County Prepared To Take Action While City of Boca Raton Does Nothing.
City Spokeswoman Not Commenting On COVID Violations, Still Not Providing Records.
Senior: “Boca Raton is killing us.”
BY: STAFF REPORT
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BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The Palm Beach County COVID Education and Enforcement Team is preparing to inspect Aloha Food Shack following BocaNewsNow.com reports — and complaints by several in the community — that the restaurant is violating COVID-19 business requirements.
“Boca Raton is killing us,” said a senior citizen contacting BocaNewsNow.com. “These photos show that Boca Raton doesn’t care about its older residents.”
BocaNewsNow.com has published multiple photos showing a packed Aloha Food Shack (2151 N. Federal) with little mask wearing or social distancing. The photos, according to those submitting them to our newsroom, were taken over several weekends in December and January.
Palm Beach County — and the City of Boca Raton — are well aware of alleged problems at Aloha. Complaints were logged by Palm Beach County on January 19th, 2021; January 14th, 2021; January 3rd, 2021; December 22nd, 2020; December 21st, 2020; December 10th, 2020; December 6th, 2020; November 28th, 2020; November 23rd, 2020; November 17th, 2020; November 13th, 2020.
The Palm Beach County COVID Education and Enforcement Team dashboard now shows many of these cases as “unresolved” with “inspection pending.” The team has forced the closure of restaurants with blatant, egregious COVID violations across Palm Beach County. The team can assert jurisdiction in any part of the county.
While Palm Beach County prepares to initiate an unannounced inspection, the City of Boca Raton continues to do nothing — and won’t talk about it.
It has now been eight days since BocaNewsNow.com asked city officials just what the city’s code enforcement officers are doing to ensure restaurants follow rules and regulations. We requested list a list of COVID citations or inspections recored by the city’s paid code enforcement officers. The City must provide the list under Florida Statute 119. But officials, inexplicably, refuse to respond with information.
Our request was made on Wednesday, January 13th. City Communications Manager Chrissy Gibson ignored the request until we followed up on Friday, January 15th. At that time she sent it to a private company used by the City for record management. A public employee refusing to release public information faces fines and other penalties.
Mayor Scott Singer Says The City Will Comply
In an email on Tuesday, Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer didn’t address Chrissy Gibsons’ apparent violation of Florida’s open records statutes, but did say the City of Boca Raton would provide the information to BocaNewsNow.com. He didn’t explain why information provided in a matter of minutes when the COVID crisis began is now the subject of such a delay. He did not respond to a question concerning why the City of Boca Raton is permitting area restaurants to ignore mask and social distancing guidelines, or why the city is risking the lives of its senior citizens by not enforcing COVID orders and guidelines.
Aloha Food Shack is owned by Ono Grinds Holding and registered with the Florida Secretary of State with managing member Howard Mofshin. Mofshin did not respond to a message left at Aloha Food Shack — we’ll update this if he does.
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