July 3, 2006

Riviera Beach Struggles to Overcome Decades of Divisiveness

By Riviera Beach Struggles to Overcome Decades of Divisiveness

by Timothy Sandefur

The Palm Beach Post has this story on Riviera Beach, Fla., where PLF has filed a lawsuit to protect property owners against eminent domain. Among other gems in this article:

• In 20 years, the community redevelopment agency, with the city council serving as its board, has hired and fired 10 directors without completing a single money-making project.

• The CRA is at least $8.8 million in debt, and the state is conducting an audit of its finances.

• For 18 years, the CRA has been unveiling — and delaying — plans to redevelop the mainland waterfront.

The newest "plan" consists of condemning 400 acres of land, including homes and businesses, and transferring the land to a private developer. Mayor Michael Brown defends this plan by saying that Riviera Beach's waterfront is like "a bunch of gold that's unmined." Maybe so, Mr. Mayor, but it's not your gold, and you don't have the right to strip-mine the citizens of your town.

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