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December 19, 2012 / CorpWell

Did Town of Jupiter’s Mayor push too far?

By Marion Stahl, Staff Writer for Opinions

Mayor Golonka, appreciated for her democratic sense of community access, seemed to have pushed too far at Town Meeting yesterday. Hard working Inlet Village citizens were outraged at idea of another public space and came in large groups at town meeting on Tuesday December 18th, to oppose a plan, to allow a Mini-Golf and fast food concession in the middle of their village &/or residential area.

Ms Golonka ignored public opinion, as well as other councilors word of advice. They shared they concerns that the opposition was strong and that a lot of liability laid in her decision, but Mayor approved the plan, stating that in “earlier situation residents have grown to like her plans!”

Residents shocked and/or crying of defeat, after the long debate, were feeling extremely disappointed by the mayor outright condescending tone and ignoring their concerns. The same residents, took an active role in assisting the town with their CRA plans, a few years ago, as well as obtaining a grant for pedestrian paths. How could that be forgotten so easily?

Some of the public comments were as follows:

“Mayor Golonka, what will it take for the town to hear us? A Class-Action Suit?” Another presenter, ” Mayor Golonka, would you like a Mini-Golf in your backyard? Don’t ask people to accept something you would not do for yourself..”. These comments were followed by cheers from the audience. Observations were addressing the inconsistency between a family place serving alcohol, and the risks involved with the town promoting liberalism.

Councilors agreed with the concerns with alcohol, but still sided later with the Mayor’s vote. Another citizen, pleaded for the needs of the “residents for a local market with individual small shops for residents and families daily needs. This in turn could address traffic concerns and make locals feel good about the CRA Development.” The resident showed on the map the disproportionate amount of public space surrounding the residential community, and the lack of land used for the needs and necessity of the residents. “These people pay taxes like all town residents.” The Mayor later translated the desire into a “grocery store” and called it “impossible”. However, it is quite clear that the speaker had not referred to a grocery store, nor the letters sent to the town. indicating a very significant communication gap.

It was quite clear that the final decision did non encompass the existing residents wishes and needs. This led to a “general impression that ulterior financial motives might have dictated this conclusion.” ¬†Concerns were also expressed that the “owners of the land in question might be used as well.” As Mr Gentile stated: “The town is trying to address the cost of a drainage system that nears 1/2 million dollar and land owner will be footing a significant part of the bill.” Gentile, agent for the owners, appeared also particularly pressed and anxious to convince the owner (his clients) to accept any conditions.

“We hope that Patricia Bartoli, heard us”, said a resident, “and will no be shaded by savvy developers who are probably using the Bartoli’s to pay for some of the town cost for the development with no guaranty for a viable business.”

“There are no selfish motives since these residents are living next to public parks and accepted the week-end crowds,” someone shared. “Perhaps, tonight, Mayor Golonka has pushed too far and lost the support of thousands of residents.”

In the previous year, the request by the town “to pay for underground utilities by the surrounding association was not turned down by lack of interest by the residents, but fear of the heavy cost impose on original residents. People are not in a place to absorb increase taxes on a fixed income.” The Mayor is asking this group to pay for the town and utility expenses and now, imposing amusement facilities on residents. One should ask why is Ms Golonka surprised to receive what she quoted “vitriolic opposition.”

Residents expressed that they felt sorry for the Bartoli’s led into such a “fiscal trap.” “Ms Bartoli was a very nice person, and we hope; she realizes that residents are willing to take part in a development we could support, not the occasional tourists who may wander in on vacations. They are sending her on a suicide trip” shared a resident.

This area represents a strong tax base. “Residents could form their own entity and take their tax dollars else where and regain control of the Inlet Village in a way that would exclude the Mayor’s dream of having the Town of Jupiter move into well intended citizen’s backyard but not her own..”

There have been discussions, for quite sometimes, of the Inlet Village pulling out of being part of the Town of Jupiter and forming either their own town entity in the way of the Inlet Colony or joining the Inlet Colony.

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2 Comments

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  1. Genevieve Lee / Jan 4 2013 4:17 am

    Residents of the Inlet Village should read the article titled “Inlet Village Taking Shape” in the latest edition of Jupiter Town Times.

    http://www.jupiter.fl.us/index.aspx?NID=674

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