Thursday, July 2, 2015

I Cover The Waterfront

There was a workshop to discuss the issues regarding the waterfront buildings that never filed their required public easements for bay front access.  Actually it was more of a Flash Mob brought in from Vice Mayor Jorge Gonzalez's building, with a few more people from the Condotel Eloquence and from the two buildings on Treasure Island.  

The vice and the mayor were there along with Commissioner Chervony.  It started out civilly enough with the village manager presenting a slide show of the buildings in question and their current landscaping and construction.  The buildings are:

  • 360 Development - 7900 Harbor Island Drive
  • Cielo 7935-37 East Drive
  • The Adagio 7939 East Drive
  • Eloquence 7928-7930 East Drive
  • Blue Bay  7927-7929 West Drive
  • Space 01  7934 West Drive
  • Bay View Terrace  1625 JFK Causeway
  • Bridgewater  1881-1909 JFK Causeway
  • MODA 8000 West Drive
  This was followed by the Village Attorney making his report, which can be summed up as finding
  •  Each of these buildings was required to register an easement.
  • They did not.
  • The requirements vary in language, not in substance.  These buildings are  required to file public easements with the county and the intent is to give the public access to the bay.  

George Orwell: “Omission is the most powerful form of lie”

There are a few more facts that were relevant.  
  • Four of the projects - Space 01, Blue Bay, The Bridgewater and MODA - were voted on and approved by Mayor Kreps when she sat on the commission.  
  • Several of the others were approved by the current head of Planning & Zoning when he was on the commission.  
  • The Village Manager and the Village Attorney both noted frequently that these approvals were by a different commission and there was no way to know what the commissions intended.  
  • The current commission has known about this issue for at least two years and ignored it. 
  • Vice Mayor Gonzalez serves as both vice mayor of North Bay Village and president of Fortress 360. 
So the stage was set.  The only advertisement for the meeting was the posted paper signs on at the intersections.   It never made it to the calendar nor was an agenda published.  No notification was given to the community at large beyond the signs and most people didn't know.  

Fortress 360 however mounted a full frontal assault and one after the other got up and made the following points.  
  • Nobody told us that this condition existed. 
  • If the public is allowed access to the public land, crime will be rampant and the children in danger. 
  • Property values will plummet.  
At the beginning of the meeting, Vice Mayor Gonzalez noted to the speakers that there was a 3 minute limit on their comment.  The Mayor then called him a bitch  and said people could talk as long as they would like and it was her call - not really, changing the established procedures of a village meeting requires an affirmative vote by the quorum but she and Gonzalez are fighting recently so the hell with Sunshine.  

The mayor did actually cut off one of the three people to speak about the need to open the agreed space, a major supporter of hers, but she never liked him.   I spoke about the subject and at that point, Gonzalez skulked off the dais, leaving only 2 present and under the Sunshine Law, breaking quorum which means the meeting should have been over but it was never a real meeting anyway.  Just a chance for Gonzalez to bully his way around the law.  

Finally, after all was said and said and said, the Mayor lied and said she ignorant of the subject.  Then Gonzalez and she yelled at Chervony for not speaking.  Berating and insulting their fellow commissioner, lying by omission and directly, and cutting off constructive discussion.  

Welcome to the Kreps Reign of Positivity and say Goodbye to the BayWalk.  

Kevin Vericker
July 1, 2015

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