Letter to the editor
Editor’s note: Phyllis Frey is a resident of Vero Beach
Time is passing and the City Council should have already done the major repairs and upgrades at the marina. But instead, they are moving forward with Phase 1 of the plan, which does NOT address the immediate needs of the main marina complex. The plan includes building a massive new boat storage and a parking lot on the South Complex, which is also the only part of the marina that is not protected by the City Charter.
Charter protection means that the City cannot sell or lease a listed property without consent of the voters. These properties belong to the citizens. The South Complex was never placed in the City Charter. But it is clearly a part of the marina, and the citizens deserve a voice in its use.
Over the past several months, citizens have peacefully petitioned the Council to address the immediate needs. They have asked for the market studies that would justify the City moving forward. Instead, Council ignored the people’s voice, prioritizing the construction of a boat barn over the refurbishment of dilapidated docks, and demolishing an existing city owned resource (Waddell building).
Florida law protects the right of its citizens to weigh in on important issues at the ballot box. So, in response to recent events, a citizen-led referendum is planned. Petitions have been circulated and a required quota must be met to get the referendum on the ballot in November. Why is this important? Because it will give all citizens a voice in the development of city-owned, Charter-protected property, including ALL of the marina property.
I believe the people’s voice matters. It is concerning that this City Council is out of touch and not listening to the people they serve. The question is, Why?