8/13/18 City Commissioners to vote OBD

City Commission meeting to be held Aug.13,2018 @ 5:00 PM. Commissioners will vote on the OBD

“A City initiated request for the approval of the following: Public Hearing and Second Reading of Ordinance No.4783-18: an amendment to the Downtown Master Plan Element of the Comprehensive Plan in association with the creation of the new Okeechobee Business District within the Downtown Master Plan.”

Sept. 2017 when this proposal was presented to the City Commissioners it was defeated by Commissioners Materio, Moffett and Neering.  Both Commissioners James & Ryan were in favor of the project.

This entire OBD has only one purpose and that is to allow Related Group to construct a 25-story, Class A office tower, on Flagler, 400′ off the waterfront, where residents voted twice construction was not to exceed 5 stories.

This is “Spot Zoning” at it’s worst. Disrupt, and upset thousands of residents to appease one developer. The city has repeatedly denied the project was “Spot Zoning” and if you repeat the lie enough, it becomes fact. The city insults the intelligence of it’s residents.

Ask yourself- if it was defeated in Sept. 2017 how can it possibly be on the Aug. 2018 agenda for a Second reading? Well, In March 2017 we had an election with 2 commissioner seats up for grabs namely Moffett and Materio.

Here’s how the election went:
Commissioner Moffett had 2 challengers namely Martina Walker and Kelly Shoaf. The day qualifying ended Commissioner Moffett dropped out of the race leaving Walker and Shoaf in the running. Commissioner Moffett was retiring to oversee her Non Profit Organization she was about to start. Good timing. Kelly Shoaf had the backing of Related, Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Muoio.

Commissioner Materio had one challenger, Christine Lambert who was working hand in hand with Related, Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Muoio who wanted this project done come hell or high water. What can they do to make this happen? Get Lambert elected, at all costs.

Commissioner Neering was not up for re-election.

Outcome of the March 2018 election: Shoaf and Lambert elected and sworn in April 2018.

2 months later on June 2018 OBD was back on the agenda, and passed unanimously . I imagine the champagne was flowing at Related and the Chamber of Commerce.

2 months later Aug. 2018 the second reading will take place and I believe it will pass again unanimously.

Champagne will flow again, Related will win and residents will lose. Did anyone really expect the city to look after the taxpayer?
In my opinion Mayor Muoio would never have pushed this project as hard as she did if this were her first term because she would have never seen a second one. She has nothing to lose and maybe something to gain.

Commissioners James and Ryan have much to lose. James is term limited out and has nowhere to go but try for the mayors seat in the upcoming March 2019 election. Ryan who has never had a challenger has thrown her hat in the ring for the mayors seat also. To run for mayor she must resign her commission seat.

Unfortunately, many members of the public have a short memory when it comes to politics, but with only 7 months to election I believe Monday’s vote will be remembered. Let’s hope.

The mayor and commissioners will invite folks to the meeting who will speak favorably for the OBD. If you are against the project please join us on Monday Aug. 13 @5:00 PM and let your thoughts be known.

Below are 2 letters sent to the city from the Palm Beach County and Florida of Transportation along with an article from the Palm Beach Post all concerning the OBD. Please take the time to read them, as the city wont share them with residents unless you learn about them and request a PRR.

Florida Department of Transportation , consisting of 3 pages
Sent: 8/7/2018
To: City Administrator, Rick Greene
From: Director of Transportation Development
Read letter below
West Palm Beach 18-1ESR FDOT Comment Letter (1)

Palm Beach County, consisting of 12 pages
OBD Objection Letter
Sent: 8/3/2018
To: City Administrator, Rick Greene
From: Assistant County Administrator, Patrick Rutter
Read letter below.
OBD Objection Letter 080318

Read PB Post story below
PB Post Article