Miami Dade County Community Forum

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Save the Date: First UEL Dinner is October 20th

Is Florida Hometown Democracy (Amendment #4) The Best Answer for Growth Management?

Speakers: Katy Sorenson, Neisen Kasdin, Maurice Ferre, Frank Rollason

Moderator: Helen Ferre

RUSTY PELICAN on Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia Key

6 pm: Cocktail Meet-up, Dinner 6:30: $25.00

program only: 7 pm - FREE

1 comment:

  1. Great topic. Not a great title. Hometown Democracy doesn't have to be "The Best Answer for Growth Management." It just has to be better than what we have now. And since the current Comp Plan process has essentially excluded ordinary citizens from the discussion, just about any proposal that increases citizen participation is an improvement.

    I love my own commissioner Katy Sorenson, but if Katy brings up again the notion that we can simply replace a commissioner who doesn't respect the people's will, please remember that the score is 56 to nothing for incumbents running for re-election. Counting Katy's win over the pervert Larry Hawkins, and if Jean Monestime prevails against Dorrin Rolle, that makes the score 56 to 2. Still lousy results for democracy, considering how lame the commission's incumbents have been.

    Yes, it would be better to resuscitate our comatose democracy, but that's not on the ballot.

    Now that THAT's settled, let's address the only other meaningful objection: the assertion that elections will be clogged with dozens of obtuse and bureaucratic Comp Plan changes. If by some stretch this claim turns out to be true—and I don't concede that it is—let me remind you that the Developer Lobby OWNS our legislature, and "regulatory relief" will be only one special session away.

    Developers are RIGHT: the regulation of development IS much to cumbersome. No one knows better than someone who has developed a "green" house, like I have. But changing a Comprehensive Development Master Plan SHOULD be difficult! How good is a Master Plan that needs to be changed twice a year?

    The State has erred in making the master planning process too detailed, especially as regards services and infrastructure. But the fact remains that in this game, developers and their attorneys run the board. Unless we citizens pass Amendment 4, there will never be enough pressure to fix the Comp Plan process.

    Florida, and South Florida in particular, was hit so hard by the Great Recession precisely because Comp Plan changes were like putty in the hands of developers. They built too much, they built it in the wrong places, and now WE are stuck with the foreclosures and the vacant storefronts. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me! Let's make sure there's no sequel to the Building Bust, by passing Amendment 4.