Petrogram - Winter 2009 - (Page 19)

FEATURE Hometown Democracy Cary Gaylord Gaylord, Merlin, Ludovici, Diaz & Bain Danger Ahead: The Amendment that Needs to be Stopped I ’m normally a guy who scolds others for exaggeration or overstatement. At the risk of violating my principles, let me say this: Next fall, we’ll vote on the most dangerous constitutional amendment Florida has ever seen – Florida Hometown Democracy. If you don’t yet know what it’s about, take time to educate yourself and then tell everyone you know. This amendment needs to be stopped. It will not only impact the petroleum industry, but it also has the potential to set Florida’s economy back decades. doesn’t mean you avoid the gauntlet of your local planning agency and governing body that you currently have to run. It means you have to jump through all the hoops on the current course, plus wait until you can get it on the ballot and have a vote. Then, if the local “not in my backyard” advocates object, you have to spend money to educate the voters or kiss your project goodbye. Of course, hundreds of thousands of dollars can be spent on a local election campaign. Just add that cost to the other costs of any project that would require you to go through this process. Yet this amendment could result in the denial of property rights based on the outcome of a well- funded campaign. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen. What the Amendment Does The amendment has been promoted by a few aggressive anti-growth advocates who raised the signatures necessary to place it on the ballot for the 2010 general election. Hometown democracy has a nice sound to it, and who can be against voting in favor of democracy? Even so, it will be a disaster if it passes. In a nutshell, the amendment requires that before any adoption of or change to a land use plan, the issue must be submitted to the voters. Th is Property Rights 101 Both the U.S. and Florida constitutions were designed specifically to protect property rights and other individual rights by limiting the powers of government to the exercise of due process in accordance with law. Takings and other limitations of those rights were intended to occur only in accordance with the strict provisions of law. Neither our constitution nor our laws grant to a popular majority the power to pass judgment on an individual’s lawful use of property. What Will be the Impact of the Amendment? No one can anticipate with certainty all the impacts this amendment could have on our economy. It’s entirely possible there will be some unanticipated consequences that will be worse than imagined. I do Petrogram | Winter 2009 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petrogram - Winter 2009

Petrogram - Winter 2009
President’s Perspective
2010 FPMA Patron Members
Enviro Corner
Danger Ahead: Hometown Democracy
Out & About the Industry
Insurance Issues
Drop and Swap, Fishing and Dogs
Barrister’s Counsel
Index of Advertisers/

Petrogram - Winter 2009