Sunday’s Sun Sentinel, on its Opinion page, printed a small paragraph penned by Deputy Mayor Robert Weinroth. In this missive, Mr. Weinroth writes that 25 years ago Boca Raton voters approved a comprehensive ordinance to create a Redevelopment Agency authorizing some 8 million square feet of development within the downtown, an aging urban core. In this statement, Mr. Weinroth is factually accurate.
However, he makes no reference to the arguments raised concerning the more recent events of 2008; the community charrettes leading to the implementation of the Interim Design Guidelines and the much aligned Pattern Book. He also makes no mention of the developer encroachment of open space in the public realm by the encroachment on setbacks resulting from the misinterpretation of the enabling ordinance 4035 and other items leading to the congested experience in today’s downtown.
In the story line Weinroth offers, one would think that but for a “…small minority of community residents,” all is well with the situation in our downtown. That may have been the case during the last decade; a decade led by Mayors Abrams, Whelchel and Haynie along with the administration led by Leif Ahnell. Today, this is no longer the case. Today, there is a more aware resident, a more concerned and active group of informed voices with the energy and finance to question our developer friendly elected and appointed officials.
BocaWatch was conceived in 2012 with the purpose of educating the electorate on the activities within the political class of Boca Raton. Since its inception, BocaWatch has evolved in a number of ways. Today, our weekly blog is published as a function of the law office of Alfred Zucaro, Jr.
The BocaWatch website and its FaceBook presence, BocaWatch Official, now touch thousands of residents weekly. BocaWatch Official is nearing 9,000 likes and growing rapidly. Mr. Weinroth’s statement of “a small minority of our community” is wishful thinking on his part. The BocaWatch audience is real and will continue to be real as long as the Boca Raton elected official and the appointed staff continues to misrepresent and lie to the electorate.
You may notice on the home page today a new look and a new option; the option to “Donate.” The donate button leads to a new page; BocaWatch PAC. BocaWatch PAC is the political advocacy arm of the BocaWatch website. This PAC is approved by Florida’s Division of Elections to support and/or oppose candidates and issues that are being brought to the electorate for referendum. Issues like ‘pay raises’ for the elected officials will now have a watchful eye on the facts and circumstances especially with the manner in which the deceptive staff presents items to the public.
BocaWatch PAC will now also support and/or oppose individuals seeking municipal, county and state elected offices.
To this end, BocaWatch PAC is beginning the process of identifying qualified “resident friendly” candidates for the upcoming elections of March 2017, March 2018, and November 2018, all of which have a direct impact on the political landscape of Boca Raton. “Resident Friendly” is defined as individuals who will put the interests of residents in front of the interests of developers; individuals that will deny the developer class unfettered access to and influence on city administration within the offices of city hall.
Residents have come to realize that, with the recent past and current crop of elected officials, there is little hope at a fair playing field in the political process. Resident groups have aggressively taken to the courts in instances where elected officials’ actions should be challenged…..and Residents realize that the next level of participation is to field candidates in the upcoming elections to replace those “developer friendly” officials currently in office.
Please review the criteria outlined in the section under the “Donate” button. Your participation and contribution is greatly needed and will be very much appreciated….
Remember….people get the government they deserve….If we do not elect people that truly represent the sentiment of the resident, then we cannot complain about the quality of life in Boca Raton.
Al Zucaro, President and Treasurer
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