letter to the editor
florence ann roberts
Editor’s note: Florence Ann Roberts is a citizen of Vero Beach
On June 7, the Vero Beach City Council voted to proceed with Phase 1 of the Marina Master Plan. Unfortunately, Phase 1 does NOT address the immediate needs of the main marina complex. Instead, it includes building a massive new boat shed and parking lot on the South Complex, which also happens to be the only part of the marina which 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, to be used for the citizens’ recreational, cultural, or other beneficial purposes. By a quirk of timing, 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.
The Marina needs refurbishment. It does not need a massive boat barn situated on a too-narrow lot sandwiched between a park and a residential condominium. By prioritizing the construction of the boat barn over the refurbishment of dilapidated docks, Council is ignoring both the demands of prudence and the desires of the people. Compounding this error by demolishing an existing City-owned resource (the Waddell office building) further confounds reason.
What can residents do now? 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. The Vero Beach Preservation Alliance is leading the effort to collect the required signatures to place the referendum on the November ballot.
No matter where you stand on the issue, if you have not received it in your mailbox, PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE REFERENDUM PETION CARD.
Print, complete, sign, and mail immediately, or deliver to a VBPA representative.
This is NOT a vote. It does not matter whether or not you support the City’s plans for the marina. What DOES matter is that the citizens have a voice in the development of City-owned property, and that means ALL of the marina property, along with other Charter-protected properties.
If you want a say in how our City’s properties are developed, download, print, sign and mail the referendum petition card now.
*Either drop off or mail to VBPA at 505 Beachland Blvd. PMB 245, Vero Beach 32963