Pete Boinis is the guy who cordoned off his swath of land next to the Deerfield Beach Pier with a bunch of poles and then had "No Trespassing" signs up. This is just rude -- a bunch of ugly Keep Out signs sitting next to one of the most popular beach spots in north Broward County?
Why'd he do it?
Out of spite. Because he's an angry old millionaire who is properly being run out of town.
Boinis is the developer and restaurateur who had a big idea to build an oversized restaurant on the Deerfield Beach Pier back in 2005. The populace hated the idea, but the fix was in with since-criminally charged Mayor Al Capellini and the banished racist-tirade-spewing city manager, Larry Deetjen.
Then former Commissioner Steve Gonot, who has also since been criminally charged, fought the project and killed it. Say what you will about Gonot, but it was a great moment for the guy.
With the project dead, the land he bought -- under mysterious circumstances, mind you; the city was supposed to purchase it -- was utterly
worthless. He's paid $200,000 for it.
Now he's demanding $510,000 for it. Yeah, the guy wants a 150 percent profit on a worthless piece of land during a land bust and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
But it's true that Boinis, as a sign of good will, has taken down those signs, as if that were cause enough to throw him 300 grand in profits at taxpayers' expense.
You and me, we'd laugh the guy off the negotiating table. City of Deerfield? It's bending over it instead. The deal is expected to go to the commission at next Tuesday's meeting. Listen to city activist and former commission candidate Caryl Berner.
"The truth of the matter is, it is absolutely worthless -- you can't build on it," Berner says. "It's nothing more than a sandbox. Boinis paid $200,000 for it. We should not be extorted. He's just a bully."
How can you not like Caryl Berner?
So what's the count? Well, Commissioner Sylvia Poitier, who is consistently one of the worst public officials in human history, supports the obscene giveaway. So does this new clown, Joe Miller, who thinks he's Mr. Business because he killed some termites and cockroaches. Ganz is against it, and so is good old reliable Popelsky. That leaves you-know-who as the swing vote.
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New Mayor Peggy Noland.
Make no mistake, this is a defining vote. We'll get to see what Noland is really made of with this vote. And, believe me, it will be remembered.
The Pulp Solution: Give Boinis $200,000 -- split the $310,000 grant the city plans to use for the purchase -- and give him until sundown to get out of town.
[We're gonna discuss this on Barry Epstein's 10 a.m. radio show this (Friday) morning on WBZT 1230-AM.]