Yacht maker wants to review
records of Riviera officials

RIVIERA BEACH Yacht maker Rybovich and Sons has filed a massive public records request demanding correspondence written or received by the mayor, two city councilmen and its redevelopment consultant.

The three-page request, which also includes information on a $29.4 million land deal, comes as Rybovich's plans to build a temporary yacht repair business at 20th Street and Broadway are before the city. And it comes months after Rybovich, owned by Wayne Huizenga Jr., abruptly withdrew its plans to build a luxury yacht building center near the same location after a dispute with the city over jobs and money for a community benefits program.

 
 

Fort Lauderdale attorney Richard Weiss, partner in Weiss, Serota, Helfman, Pastoriza, Cole and Boniske, authored the request and gave it to the city on Nov. 21. Weiss referred all questions to Wayne M. Richards, who has represented Rybovich in proceedings before the council.

Richards said his client didn't want to elaborate on its reasons for making the public records request.

City Attorney Pamala Ryan said she has told the law firm that it can view the records and copy those they want.

The request covers the period from Jan. 1 to present and asks for copies of notes, e-mails, faxes, paychecks, credit card bills, calendars, memos, cellphone records, telephone message books, reimbursement requests and gift and financial disclosure forms for Mayor Michael Brown, council members Jim Jackson and Norma Duncombe and consultant Bernard Kinsey.

It also seeks campaign account reports and copies of the agenda for each meeting since January and site plan records, building permits and communication between Brown and city staff regarding property at 2010 Avenue B.

The land listed in the request is located where 20th Street intersects Avenue B, near the Intracoastal Waterway. Last January, Huizenga bought land from John Staluppi, once one of the largest land owners in the city redevelopment area, as part of a $29.4 million land deal, Palm Beach County records show.

Brown called the request an attempt to intimidate him, Jackson and Duncombe. He said he had no involvement with the Staluppi land sale and thinks the entire request has no merit.

Brown thinks the public records request is in response to him calling city building officials about work being done at the Rybovich site. He claimed that Rybovich was building a "factory floor" when its permit called for it to pave a parking lot.

Kinsey may be included in the records request because he was brought into Rybovich's initial yacht building plan in August. The consultant, who was hired in May to negotiate redevelopment of the city's waterfront and the Ocean Mall on Singer Island, asked Rybovich to pay for a community benefits package as a condition of getting its proposal approved.

Rybovich balked at the idea, which required it to pay for cultural activities and seed money for nonprofits.

Kinsey, reached in California on Thursday, had no comment.

Jackson said he doesn't know why Rybovich listed him in the request. He does support the company's effort, but voted against the plan involving the temporary yacht repair facility.

Duncombe, who also voted against Rybovich's latest proposal, said she was shocked by the request. The freshman councilwoman figured the request was suspect when she was referred to as "Nancy" when her name is Norma. Also, her last name was misspelled.