Why is City Council “discussing” a referendum on the Three Corners properties this Tuesday?

COMMENTARY

Will this Charter-protected public land be turned over to commercial developers?

 

RICHARD WINGER

Editor’s note: Richard Winger is a three-time City Councilman and Mayor who is concerned about the City Council’s direction, especially regarding the Three Corners properties on 17th Street.

At the last City Council, May 21st  the Mayor said we need a “Clear Next Step” on what do with the Power Plant land, and by implication the adjacent Sewer Plant land.

The 5:00, next Tuesday, June 4th Agenda now has this topic:

9.         CITY ATTORNEY MATTERS

  1. A) Discussion about authorizing of the city attorney to determine the time frame and draft ordinance(s) to allow for a voter referendum for a proposed amendment to the city charter 5.05(a) and items (12) and (13) for the Novemember (sic) election.”

Really!

In the past two years with this City Council, “discussions” have often become votes.

We the people need to be consulted first as to what we would like on this piece of land, which cannot be changed from Recreation and Green Space without changing our City Charter via a referendum.  We need to keep that protection until we have a known, and firm alternative, not buy a Pig in the Poke!

More than a year will elapse before Florida Power and Light will vacate the current building and land.  There is no rush for a “Clear Next Step” without doing what prior City Councils have promised, and prior City Commissions have recommended.  That promise is to consult us as what we want.  We have been promised a consulting firm would be hired to hold public input meetings and advise City Council what we want on our land.  There is time to talk to us, the owners, that is clearly the “Next Step!”

This is the same Council who:

  • Wanted a hotel/tract homes on the golf course land. Then resisted merging the land into Dodgertown for the benefit of Major League Baseball.
  • Sold the downtown Post Office.
  • Negatively discussed the future of Leisure Square.
  • Wanted to put a Brewery in River House.
  • Wanted to lease the Marina vs. bring it back to standard.
  • Wanted to contract out the Charter City Attorney Position.

We know the developers are lined up to get what is the most valuable piece land on the Treasure Coast.

Would you trust any five politicians with your pocketbook, or land, knowing politicians are motivated by Power, Ism’s, and MONEY?

The clear “Next Step” is City Council tell us what is proposed to go on this land before there is any referendum.  Then the referendum has to clearly state what we decided.

We need you to be present Tuesday and simply say “Hell NO!  This does not go on the November ballot.”

 

4 comments

  1. Sneaky, backdoor approach to this City Council usurping the public’s right to control the destiny of this prime property. It suggests that the CC want to wheel and deal their personal preferences for most important waterfront property in the county. Dick Winger’s “Hell NO” is way too kind. This is an abomination.

  2. The City has a great asset in Youth Sailing Foundation which requires a small piece of the “Three Corners” land because there are no other property options along the River with the necessary water depth. I founded Youth Sailing Foundation in Vero Beach ten years ago. Since then we have had 1500 Indian River County children take advantage of our FREE programs teaching sailing to our youth ages 9 to 18. In addition to our high school, adult, and Saturday classes, Youth Sailing Foundation works with 3 local elementary/middle schools picking up children after school and transporting them by bus to our facility at the Waste Water Treatment Plant where we teach the kids sailing, ecology, and stewardship of our river. To continue offering our FREE programs to many more local children, Youth Sailing Foundation requires a long term lease at the Wastewater Treatment Plant Property. This long term lease will give us the ability to continue to raise the funds necessary to build a building to consolidate our operations and expand our programs.

    Charlie Pope

  3. Here we go again. The hidden agenda of certain Councilors is not “so hidden”. Thanks for keeping us informed.
    We must be vigilant.

  4. No surprise here, really. At least some who supported the power sale did so largely because they are interested in access to the land for commercial development. It will be telling to see who puts up money in an effort to dupe voters into approving this referendum. When Val Zudans ran for the Council, I reported that selling off City assists would be a key part of his agenda. As a candidate, Zudans dismissed the reporting as “fake news.” In truth, what is fake are his claims to be acting in the best interest of the public.

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