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: