Florida’s ritzy Fisher Island community unanimously voted Friday not to accept a $2 million federal loan meant for small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, a resident told The Post.
Entrepreneur Matt Barnes said he was surprised the Fisher Island Community Association’s board of directors — comprised of people appointed by the developer as well as board members who are residents of the elite community — voted the way it did.
There are more developer-appointed board members than resident members on the board — and the two factions are currently suing each other in a Miami-Dade court, Barnes told The Post.
“So it was wonderful to see that the developer-appointed board members agreed with the resident-appointed board members. It’s quite a feat getting them all to agree,” Barnes said.
“[Board members] George Pearlman, Tom Lauria and Jeff Horowitz did a great job of telling the developer-appointed board members on why not to accept the loan,” Barnes said.
Residents that were not on the board could phone-in to voice their concerns before the vote, he said.
“There was probably more attending this call than there generally would be for an in-person meeting. There was a petition going around and everything.
“The call went quite a bit quicker than I thought it was going to and a lot of residents didn’t have a lot to say because they had already put in their input. They got what they wanted so there was no outcry,” he said.
The entrepreneur, who has businesses of his own, said he raised his own concerns before the vote took place.
“A lot of small businesses across the country are in need of funding right now. Fisher Island is a very wealthy community and by us declining to take the money, it’s going to help a lot of small business get the funding they need quicker. That’s important right now because our country is going through a tough time.”