Why would ANYONE support Amendment 4?

For the past few months, I have been noticing a growing surge of sentiments against the mysterious Amendment 4. My daily drive down Thomasville Road towards work brings on a display of dozens of signs, billboards and lawn posts, all proclaiming “Vote NO on 4!”I was mildly intrigued, but didn’t commit to finding out more information until my dad, the most anti-bumper sticker man on the planet, showcased an enormous “Vote No on 4!” decal on his car. Seeing that his dedication to this cause usurped his unwavering hatred for car adhesives peaked my interest, and I knew I had to dig deeper into this issue.

According to Florida2010.org, this is what the proposed amendment is all about:

“Amendment 4 is a proposed amendment of Florida’s constitution which would require taxpayer-funded referenda on all changes to local government comprehensive plans. In other words, this ‘Vote on Everything’ amendment would force Floridians – not the representatives they elect – to decide hundreds of technical comprehensive plan changes each year.”

Reading through the credible information about Amendment 4 has left me  baffled as to why anyone would support this. Basically, the people would have to do our representatives job; the people will be forced to pay increased taxes to support time-wasting processes; local businesses would suffer if they ever planned on growing; and voters would be held responsible to become informed and make wise decisions about thousands of different organizations’ proposed plans. This amendment is unreasonable and prone to be poorly-executed.

According to this write-up featured by a local Tallahassee real estate organization, Floridians would have to vote on about 10,599 proposed plans per year, based on data collected over the past four years. Do you really have the time or energy to properly educate yourself on hundreds of different plans? Isn’t that why we elect capable representatives? The Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce provided a sample ballot of what voters can expect to see if this proposition passes. The technical jargon of the ballot would leave most voters scratching their heads.

This amendment can affect your university, our local businesses, the rock gym, everywhere we value. A new billboard outside my office states that 262,000 jobs will be lost if Amendment 4 is passed. If you are a student who will enter the job market in the next few years, you really should become educated on this issue. Visit Ballotpedia for non-biased information representing both sides.  It is our duty as young American citizens to participate in these elections, especially with the fate of such a contentious issue directly in our hands. I urge you to VOTE NO ON 4!


Check out the Vote No on Amendment 4 Facebook page.

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Categories: Current Events

Author:Katie Boué

Katie Boué is the voice of TheMorningFresh.com - a travel lifestyle blog focusing on climbing, Airbnb life, and the outdoors.

12 Comments on “Why would ANYONE support Amendment 4?”

  1. Kirby
    October 14, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    Just another website about the issue. This one supports Amendment 4. It’s pretty complicated! Seems to me like there is a problem with land use and development, but that perhaps Amendment 4 isn’t the best answer. Kudos to you for posting about it though!

    http://florida.sierraclub.org/suncoast/FloridaHometownDemocracy.htm

    • October 14, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

      Excellent feedback, thank you for the link, Kirby! I might write a follow-up post about this after engaging in a lot of conversation with peers about the issue. It seems that voting yes/no on Amendment 4 is basically boiling down to choosing the lesser of two evils. I think the intentions behind the amendment is great, but the execution will be a disaster.

      If you can, tune in online to WFTL 850 tomorrow at 2:30, I’ll be getting interviewed by Joyce Kaufman about this post!

      • Kirby
        October 14, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

        Don’t ally with the tea party Katie! We need you on the side of sanity! :) Just kidding. Also, you should try and throw in something like, “I mean, obviously, this is better for everybody, you know, just like repealing DADT!”

        Good luck and keep trucking Katie. Also, I wanna climb with you and Niko sometime soon! Woo!

        • October 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

          I don’t think the Tea Party would quite jive with my pro-equality views and such, but I totally understand their movement away from the divisive Democrat/Republican dichotomy. I’m liberal as hell with my social issues, and conservative as hell with my money – hmm, where do I belong?

          Also, Niko and I miss you too! Come to the climbing club trip to HP40 next weekend. Matt Wood is goin’ up!

  2. Larry Olson
    October 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    I’m not so sure about NO to 4.
    What jobs are we loosing, government jobs?
    What taxes will increase? The costs should be minimal with electronic voting.
    And the government has done a lousy job with this anyway, spending WAY too much money and raising taxes significantly. Why would the citizens do any worse?

    • October 25, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

      Thank you for your feedback, Larry! I believe that the most significant thing here is that our citizens are uneducated on the decisions that would need to be made, and further, I have absolutely no faith that the majority of our population will have the give-a-damn to research the proposals and make wise votes that aren’t going to be influenced by the big corporate propaganda anyways. I think we need to demand that our elected officials do their job, and maybe we should reflect upon ourselves to reconsider who we’re putting in office before we try to revamp the system.

      However, I think it should be known that I firmly stand by the intentions of Amendment 4 – I simply think the proposed method of going about curbing development is going to backfire on all of us. There has to be a better way; in fact, there already is. We can already prevent development if we are so strongly opposed to it, we just don’t care. And I think that this lack of concern will carry over even if we pass the Amendment. My problem isn’t so much the Amendment, it’s the people. You and I are concerned citizens who may handle this amendment properly, but consider about our state’s election history…

      • Larry Olson
        October 25, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

        Katie,

        While I can appreciate your comments, however, you sound like a politician saying our citizens are uneducated. Who do you think we are, idiots?

        I’m tired of politicians telling me what I need, and shoving it down my throat, and then taxing me for it. If I had my way there would be NO government. Obviously won’t work, but we SURE need a lot less.

        We do NOT NEED to create jobs for government employees, we need jobs for private enterprise.

        My tax bills over the last 10 years have gone up from 75% to 325%, which is absolutely absurd. And I’ve received no more benefits than 10 years ago. So it’s CLEAR that our politicians can’t be trusted to do a good job.

        I’ll take my chances with the citizens, who I believe will make better choices than our politicians.

        And, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for proper development, but ONLY private stuff. Had enough government stuff.

        Please educate me, if I’m missing something.

  3. Larry Olson
    October 25, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    And another thing…

    Why is it impossible to make a comment on the Vote NO for 4 website? Who is running that? Is someone just railroading us to vote for something that “may” not be in our best interest?

    • October 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

      I honestly have no answers for you about the Florida2010.org website not allowing comments, but I’d venture to guess that it is related to the high levels of trolling and non-related spam that those types of websites get filled up with.

      I definitely appreciate your perspective, and agree with you on much of what you stated. However, I am not foolish enough to have faith in ‘the people’. There is a very limited selection of our community that gives a hoot about government. More than half of my (educated, well-read, informed) peers have unwaveringly decided to refrain from any form of voting because they simply do not agree with what our government is doing, nor do they have faith that any proposed changes are going to benefit us as they so claim – this applies to Amendment 4 and otherwise.

      There is a group of very educated, well-versed individuals who could make logical and wise decisions, but the vast majority of people that will turn up at the polls do not fit those qualifications. What makes you think that a corporation isn’t going to have the influence to sway unknowing citizens into voting their way through the media and propaganda?

      Again I’ll assert – I agree with your motives, I agree with the concept behind Amendment 4’s attempt at curbing unnecessary development; I do not agree that the decision-making should be left up to everyone, nor do I think that this voting method will be an effective vehicle to achieve the goals of Amendment 4.

      I think it’s almost a little shameful that we are so close in opinion, and yet these tiny differences are dividing us. I would love to see an amended amendment that proposed a better method.

      Check out the group “Floridians for Smarter Growth” – their voices were overlooked and yet I think they had a much better approach to the amendment. I’d love to know your opinion on them.

      • Larry Olson
        October 26, 2010 at 3:15 am #

        Thx for you comments, Katie.

        When I search for “Floridians for Smarter Growth” I get: http://www.florida2010.org, which is clearly a political group, and I doubt it’s the voice of the people…. but I could be corrected.

        And, yes, you are right, most of the people won’t know enough to vote, and I suspect the majority of them won’t even vote at all.

        However, I’m not sure our politicians do much better. While they are probably more educated on issues, they too often do what THEY want and not what’s best for the people. We’ve seen it way too often.

        And, I agree with you Amendment 4 is not the best vehicle, but I fear it’s better than none.

        And, I’m not against development (I’m in residential development), I’m against major land use changes that often cause more harm than good.

        However, I’m trying to better educate myself on this by reading more.

        I’m still unsure why the St. Pete Beach and Yankeetown deals were failures…..

        • October 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

          Why should we have to settle? We should be demanding the best, not settling for a half-assed version of what would really work. I suppose I’m just sick of mediocrity, and Amendment 4 just seems like another lame attempt at doing what’s right. I want real results, real changes, real solutions. Maybe I’m asking for too much?

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