Preserving the Residential Character of Boca Teeca

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

City Staff Not Cooperating with Park District

City staff are not cooperating with the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District in their effort to acquire the Ocean Breeze golf course property.  The city has provided an Inter-Local Agreement (ILA) which is the normal process for cooperative efforts between the City and the GBRBPD.  This ILA provides the repayment and other terms of the lending of funds to the GBRBPD for the acquisition of the property, BUT the terms are so onerous that the GBRBPD commissioners could never agree to what the city staff has proposed.

First, the city has a requirement that they will control the golf course property until the loan is paid off to the city.  This is akin to a bank demanding the use of your home until the mortgage is paid off.  Also, none of the past ILA agreements have such an intolerable requirement.

Secondly, the city is requiring that the GBRBPD pay the salaries and benefits of the current golf course employees during any period when the current golf course is closed and the Boca Natinoal golf course opens.  The GBRBPD has not even agreed to use the staff of the current golf course and in no way should the GBRBPD be liable for these employees.  Isn't the city getting $65 million from the sell of the current municipal golf course?  Obviously the city is not planning to use any of these funds to cooperate with the GBRBPD in providing an upgrade recreational facility to the residents.

Thirdly, the city is requiring a penalty for early repayment of the loan, whereas, this term is typically not in the borrowing via municipal bonds that normally have the ability to be repaid after 10 years.  The city is only acting as a pass-through entity on this loan, so why is the city trying to make a profit off of the GBRBPD when they are already getting a $65 million windfall?

The GBRBPD has fully cooperated with the city in current ILAs that has the city employees operating the parks, so that over $16 million in the current fiscal year is being paid to the city for these services.  Maybe the GBRBPD should cancel that ILA and hire an outside service to maintain and operate the parks which could result in a large savings to the GBRBPD.  

Or, the city can act as the cooperative agent that has allowed the city residents to enjoy well maintained beaches and parks and provide the loan without any restrictions and pass through the funds as has been historically done in these property acquisitions that result in expanded parks throughout our city.  This is NOT a good effort on the part of the city which has expanded the population dramatically without providing sufficient funding to recreational facilities or schools within the area.

Now is a good time to call & email your city council members to let them know your opinions on their uncooperative efforts.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Ocean Breeze Update

At this week's meeting of the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District it was announced that the city and Park District are coordinating for a Feb. 28th closing on the closed golf course property.  Thank you Keep Golf In Boca for continuing to advocate for almost 2 years for all resident golfers who will officially have a championship level golf course within the city.

The Park District received an excellent response to their RFP for golf course architects to be in charge of the rehabilitation of the 27 hole golf course.  The interested architects included such well known organizations as Nicklaus, Norman, Reese Jones, Nick Price, Robert Trent Jones, McCumber/Fazio and many other designers.  For a full list of the respondents please see the web site for the Park District.  This is great news for all golfers in the area as this illustrates the interest from the top golf course designers who want to make Boca National a world class golf course facility.

Happy Holidays to All Residents of Boca Raton.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

City Council Not Briefed on Ocean Breeze

At the 12/11 workshop meeting of the city council it was obvious that the city's assistant manager, George Brown, did not brief anyone on the council, or the city manager on the timeline and process underway at the Park District to acquire the closed Ocean Breeze golf course.  It was a clear case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing as the council members and the city manager appeared to not have an accurate understanding of what was going on, UNTIL Mr. Brown informed them that he had met earlier in the day with Park District executive director Koski.  He informed the city council that the seller has a fiscal year end of 2/28/18 and they wanted to get the sell of the property closed prior to this date.

BUT, at the present time the deadline for the contract between Lennar/Wells Fargo & the Park District is 1/26/18 so it would appear that a 1-month extension is being negotiated by Mr. Koski in order to meet the losers deadline.  Thank you to the majority of the city council for inquiring about this issue (after the public comments by Harold Chaffe, Leader of Keep Golf In Boca) which should be on the next several agendas and not require pulling teeth/info from city staff who are informed on the issue.

Why hasn't the Park District provided an Intralocal Agreement to the city for their approval which takes 2 meetings of the council?

If the city council overwhelmingly approves the Intralocal Agreement by 1/23/18, then will the Park District commissioners consider using the plentiful funds in their bank account, over $45 million, in order to pay the $24 million and then obtain the required funding from the city to fund the purchase?
     *It would appear that the very well financed Park District could ease the timing of the closing by
       simply writing the check to buy the property at the end of January and then work with the city
       on completing the lending agreement.  After all, most of the Park District's expenses are checks
       to the city for the maintenance of the parks owned by the Park District, so this should be an easy
       transition of funds from the City to the Park District whenever they get around to getting a bank
       loan or proceeds from a bond issue.

Next meeting of the Park District is Monday December 18th at 5:15pm at Sugar Sand Park.  This is the last meeting of the year and it could be an interesting discussions not how they will pay for the purchase of the Ocean Breeze property and their cash flow planning.