Winter 2013 Message

By the time you read this message, 2012 will have come and gone and SICA is busy focusing on issues that will have an impact on island residents.

Seasonal residents returned to the completed beautification of the Blue Heron Bridge and North Ocean Drive. Comments from our residents have been very positive. Without SlCA’s efforts the scope of the project would have been substantially reduced. Some residents advocated for just resurfacing AIA to reduce the cost of the project. SICA supported a more comprehensive plan and worked with governmental agencies and elected officials to produce the best possible results.

Some of the comments from residents that needed further attention were the cutting of grass and maintenance of the islands in the center of AIA. Also the north end of the island has fewer sitting benches and trash receptacles. Dawn Pardo, Council Chair Pro-Tem for the City of Riviera Beach informed us that the city will outsource the maintenance to a private third party once the contractor has completed the construction to the city’s satisfaction. Dawn has also asked Mary McKinney, Director of Community Development, to address the bench and receptacle issue.

In February, 2012, the Palm Beach County Commissioners voted 4-3 to not endorse a permanent solution to beach erosion on Singer Island. After that vote Singer Island residents reached out to SICA to help start a “Protect Our Beaches Coalition.” This issue is discussed in more detail in our newsletter by Sonny Nardulli, President of Protect Our Beaches Coalition and SICA committee chair for beaches and dunes. Visit Protect Our Beaches website at www.beachescoalition.com.

Crime and island safety is another area in which SICA has been actively involved. Exciting developments are in the works that will benefit island residents.

SICA has worked very closely with the Riviera Beach Police Department and the Riviera Beach CRA. Please refer to the article by Draga Lindblom on this subject. As a result of the recent deaths of two teenagers at Newcomb Hall, City Manager, Ruth Jones and Police Chief Clarence Williams created the Commission on Social Justice. The focus of the commission is to identify those factors in the Riviera Beach Community that cause such tragic events. The commission is co-chaired by Michael Sloser, president of COASI, and Dr. Tony Drayton, a prominent pastor in the community. Mike and Dr. Drayton are looking for volunteers to serve on one of the five committees. If you have an interest in finding out more about the commission please contact Mike at michaelsloser@gmail.com.

Progress regarding the future development of the Riviera Beach Marina continues to move along. The city’s master developer, Viking Yachts, is scheduled to present their comprehensive plan to the Riviera Beach CRA and City Council on January 30. The council vote to approve will be February 27. Viking has engaged the services of Live, Work, Learn and Play, an international development company from Montreal, Canada and Elkus Manfredi, a national architectural and design firm from Boston, MA who helped the City of West Palm Beach develop CityPlace. The comprehensive plan will detail the development of the marina area and the Broadway corridor. The current road construction on Broadway is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2014.

Lastly, Riviera Beach will have a general election on March 12. There will be races involving two council seats and the mayoral position. SICA will be holding the January 29 meeting at the Palm Beach Shores Town Hall. The format will be a candidate’s forum involving all those running for office. The SICA PAC will be making its endorsements shortly after that meeting so voters receiving their absentee ballots on or around February will know who the SICA PAC supports.

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