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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