The Truth Behind the Lies
Published Sunday, August 22, 2010 7:00 am
Amendment 4 is a valid option for citizens to better manage their community’s Land Use Plan. The opposition has created a scare campaign filled with outright lies. They often refer to a study conducted by "The Washington Economics Group" that is not based in Washington and relies upon no facts, but mostly opinions ? opinions of developers and elected officials who are against Amendment 4.
NOT TRUE! Only Comprehensive Plan amendments will need to be voted on. There is no requirement to vote on land use items that are zoning issues. Their use of this lie has people believing that if they want to build a house or add a room, it would have to be voted on in a referendum. Just not true!
Florida has the ability to more than triple its population without one more additional Comp Plan change, so this is just not true! And wasn’t it the “run wild development” that caused this great recession we are in now - speculation and over-development which created the worst crisis since the great depression?
If anything will drive taxes higher, it would be more development. Several studies show new residential development costs 10 to 30% more in taxes than we receive, which leaves existing taxpayers to subsidize developers.
The fact is, no expensive referendums are required. Every two years we have a primary and general election. There is even a Presidential primary "Super Tuesday" in March every four years. Amendment 4 would allow citizens to give their stamp of approval as part of the existing elections. The process allows that if a developer is in such a rush to change our community's comp plan, they can request a special election – at their cost.
This is already happening under our current economy with the devaluation of property values caused primarily from over-development. Amendment 4 will allow a process for citizens to give their stamp of approval on only those comprehensive land use changes that have the initial approval of their elected officials. There would be no reason to believe all these changes would be voted against. However, some could be voted down if citizens like their current plan over the developers' proposed change.
Candidates receiving generous contributions from influential developers and the construction industry, put good people who care about our community and have decided to run for a commission seat at a disadvantage. Less money means less opportunity to let citizens know who you are and your vision for the community. Some may call this representative government. I call it a special interest (representative) government, which is the reason so many of us feel that government is no longer representing the best interests of its citizens.
The outspoken special interests tied to “development as usual,” including those elected officials who help spread these lies, are not interested in what is best for Florida but what is best for themselves. The news media has been threatened to support development interest or lose their advertising revenue. The only risk with Amendment 4 is that we have to trust you, the people. This is a risk I am willing to take.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Martin County Democratic Executive Committee has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Martin County Democratic Executive Committee endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)