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Riviera Beach second recall deadline on Sunday

Posted at 4:36 PM, Jun 07, 2018

A Riviera Beach citizens' group says the deadline for their second attempt to get enough signatures to recall two city council members is Sunday.

The group wants to recall Terence Davis and Lynne Hubbard, who voted to fire popular Riviera Beach City Manager Jonathan Evans in September. 

Residents made their lingering frustration heard during Wednesday’s city council meeting.

“It’s an outright insult to the citizens of Riviera Beach,” Riviera Beach resident Darlene Cruz said. 

Cruz also announced she is running against Davis in the upcoming March election. 

Another community member took issue with how Davis displays himself on the dais when he disagrees with someone.

“Every time someone says something you’re throwing your arms back,” said Andrew Henderson.
“I’m not doing that,” Davis said, shaking his head. “Yes you are,” Henderson said. “I see you.” 

If recall attempt number one proved anything, it’s that it’s not that easy to recall elected officials. 

Although the citizens' group had more than enough signatures during the first try, City attorney Andrew DeGraffenreidt told the supervisor of elections to count petitions with wrong dates on them, invalidating the whole batch.

Residents haven't forgotten that.

“He chooses only to represent a few council people,” Riviera Beach resident Madelene Irving said. 

DeGraffenreidt’s contract is up soon and two council members, Julia Botel and KaShamba Miller-Anderson, said they don’t want a renewal of his contract.

Other residents voiced concern that the city’s building official Ladi March has not faced any repercussion by the city. March is facing criminal charges from the State Attorney’s Office.

But March’s employment didn’t come up during Wednesday’s 6-hour long meeting. Neither did the controversial raises several high-ranking employees received. 

Also still a big question mark, when will city hire a permanent city manager? 

City council spent hours debating if they should hire a public relations firm for $130,000 a year. 
Council members Botel and Miller-Anderson were against it.

Botel said city hall needed to clean up its act, otherwise hiring a PR firm was like “putting lipstick on a pig”.

Davis and Hubbard were in favor of hiring the firm. Davis said city hall wasn’t broken and the firm could help with promoting a better image of the city to the media. 

In the end, the council voted against it with chairwoman Tonya Davis Johnson joining the ‘no’ vote. But Davis Johnson didn’t take the PR firm off the table entirely. She said she wanted to re-negotiate a less expensive contract.