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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Last year’s City Council, aligned with the Boca Chamber of Commerce, made a full court press to make the City owned Wildflower waterfront property an 8,000 sq/ft restaurant which would deny the public “free” access to property they own and all wrapped up in a loser of a lease for the City. Though there were 3 public surveys regarding the use of the property with a majority of those surveyed asking for a park, the City Council discounted the citizen preference and the City Council, being pushed by the Chamber, chose to aggressively move to develop the property.
In protest, citizens formed a committee forcing the City to put the issue to a vote. Citizens collected 1,719 signatures in 22 days while only needing 1,030 to put the issue on the ballot. The City Council knew what the public wanted and could have acted on behalf of residents but NO and under the subterfuge of supporting citizens, gave us the vote. As it turned out, forcing the vote helped the citizens and it was great.
In July, the City, Council and Chamber of Commerce pushed to rezone the subject property as commercial without waiting for citizens to cast their vote on November 8th. Councilman Scott Singer, to his singular credit, asked the Council to wait on changing the zoning until the people spoke. The other 4 Council members said no, effectively saying – “Screw the people, we have no interest in waiting to see what they want, we will force this restaurant down residents collective throats and we will zone the land commercial”. How about that? So fair, so resident friendly and an example of representing the tax paying citizens who elected them. In November, citizens voted 2 to 1 to keep all City owned waterfront for recreation and boating activities. The four council members had been TOTALLY TONE DEAF because they wanted to please the Chamber of commerce.
Now, at Tuesdays City Council Workshop, Robert Weinroth attempted to redeem himself in the eyes of residents by putting on one of the many colored coats he stores in his “dark” closet, being the political chameleon he is. Which color coat was he wearing for Tuesdays Workshop you ask?
Clad in his resident friendly, OPEN GREEN SPACE uniform (so not Bob) Robert recommended: “The City Council rezone the Wildflower property to “Recreation” from its current commercial zoning designation.” His Tuesday, seemingly crow eating statement, was “against his better judgement” he so much as said when requesting the zoning change to recreation. He still can’t accept the vote. So, why would Robert reverse his initial commercial zoning change? Perhaps it’s because the next election is only 11 months away and Mr. Weinroth wants to suck up to residents for their possible votes. It is never too early to begin campaigning.
Please remember, in April of 2016, Mr. Weinroth stated: “I will not support resident rights to vote on how City owned waterfront land shall be used.”- Yes, he really said this. Nothing like supporting the democratic process Robert! He demonstrated his consistent disconnect from residents. That was the catalyst for resident action and the November vote. But watch and remember come next March because this shallow, now groveling, Councilman has hit the campaign trail early.
Most of us believe in reasonable development, but, Councilman Weinroth represents those developers who want to overbuild as they pay Bob’s campaign bills. Remember, he supports Mizner 200 – a huge monster. And in the past he has supported residential construction on our A1A ocean dunes, an oversized house of worship on the barrier island, Tower 155 and food delivery trucks parking on major streets in the downtown during the height of morning and evening rush hour. This is to highlight a few of Robert Weinroth’s resident “unfriendly” decisions.
I don’t think Robert Weinroth has the capacity to change. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? Robert Weinroth does not deserve a second chance because he has failed so miserably as a resident friendly Councilman.