Steve Gonot was found guilty. I guess justice was done. I met Steve Gonot when he was first elected to the City Commission. He is to be commended for bringing better fire and police protection to West Deerfield, but he was not a friend of the Original Save Our Beach (OSOB) committee. We despaired when he voted in approval of various horrendous projects including, at first, voting in favor of the massive pier restaurant.
But, then wonder of wonders, after looking over the financials of the project, Steve saw the city was getting the fuzzy end of the lollypop in the deal and started to campaign against it. That is when the OSOBs and he joined ranks. We didn’t care why he changed his mind, just that he had.
As a result of his decision to fight the pier, I am sure that Mayor Capellini, and Larry Deetjen, buddies of Boinis and the pier project, started the movement to oust Gonot. Boinis warned Gonot that he would find and fund someone to run against him, he did, but Gonot won reelection. That made Boinis et.al. furious.
Then, no coincidence, the recall Gonot effort started, with a bogus charge of Sunshine Law violation. Believing he was being railroaded because of his stand against the Boinis project, a number of OSOBers and I worked against the recall.
The city was so polarized with such misinformation that many of us also supported the new Reunite Our City (ROC) effort to get out the truth about the pier restaurant, Gonot’s recall and other controversies in the city. Some of us attended the city wide parties thrown by ROC. The goal was to get people from different districts together to meet and talk. ROC published a newsletter with the same goal.
Thanks to our efforts, the massive restaurant was voted down, and the OSOB Vision for the pier area has now been implemented. To see the OSOB ideas go to:
http://www.originalsaveourbeach.org/OSOBPier.htm our vision was:
1. Keep Control of this Irreplaceable City Asset for the Public
2. Preserve the Special and Quaint Quality of the Pier
3. Have an Old Florida Authentic Small Pier Restaurant
4. Have a Special Place to Serve the Beach Goer (families with children)
5. Preserve the Current Parking Spaces for the Public and the Pier Fishers
6. Prevent the Traffic Congestion and Problems that Would Result from a Large Restaurant
The OSOB committee will continue to fight against over-development. I am convinced that as soon as the recession is over and builders start building we will be busy again, greed is not gone, it is just waiting for its next opportunity.