“On this side of the bridge, people wave with all five fingers.”
I laughed out loud when Ocean Ridge Police Chief Chris Yannuzzi said this to help
explain why his department was better suited to provide protection to Briny
Breezes at its June 24 town meeting.
After 25 years with the Boynton Beach police, he knew what he was
I think we all do.
After much thought, discussion and a hard look at the financial implications of the
two contracts, Briny made the right decision by agreeing to return their
protection to their neighbors. We can only hope this is the beginning of a
return to friendly relations between the two towns.
Boynton Beach’s lack of ability to negotiate a better contract for water, sewer, fire
or police protection should have come as no surprise to the Briny commission.
Boynton is a big city with big city problems. That’s what drives their
financial decisions — not an attempt to thumb their noses at Briny.
Consider Boynton Beach’s willingness to respond to fire-rescue calls in the unincorporated
pocket when the county requests mutual aid or when a 911 caller requests
Boynton’s response. Boynton Beach Fire Chief William Bingham was the first to
step forward to work out an agreement with the county to renew services to this
Are there financial repercussions for his doing so? No doubt. But I’ve heard Chief
Bingham speak about this arrangement, and believe he genuinely cares about the
safety of residents in our area.
When Ocean Land Investments rolled into town with its snake oil of a deal to buy
Briny, there was a lot less concern for the residents on this side of the
bridge. They pitted good, honest Briny shareholders — with a dream of being able
to provide an increased inheritance for their heirs — against good, honest
residents of the neighboring towns with a dream of maintaining their existing
lifestyle into their retirement years. The proposed sale built a wall between
If Briny’s earlier choice of Boynton for police protection was retaliation for
Ocean Ridge’s stand against the Ocean Land development, then this decision to
return police protection to Ocean Ridge can be seen as an olive branch —
finally. Let’s hope so.
Regardless of Briny’s long-range plans for the park, let’s hope they include their
neighbors in the discussion. We all want the same thing on this side of the
bridge: to live in a place where neighbors smile and wave at each other — with
all five fingers.
— Mary Kate Leming, editor
Disclosure: The editor and publisher of The Coastal Star
own properties in both Ocean Ridge and Briny Breezes, and did at the
time of the proposed sale.