One thing that unites citizens of both parties, at least in my city, is the topic of urban spawl and uncontrolled development. You would never believe it, but Florida really does have a state comprehensive growth plan that local governments are supposed to abide by in their own growth management plans.
Unfortunately, changes can be made to these plans relatively easily. RIGHT now, all a developer has to do is persuade a majority of a city or county commission to grant a change (easy enough with the right campaign contribution). Often this change is made with NO citizen input, and BOOM, another strip mall or unfinished condo.
(What I really enjoy is driving down 17-92 and seeing the vacant, boarded up shopping centers on either side of a patch of trees---and then seeing that lone patch of trees torn down to build yet another vacant strip mall.)
The Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment will mandate a referendum for any comprehensive plan amendments approved by the city and county commissions. In other words, the VOTERS OF THAT COMMUNITY are the final word.
Sensible?? Intelligent?? Your damn skippy it is.
Logically, our elected officials are doing everything they can to STOP THIS MADNESS.
On a radio call-in show last week on NPR, an opponent of this measure was trying to tell people that voters would have to vote on EVERY new building that gets built (a HUGE lie). Then he went on to say that this would hurt the vulnerable big developers. THAT was rich--big developers crying VICTIM!
That line of attack doesn't work, so they resorted to something more sinister. The "honorable" John Thrasher, former GOP Speaker of the FL House, sent out this letter to people who have already signed the petition. This takes LYING to a new level. Get this:
If you read their proposed Constitutional Amendment (it’s reprinted on your PETITION REVOCATION FORM) you will also notice that it turns all power over use of Florida’s lands to certain “electors.”
Guess who the “electors” will be. The “special interests” and their slick lawyers will rig the system to put our future in the hands of their cronies. Their “electors” will decide our fate and the fate of Florida.
Unless you want higher property taxes, higher utility bills and Florida’s scenic beauty destroyed by Big Developers, you will certainly want to revoke your signature from their petition.
WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? The "electors", folks, are the "VOTERS" of the COMMUNITY!!
I wish we were the “special interests”, but those are the the big developers we are fighting against.
Unbelievable! I often wonder how these people can live with themselves. If your position is so weak you have to lie by taking the position on the other side, maybe you ARE on the wrong side! Let me make this clear: you know they don't have a leg to stand on when the Developer Lobby starts crying about our beauty being destroyed by BIG DEVELOPERS!! But they can't win on their merits. (Please let us continue uncontrolled development by pumping money into elected officials coffers). So they must pretend they are with us in opposing...them?
But it gets even better.
The Developers are now putting forth their OWN petition that reads very similar to the petition for Florida Hometown Democracy. I saw this petition at several places (it's GREEN, whereas the real one is WHITE) and thought GREAT! Grassroots is working! IT's a SCAM! Click here and see the fake one.
If you read closely, you will see how this is actually an ALTERNATE petition that is worded to UNDERMINE and SUPERCEDE the FL Hometown Democracy petition. The developer petition is a petition to just let you petition. Under their amendment, you could have a referendum on a comprehensive plan change if 10% of the electorate goes to the supervisor of elections and then signs a petition saying you want a referendum on a plan change. Although they wouldn't mind if this one passes, it's designed to siphon off votes from people who otherwise would vote for the REAL one.
Dirty Tricks at its best.
Let's NOT LET THEM WIN.
Florida voter, there is many things you can do to stop this.
First, Print out and sign a Petition: Click here. Get your friends, family, and coworkers to sign as well. The deadline IS FRIDAY!!!
Donate or Volunteer. Any help is needed. 1-866-779-5513.
Write a letter to the editor or post on your blog. Please include the phone number and/or website: http://www.floridahometowndemocracy.com/. The link to the petition is http://www.floridahometowndemocracy.com/documents/FHD_Petition2-Final.pdf
Time is running out, and the Big Developers and their cronies are doing everything in their power to sabatoge our effort. Once these green spaces are gone, they are gone for good.
Please help. Thank you.