Mayor Stifles Resident's SPIRIT but SOUL wins Out

I believe that this is an accurate description of what Mayor Rodriquez did at last night’s (2/17) Commission/CRA workshop meeting and how it worked out.  Don’t know whether this meeting was taped.  It should have been.  My District 3 Commissioner Steven Holtzman was present during the City staff and CRA presentations as they appeared on the agenda:

1. Welcome and Introductions
2. Overview of the Vision and Downtown Master Plan/City/CRA Vision
3. Economic Development Perspective on Boynton Beach
4. Review of Current Projects
5. Short and Long Term Project Ideas

Before the PowerPoint presentations of these three:

Michael Weiner, “Authentic Themes, Concepts and Ideas”
Owen Duke, Patrinely Group
Donn Colee – Benzaiten

Commissioner Holtzman, an attorney, reiterated that he felt the three were “lobbyists” and should have registered as such.  There was legal talk back and forth as Mayor Rodriqez and some  Commissioners sought clarification from City Attorney Jim Cherof.

It was decided that Michael Weiner, an attorney and City property owner, would speak.  Commissioner Holtzman left the meeting.  Michael Weiner and Owen Duke spoke at great length with accompanying PowerPoint presentations.  When it was Donn Colee’s turn, Commissioner Orlove explained that because he had requested the “Benzaiten concept” presentation be put on the agenda and because he did not want to put them in jeopardy of lobbying laws as discussed earlier;  he, Commissioner Orlove, would give the PowerPoint presentation and he did.

Now it was the turn of these citizens/taxpayers/long-time residents:

Victoria Castello – Three Circles Concept
Dr. Martha Meeks-Light – The Heart of Boynton

to speak.

I am Victoria Castello.  I don’t think I spoke more than a minute when Mayor Rodriquez started to criticize what I was saying.  I didn’t pronounce Michael Weiner’s name correctly.  I thought it was a joke…how many times I am called Costello instead of Castello.  Really was taken aback when everything I said annoyed our Mayor.  Would love to hear the tape…because Commissioner Orlove willingly and smilingly answered my question.  Rodriguez roared “Stick to the Three Circles”.  I tried to explain…but then I asked,  “Are you directing me as to what I can say.  He said, “YES!”.   “Then I won’t speak.” I replied, and left the podium to sit down.

Marian Anderson 1940 - photograph by Carl Van Vechten

Then it got so wonderfully surreal because Dr. Martha Meeks-Light spoke with such fervor and eloquence of what her community…the black community… once had and wanted again.  Hers was THE  THREE CIRCLES …HEART, SOUL and SPIRIT.   Her son, Victor Norfus, distributed what follows to the remaining elected officials.

Marian Anderson – A Voice of Hope photograph by Carl Van Vechten taken in 1940 – Click Here to See Her Presentation

Such ended an evening where the full moon shone over the waters of our Intracoastal.  I left feeling that I had witnessed a real/true/authentic essence, something so very special, in Dr. Meek-Light’s presentation.  “Will  those whom we have elected to lead us understand what just happened?” was going through my mind as I walked away from a lovely pavillion.

May they be granted the wisdom to open their minds and do what is fair and honorable.


Thought about it  and realized that citizens should be treated with respect.  This morning 2/21 I emailed our City Manager:

Sent: Monday, February 21, 2011 10:45 AM
Subject: THE THREE CIRCLE: Return value to the community by enhancing economic development opportunities.
Good Morning City Manager Kurt Bressner,
At the Commission/CRA Joint Workshop Meeting held at Intracoastal Clubhouse on February 17, 2011, I was denied the right to speak on the above-captioned subject.
In an earlier email to Interim Executive Director, Vivian Brooks, to which you (and those that I have copied here) and were all copied, I explained that I would be speaking without PowerPoint presentation for 15 minutes. I knew that there would be PowerPoint presentations by Vivian, Quintus Greene, and the three presenters/lobbyists.
On the afternoon of February 17th I went to the CRA office and thought that the I could view such presentations.  They were too busy.  I was not given any information about the presentations which would precede me.
To be verbally pushed around by Mayor Rodriquez…if you have a tape you can see/hear what happened….was demeaning and insulting to a long time resident who cares very much about her community.
Victoria Castello
406 So. Seacrest Blvd.
Boynton Beach, Florida 33435

5 comments to Mayor Stifles Resident’s SPIRIT but SOUL wins Out

  • Gabrielle Michelle Marceau

    I am new to this Boynton Beach. Now I think I have made a grave mistake in purchasing here. The Commission of Boynton Beach act like they are children. For instance the “Tiki” Hut thing. Since 2007 !!!? It sounds like corruption and greed. How much has the city spent in Lawyer fees and does this public know there is an Ex Post Facto issue here. How can you fine for a law they haven’t written and couldn’t find because it didn’t exist? The “Warning” sign on Federal absolutly kept my two (Mike and James)from opening their new business here. Delray won out. Too bad we have money. I am going to sell at a loss and join them.. Good luck on your blog it is always refreshing to see honesty in action.
    gettin out of Dodge

  • Victoria

    Hello “gettin out of Dodge”

    I am sorry to see you go. You sound like decent folks. A bit angry at the way some things turned out.

    I know that it sometimes seems like it is “corruption and greed” and if it is, in the end it will be found out. The online world makes it so much easier for concerned citizens to do research. Look at how much transparency and disclosure is required.

    Right now I’ll just look at it as stupidity….which, by the way, seems to be lessening in Boynton Beach. As you can see, I am ever hopeful.

  • Gabrielle Michelle Marceau

    Funny I just recently experienced that “lessening” of stupidity. The show of picketer’s and the citizen turn out at the Feb 1 Commission meeting for and regarding Ralph & Rosie’s Restaurant $638,000.00 lien and looming foreclosure on their business complete with an impartial speaker that power pointed the “mistake” of citing and fining, when no ordinance was on the public books, seemed to get someone’s attention. The Mayor made a personal visit to the owners before noon the very next day. Then an offer was made in writing by the city attorney to pay a $60,000.00 legal “services” bill and it would go away.Paid attorney’s again were used to negotiate this new proposed contract. Strange turn of events when before this was told to the public, they would
    not budge on anything involving that Chickee hut. Thousand’s in attorney fee’s on both sides.
    I too will wait from afar for all of the pieces to be put together. From what I have read and heard in recorded document’s and audio records, I fear it will be found to be corruption ,greed, cover up and ultimately “stupidity”.

    I want very much for the people of Boynton Beach to enjoy the things they have worked hard to have. I know that there is enlightened government somewhere in there .


  • Mark Karageorge

    I found that workshop meeting informative. Looking forward to the next one. Lots was discussed but no action – the next one is where the action needs to happen.

  • Victoria

    Do you know if another workshop has been planned? Right now I am not aware that there will be a joint Commission and CRA workshop.

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