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Issues and Voices that Matter March 25, 2010

Amendment-4/Hometown Democracy – Proposed Florida Constitutional Amendment

Hear a gavel to gavel debate about the Hometown Democracy initiative known as Amendment-4 to the Florida constitution, which – if approved by Florida voters on November 2, 2010 — would require voter approval of land-use changes to a county’s or city’s comprehensive land use plan. Proponents on the panel are Lesley Blackner, president of Florida Hometown Democracy and Beth Dillaha, Winter Park, Florida City Commissioner. Opponents are Ryan Houck executive director of Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy. Also heard is Seminole County Supervisor of Elections, Mike Ertel, who addressed the issue of implementation of the amendment.
Feature Length — 1:30:00

Photos courtesy - GK Sharman and CMF Public Media. Audio assistance – Kenneth Abreu, Seminole County Public Schools.


Ballot language of Amendment 4


Lesley Blackner
President of Florida Hometown Democracy


Beth Dillaha
Winter Park, Florida City Commissioner


Opponent And
Ryan Houck
Executive director of Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy


Michael Ertel
Seminole County Supervisor of Elections


Additional Participants
Marilyn E. Crotty
Forum moderator, and executive director, The John Scott Dailey
Institute of Government, University of Central Florida

website / bio

Jane Lane
President, Seminole County League of Women Voters


Deana Schott
Vice-president, Seminole County League of Women Voters
Charley J. Williams
Co-president, Orange County League of Women Voters


Relevant External Links on Issues Addressed by Panel Speaker (in approximate order of reference)

Additional Feature Information


Additional Event Pictures curtesy GK Sharman and CMF Public Media

After you launch the slideshow below, click “Next” and “Previous” to rotate through the photos.

(L-R) Proponents Lesley Blackner and Beth Dillaha (photo: GK Sharman)

Amendment 4 Ballot summary

Establishes that before a local government may adopt a new comprehensive land use plan, or amend a comprehensive land use plan, the proposed plan or amendment shall be subject to vote of the electors of the local government by referendum, following preparation by the local planning agency, consideration by the governing body and notice.

The proposal above will appear as a ballot initiative facing Florida voters on November 2, 2010. It is referred to as the Florida Hometown Democracy Land Use amendment. On Wednesday March 17, 2010 the Seminole and Orange County branches of the League of Women Voters presented a panel to debate the merits of this proposal. Supporters on the panel are Lesley Blackner, president of Florida Hometown Democracy and Beth Dillaha, Winter Park City Commissioner. Speaking in opposition to the amendment is Ryan Houck executive director of Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy. Also present heard is Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel who addressed the issue of implementation of the amendment 4 but took no position on its value.

The presentation, at the Seminole County Educational Support Center in Sanford, was attended by approximately 80 members of the league, the public, the media and local elected officials and candidates for elected office. Marilyn Crotty, director of the John Scott Daily Florida Institute of Government at the University of Central Florida, moderated the proceedings. The discussion begins with 7 minute opening statements by each panelist presenting the key elements of their support or opposition to the proposal.

Beth Dillaha began by describing her support based on conditions and concerns of local governments like Winter Park. Lesley Blackner, who has led the fight for Amendment 4 during the last four years, speaks of the failure of Comprehensive Land Use Plans to curtail sprawling growth because of the revisions and exceptions granted to developers by local officials. She supports placing the decisions on every modification of the comprehensive plan into the hands of local voters who live in the area controlled by that plan. Mike Ertel describes the potential costs of the voting that would be required if the amendment went into effect. Ryan Houck warns of unintended costs and consequences to the economy and local government from potential lawsuits and reduced economic development if Amendment 4 is approved.

After the opening statements, the panel responds to written questions submitted by the audience.

This presentation marks the fourth in a series of collaborations Carroll McKenney Public Media has initiated with the Seminole County Florida League of Women Voters through a series of on-going events produced by the League addressing a range of important community issues under the banner of their Voter Forum series.

This Heard in Central Florida site also offers a comment section, and the ability to email a link to the site to a person you know who may be interested in the debate.

This series has a companion page called Central Florida Matters. Click on the orange CMF logo in the upper left of the Web page and you’ll hear features important to those of us who live, work and raise our families here…because Central Florida matters!

2 Responses to “Amendment-4/Hometown Democracy – Proposed Florida Constitutional Amendment”

  1. [...] Later, Lesley Blackner-the author of Amendment 4-changed her mind and said that we’ll only vote on comprehensive plan amendments that effect the land use element. [...]

  2. Steve says:

    Rarely do you find an issue having such a consensus among Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

    Rick Scott is AGAINST Amendment 4,
    Alex Sink is AGAINST Amendment 4,
    Marco Rubio is AGAINST Amendment 4
    Charlie Christ is AGAINST Amendment 4,
    Kendrick Meek is AGAINST Amendment 4,
    Bill McCollum is AGAINST Amendment 4,
    22 major Florida newspapers are AGAINST Amendment 4,
    Nearly every major city government and many smaller city and town governments are AGAINST amendment 4,
    It is clear after a detailed review of its implications (not its touchy-feely message) that Amendment 4 will be a disaster for the Florida economy.

    Just Vote NO!!!

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