The Boca Raton city coucil workshop meeting on Monday provided further insight into the uncooperative efforts of the city staff in providing consistent direction to the city council. The Interlocal Agreement proposed by the City Staff was very "aggressive" and was not consistent with the past Interlocal agreements in which the city financed the acquisition of Sugar Sand Park and Ocean Strand. In both of these agreements the title to the property was held jointly and there were no other requirements or restrictions regarding the properties. Both of these loans were paid-off early and the city transferred the title to the Beach & Park District (BPD) without any unresolved issues.
Council member Rogers seems to be particularly out of touch with this process as he had several questions about issues that were not even part of the draft Interlocal Agreement. At the end of an hour-long discussion the City Council determined that there was too many unresolved issues in order to make a decision on the initial ordinance to start the lending process. It is strongly recommended that council members who have questions attend the Jan. 16th meeting of the BPD at 5:15pm at Sugar Sand Park/most council members indicate that they were available on the 16th at this meeting.
The city council appears to be poorly informed about the cooperative financial arrangements that the Beach & Park District has with the city, that is, 70% of the tax receipts paid to the BPD are paid to the city for maintaining the parks. The BPD has used over $13 million of their funds for improving city-owned de Hornle Park and would like to spend another $7 million to expand that park on adjacent city-owned land.
Regarding the city's attempt to force the BPD to hire current city employees at the current municipal golf course, the city is getting $65 million from the sell of that property so they should have realized these employees would not have a job at the city once this property was sold. But, there is an easy solution to this issue, that is, the city could use $6-7 million of these proceeds to buy the Hidden Valley closed golf course and turn this into a city-owned park and these employees could be reassigned to maintaining this park. Mr. Tuttle stated at the P&Z meeting that he would be willing to sell this property at the same per acre price that the BPD is paying for the Ocean Breeze property which would be $6-7 million.
City council members coming up for re-election should be very mindful that if this deal is not completed by Feb. 28th, then there may not be an incentive for thousands of local residents & golfers to vote for their re-election a few days later. Residents may also which to email or call the city council at 561-393-7708 in order to communicate their displeasure with the lack of cooperation by the city.
The next meetings of the city council are Jan. 22nd at 1:30pm and Jan. 23rd at 6pm. It would be expected that the Ocean Breeze issue will be on the agenda under the BPD Interlocal agreement discussion, so be prepared to attend this meeting and speak in favor of a cooperative Interlocal agreement so this 2-yr process can be completed amicably.