Boynton Beach CRA

Tonight’s meeting is VERY IMPORTANT

7/20: 6:00pm, Special Community Redevelopment Agency Board meeting: City Hall, Commission Chambers, (view Agenda).

This editorial from the Palm Beach Post tells you:

In Boynton, two options: Bring CRA under city staff, or suspend agency director.

“Boynton Beach city commissioners have only two credible options at today’s special meeting to deal with the infighting over the community redevelopment agency.

The CRA director has sued the city over its response to her public records request. That same director, Lisa Bright, refused to let the mayor and a resident into the agency’s office; they wanted public records. A resident checking public records found that Ms. Bright had joined the board of Strategic Broadcast Media Group, a not-for-profit seeking to buy WXEL’s broadcast licenses. Ms. Bright said she joined to keep the public TV and radio stations in Boynton Beach, but left in February when Strategic focused on raising $4 million. Corporate records, however, date her departure to July, after the matter had been raised publicly.

Ms. Bright also never told the commission of her involvement, which is particularly noteworthy because Commissioner Marlene Ross is a WXEL employee. Strategic’s president, Joseph Ferrer, received $170,000 over three years for work at the annual downtown holiday event. Ms. Bright also has listed Mr. Ferrer’s home as her own. In an interview, she claimed that she never lived there, using his address to help her daughter attend a middle school outside of her assigned zone. Finally, Ms. Bright and the CRA’s second-ranking employee have started a company together, raising questions about how they spend their city time.

Ms. Bright argues that Mayor Jose Rodriguez and his supporters want to discredit her because they want to control agency projects. She retains a lifeline of support from Commissioners Ross, Woodrow Hay and Bill Orlove. They are moving forward with plans to cede control of the agency to a seven-member citizens board. Among the applicants commissioners will consider early next month is former Mayor Jerry Taylor, who has remained active in city politics.

No matter whom commissioners name to an oversight board, the CRA is a city agency, and they are ultimately responsible. It makes no sense for them to pass off this mess. Ms. Bright may have damaged her credibility beyond repair. She appears to be preparing for a legal battle against the city, rather than doing what it takes to retain her job.

If commissioners believe, nonetheless, that Ms. Bright deserves to stay, they could hand oversight of the CRA to the capable city manager, Kurt Bressner, until allegations against Ms. Bright are investigated, or suspend Ms. Bright with pay. That August deadline for transfer to an independent board is now unrealistic.”

12 comments to BOYNTON BEACH CRA

  • Pat

    Or the third option is to remove Jose from Lisa like a couple of little kids fighting. I’m hopeful that when we get an independent CRA board, things will be better. Also, I heard that there were about 30 good applicants for the board. Nobody gets fired, we all go back to important issues in our city’s development, and sigh some relief.

  • Kathy Bauer

    Sorry but Ms. Bright is not credible – too many questions about her fingers in too many pies. The ELECTED Mayor and Commissioners should be in control of all agency projects. Doesn’t anyone remember when Mayor Taylor had to step in because of lack of fiscal responsibility in this Agency? And now he is a candidate for that same Agency? When are we going to finally have HONESTY, INTEGRITY and TRANSPARENCY in Boynton Beach? Let’s not let history repeat itself here. How could Commissioners Ross, Hay and Orlove continue to support Bright when she has not been honest? I hope our ELECTED officials support Mayor Rodriguez’s campaign promise to bring back HONESTY, INTEGRITY and TRANSPARENCY!

  • Barb

    Lisa Bright showed professionalism and credibility at the 7/20 meeting. Rodriguez showed no concrete evidence against her and he showed little respect for the intelligence of our citizenry. Hay showed us that Rodirguez is a drunk that puts our citizens at risk. That meeting showed once and for all that Rodriguez is hiding something. So glad the truth came out.

  • Pat

    HA HA! Is that Kathy Bauer exposing the TRANSPARENT DISREGARD FOR HONEST AND INTEGRITY shown by our mayor who was only ELECTED BY 3% of the people?

  • Victoria

    I suggest that you listen carefully to to the audio of the 7/20 Special CRA Board meeting

    Know that commissioner Woodrow Hay packed the commission chambers with hardworking caring blacks who thought they were there to speak against the possible lay-off of a very good black employee, Thelma Lyons, an admistrative assistant who is committed to providing accessible and quality services; courteous and attentive reception in all communications; and clear and thorough handling of information requests.

  • Wow

    Be careful, Victoria. That sounds like a racist statement. Are saying that black people are too ignorant to know that Ms. Lyons works for Neighborhood Services, which is a part of the city – not the CRA agency? That they are easily tricked into believing unverified statements even though they all attended with meeting agendas? Also, even though you may have only noticed a number of blacks, many people there were of other races. It was not only African-Americans that are interested in an agency designed specifically for the blighted area of Boynton Beach. It sounds like you are saying that black people are only interested in civic issues when it involves another black person. I have heard reasons for the large turnout that day, and if what I heard is true, the public got what they came for. I don’t know who spread those rumors to you about Ms. Lyons but let it stop here.

  • Victoria

    Good Morning Wow…whoever you are.

    You would be find it difficult to label me racist. My relationship with the black community goes back many years…maybe longer than you were born.

    I know where Thelma Lyons works: having consulted with her in the past.

    Half-truths are difficult to decipher. And that goes for all of us.

  • Concerned

    If anyone was paying attention it was brought up 3 years ago the special events issue in the beginning. The issue was few local vendors and only 1 company was being considered to host the city events.

    The city should never give CRA control over all city events. They are giving up all control and this is what happens. Now boynton can only have city events in the CRA area. that is not fair for the rest of the city or other city vendors.

    Lisa has to go and we all know it!

    let the next board start a real search for someone honest and qualified. she confirmed she lied to the school; board, CRA for city, State records and to the boynton residents. what more do we need to hear.

    Yes Rodriguez is not perfect but we did elect him we hire Lisa. let her contract expire and send vivian packing with her. We do not need another lawsuit or public spectacle to fire her.

    Keep digging Victoria and Thank You! Thank you! Thank you!

    Any suggestion for a new Director of CRA and assistant.

    Boynton Concerned Citizen

  • Rob

    Hello “Concerned” … whoever you are (as Victoria would say – its cute)

    Anyway, both Bright and Rodriguez are hard to deal with. They both have “image problems”, to put it lightly. But one thing we need to realize is that we need them both. If we lose one, the other will bulldoze the city.

    The accusations against Bright were not worth a special meeting. The accusations against Rodriguez have been going on for years. These are NOT the real issues of our city.

    Don’t let us forget that where there is cause, there is effect. Every action has an equal reaction. If Bright leaves Boynton, a dam will break. Lets make sure we have someone who has as strong of a will as Rodriguez to keep the checks and balances. So far, I haven’t seen many in our city with much backbone.

  • Barbara Ready

    Hey “Rob” sad news for you, if Bright were to leave Boynton there would be no “dam to break.” She’s not irreplaceable and she’s no part of a check and balance system. She’s simply an employee who can move along and we can replace her without a break in step.
    The accusations against Bright are serious and cannot be glossed over by all the loyal staffers in the world.
    The real issue is Bright has handed large dollar contracts to her friend Joe Ferrer without an RFP, or going out for bids, or any kind of selection process, or disclosing to the CRA Board that Ferrer is her friend.
    Bright publicly stated she lied to three separate serious entities about where she lived.
    The lying and lack of ethics is appalling.
    She needs to go. It can either be peacefully or it can be in a paddy wagon.

  • Dear Barbara

    I see that you are the obsessed 2am commenter on the Post articles. I wonder why you don’t talk about the fraudulent and criminal behavior that Rodriguez is being accused of. Did Bright do something personal to you?

  • Victoria

    Hello “Dear Barbara”

    Why are you using Barbara Ready’s email address to get on this blog???

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