Letters to the Editor
July 19, 2007


Ocean Mall developer respects only almighty dollar

I cannot let stand without comment The Post's latest editorial, "Ocean Mall, square one" (July 7), on the status of the Riviera Beach Ocean Mall redevelopment harangue. What I sense that we have here is a "failure to communicate," a failure to find a common spiritual (lightning) rod. Why we cannot "just get it done" is because we have a developer who wants everything he wants, when he wants it, and the people be damned. Esprit de corps be damned. Nature be damned.

Riviera Beach is not the Riviera Beach it was when the developer began his "sand castles" empire here five to seven years ago. And, ironically enough, the developer, as much as anyone or anything, is the prime contributor to its change.

As his and others' "sand castles" became menacing concrete walls blocking sun rays, air currents and water views from neighbors, all of Riviera Beach began to understand that we were losing nature's most important gift to us - our beach.

And suddenly, an appreciation for a disappearing, taken-for-granted coastal treasure became the town's passionate, emergency rescue operation. Therein lies the rub. Seeming to have an insatiable financial thirst, the developer keeps digging for more buckets of shells. Pushing for more opportunities through the courts as he looks to undo "the will of the people," he doesn't seem to understand that he only builds more animosity toward himself and his greedy proposals. Does he want to be the "scourge of Singer Island" or its unofficial founder? His relentless efforts to be the cornerstone for controversy are baffling. If only a "good neighbor" policy and "thanks for all your past profits" would satisfy this developer's designs.

Without a doubt, the much-needed and highly anticipated Ocean Mall redevelopment project could, indeed, "just get done" if the developer could align his thoughts, attitudes and spirit with the residents and the city officials in their new respect and concern for nature's presence. The beach and Riviera Beach have been very good to the developer. Is it not time for him to consider and show his gratitude to both the beach and Riviera Beach?

PAT SWEENEY

Riviera Beach (Singer Island)