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Unread 07-06-2006, 06:29 PM   #1
GregGimbert
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Default OT - Floridians, time to step up.

Whether you want to save your neighborhood or your rural offroading area this is a must do.

Orlando Sentinel

Legislature puts growth in your hands
Lauren Ritchie COMMENTARY

July 2, 2006

MEEKNESS, n. Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.

-- Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary

Ready for a little revenge?

The 1984 Miss America who resigned her crown when Penthouse threatened to release revealing pictures of her said it best: "Success is the sweetest revenge."

Okay, rub your hands together in anticipation and let loose with an evil cackle.

The state that sold its soul to developers may be about to turn as unfriendly as downtown Baghdad during a Quran-burning party sponsored by the local infidels.

The Florida Supreme Court has said voters in 2008 can decide on a constitutional amendment that would change dramatically the way subdivisions get approved.

It could save this state.

The amendment would snatch growth decisions from the soiled hands of elected officials and put them back with the people who live here: It would require that every change in a local government's comprehensive plan -- the so-called "blueprint" that determines what can be built where -- be approved by voters in a referendum.

Think of it.

Every Floridian who has watched trees hacked off a swath of land for another Butt-Ugly Development (BUD); whose child or grandchild is being taught in an overcrowded trailer called a classroom; whose water well is sucking sand; who can't fish or swim in a local lake anymore; whose roads have turned into parking lots; whose taxes are always going up; and who is sick of being told the lie "You can't stop growth," can take control of the destiny of his or her community.

Instead of living at the mercy of the sprawl junkies in elected office, voters could decide for themselves whether they want more growth. Imagine. People who live here now could get what they want.

Critics have blasted the proposed amendment as an anti-development measure. How can that be? It simply gives voters a choice. If people in a particular county want less development and are willing to accept the results -- good and bad -- then that's the way it ought to be. The same is true if they want more growth.

What a fun little exercise in democracy this could be.

Instead of buying off three elected prostitutes on a five-member board or paying to put three puppets into office or just finding three dopes, developers would have to convince the electorate of a county or city that their proposed subdivision is a marvelous idea.

Finally, justice.

But it won't happen unless Florida voters step forward right now. The grass-roots group working to get this amendment before voters is called Florida Hometown Democracy, and it needs 611,000 signatures of registered voters to get the amendment on the ballot in 2008. Organizers have 70,000 verified and another 15,000 yet to be submitted.

If you signed a petition last year, you've got to do it again. That's because the wording of the initial amendment was thrown out by the Supreme Court and has been changed. Go to FloridaHometownDemocracy.com for instructions and a petition. If you're not computer savvy, write Florida Hometown Democracy, Inc. P.O. Box 636, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170 or phone the Palm Beach Office at 561-659-5754, and the group will send you a stack.

What a shame it has to be this way. If elected officials had been more reserved in approvals and developers less greedy, this group wouldn't exist.

"People run for these county and city commissions, and they forget who they're representing, and they forget what their job is," said Lesley Blackner, the environmental lawyer who is one of the South Florida group's founders. "The law is clear -- the whole function of municipal government is to protect the quality of life of the citizenry.

"Too many commissioners of the county and city level, and also state representatives, simply define their job as keeping the development machine running.

"These commissioners have no vision for the future."

This is a voter's chance to show them what vision is.

Lauren Ritchie can be reached at lritchie@orlandosentinel.comor 352-742-5918.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/...s-utility-lake



Please download from our website and SIGN THE PETITION ! http://www.FloridaHometownDemocracy.com
FHD, PO Box 636, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170-0636.
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Unread 07-07-2006, 12:06 AM   #2
my034runner
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Thanks for the write up, that's a great thing that they're doing, and I hope that the people of Florida wake up and get this thing done.
I wish that they'd get something like that going on in this state. Our politicians are just as crooked as Florida's politicians are, and that's a fact jack!!
The uncontrolled growth is based on the unfettered greed of both the greedy ass developers, and the local city and county commissioners that they OWN! Las Vegas used to be such a nice place to live, and still is, somewhat- but nothing like it was 10-15-20+ years ago.
Of course, the build it and they will come mentality of the big casino companies doesn't help either.
We're losing our desert and the quality of life. Just my 2 cents though!
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