Group says it has signatures to force Riviera recall election

Updated Nov 13, 2017
Jaime Kujala
Riviera Beach City Councilwoman Lynne Hubbard

A citizens group seeking to oust three city council members who fired a popular city manager said it would submit more than 8,000 signatures to the city clerk by Tuesday morning, several hundred more than required to force the recall election.

Amon Yisrael, one of the leaders of the recall drive, said Monday he was making copies of the signed petitions and would deliver the originals to the clerk as early as Monday afternoon. After that, the clerk would be expected to deliver them to the Palm Beach County supervisor of elections for vetting and to schedule an election.

READ: Turnover, vacancies contribute to internal dysfunction in Riviera

“We’re going to be pushing for that date to be as soon as possible,” he said.

Yisrael estimated 3,000 signatures were collected to recall Councilman Terence Davis, who made the motion on Sept. 20 to fire City Manager Jonathan Evans. About 2,800 signatures each were collected to recall councilwomen Lynne Hubbard and Dawn Pardo, who joined Davis in the 3-2 vote against Evans.

Evans was on the job six months when the three voted without discussion to fire him. They never specified their reasons, other than alleged “misfeasance,” citing advice of the city attorney.

Evans had been brought in to replace the previous manager, who they also fired.

The city government has remained in disarray, with several high-level positions unfilled and with the former deputy finance director managing the helm on an interim basis.

A few months before the council fired Evans, the assistant city manager who’d been passed up for the manager job resigned. The human resources director gave notice in October. The internal auditor resigned. The city has no assistant human resources director, purchasing director, IT director or building services director.

The police chief, recently the subject of a 67-3 vote of no confidence by the county Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, is scheduled to retire near the end of the year. The public works director has been on leave for months, pending an internal investigation, while receiving full pay.