the chosen use of the property. The lawsuit represents people who have no standing in our community except financial one. This case should be thrown out as baseless and an affront to our democratic values.
The only hope is the Gerald Richman is still an attorney who knows amd files suit if it’s a winner, is right this time. The referendum was bogus. There is no other ICW city owned land or park which will be developed. Ever. A win in the suit and defeat of Mr.Zucaro plus defeat of Ms. O’Rourke ensures more great development.