Rybovich proposal will be on November ballot

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Residents of Riviera Beach, Fla., who oppose a city plan to lease part of the town marina to Rybovich for 25 years gained enough signatures to place questions about the marina’s future on the Nov. 2 ballot.

On Election Day, city voters will be asked to decide whether the charter should be amended to include a prohibition on the use of the marina for a “commercial boat repair operation.”

The proposed charter change also would restrict the use of submerged lands at the marina and would include requirements that the city own and operate the marina, Newcomb Hall, Bicentennial Park and Spanish Courts, a motel south of the marina, according to the Palm Beach Post.

“We made it,” Emma Bates, chairwoman of the Citizens Task Force and organizer of the petition drive, told the newspaper. “There’s going to be an all-out campaign to get people to vote for it. I think we’re going to do pretty good.”

Councilman Shelby Lowe said the referendum demonstrates that residents didn’t understand how they would benefit from the proposed lease to Rybovich.

“It only works when everybody is involved,” said Lowe, who has long pushed for a community boating center that would give more residents access to the water. “That place is not going to prosper unless you put people first.”

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2 comments on “Rybovich proposal will be on November ballot

  1. Nauticalstuff

    As always, by god don’t bring anything in our marina that may actually help keep it alive. Hope that Emma Bates has enough money to keep the marina afloat. It always amazes me the number of people that think  a marina is self sustaining without any businesses tied to it to help bring in customers and money. God forbid a reputable business come in and ruin her little piece of paradise. Wonder what they will say when the marina is gone due to lack of funding?

  2. Marine Businesswoman

    As the owner of a small business in Palm Beach County which services megayachts, I guess we will continue to do the vast majority of our business in Ft. Lauderdale.  It is clear Riviera Beach would rather remain a blighted, crime-ridden city than a beautiful, prosperous “megayacht capital of the world” like Ft. Lauderdale.  Neither the politicians nor the residents understand what a boon to business this project would be, including non-marine related businesses – restaurants, gas stations, sign makers, etc. So go ahead and continue to give the folks at Rybovich a hard time.  It won’t be long before they realize that in this economy there are now and will continue to be many opportunities in and around Florida to open a marina – then they will take their toys and go elsewhere to play.  I give up on Riviera Beach – enjoy your poverty.

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