NSBNEWS.net photo (far left) by Henry Frederick. Courtesy photo (at left). Mayoral candidate Marilee Walters (far left) and City Commissioner candidate Judy Reiker take notes during Wednesday night's City Commission meeting regarding the Angler's Yacht Club lease. City Commissioner Randy Richenberg was the lone vote against authorizing the city to try and negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the Anglers. Reiker and Frank Dalton Jr., who also attended the meeting, are challenging Richenberg for the Zone 1 commission seat in the Sept. 22 primary.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- City Commissioner Randy Richenberg's dissenting vote in authorizing the city attorney to negotiate a settlement with the Angler's Yacht Club over the disputed longstanding lease agreement for prime riverfront property was not lost on campaign opponent Judy Reiker.
"I would decidedly have voted in favor of this negotiation this evening, in contrast to my opponent," Reiker said, in reference to Richenberg.
"During my entire campaign --and written into my website -- when asked about the Anglers Yacht Club lease, I have responded the same in every instance:The City needs to negotiate with the Anglers Club. There is nothing that cannot be solved through effective negotiation.'"
Reiker added the negotiation is the responsibility of the city manager and the city "as it should be with any other lease belonging to the city, who then bring the decision to the city commission for a vote. There is a number -- some dollar amount -- that each party will agree to in order to make the lease work, irrespective of the number of slips, value of an appraisal or community service.
Richenberg, however, reiterated after Wednesday night's meeting what he said prior to the vote: that he wanted more information about appraisals, an inventory of improvements made and a survey of the property.
City Commissioner Lynne Plaskett had pointed out during the meeting that there was nothing to preclude those issues from being addressed, but she and commissioners Jim Hathaway, Jack Grasty and Mayor Sally Mackay all agreed it was important to get the ball rolling on getting the two sides to try and negotiate an amicable settlement that would preclude costly and lengthy litigation that might not turn out in favor of the taxpayers.