Monday, 18 October 2010
Why I Am Going To Vote For Amendment 4.
First--What amendment 4 will not require, despite often misleading statements by opponents.

It will not require a special election to approve Comprehensive Plan Amendments. (At least one candidate for City Council, who has no experience in this area, has publicly stated incorrect information about this.)
A vote to approve or disapprove will follow Council Action at the next election. Since Venice has an annual election, this should not create unreasonable delays. Comp Plan amendments always require complete local and state review so they are not a quick-action process.

It will not require rezonings, exceptions etc. to be submitted to a referendum. Action by the City Planning Commission and Council will proceed as usual.

2. The economic problems we face, foreclosures etc. were brought about by unchecked development for speculative purposes. Such development of homes always raises taxes as the services required are expensive.

Specific example in Venice. A new fire station on Laurel Road cost about $3 million to build. It was touted as a bargain because $1million was donated by developers.
The other $2million came from Venice taxpayers all over the City. Further there was no money available to staff the fire station, so the County did that. Venice and County taxpayers paid for that.

A fire station in that area is a good idea, many homes are there. The idea that the homes will offset costs is not the case.

3. There are thousands of comprehensive plan amendments in Florida every year (ordinary times), and virtually all are initiated by developers' requests to elected officials. These developers do, as they have done in Venice, make contributions toward the campaigns of those they expect to favor them.

That is why Ernie Zavodnyik, Sue Lang and Marshall Happer have refused to accept money from those seeking decisions from Council that would enrich them. (Part of the reason these three are endorsed by the Herald Tribune.) (I did the same when I ran as did Kit McKeon and Jim Bennett.)

BOTTOM LINE: Venice voters elected us in 2007 because they felt Council was too close to favored developers and their attorneys. Council Members from 2000 to 2007 had all been supported by the development political machine--the Citizens For Quality Government, started by E.G. Boone, whose firm represents most land use issues before Council. Need anyone say more? I will be publishing information about contributions to candidates who do not follow this "no special interest funding" policy in the near future.

Amendment 4 will protect the citizens from unreasonable growth promoted through development lobbies, but will allow elected officials to examine issues and to bring their recommendations and arguments supporting their actions to the voters each fall.
Posted By Ed Martin at 2:27 PM in Category:Inside Venice
20 Oct 2010
Mike Rafferty
If you trust your elected officials to protect you on these issues, you vote NO. If you don't trust them, you vote YES. I'm voting YES! Editor's note: The Venice voters have made good judgements on school issues, bond issues, support for green space and electing Council members, (most all), since 2007. Before that ???. If the voters understand the issues they will consider the arguments given by the elected officials for supporting a change in the Comp Plan, and that provides a reasonable checks and balances when you are dealing with the next 20 years or so. Thanks for writing.

18 Oct 2010
Send an emailgary budway
Editor's Correction. Mr. Walia is on record as not going to vote for Amendment 4, Venice Gondolier Election Edition. Mr. Budway appears to be mistaken Ed,
Glad to see you are back and on the YES vote for Amendment 4 is one thing we totally agree upon. My question to you is why the candidates running for election and re election are not supporting the YES vote.Look at their answers to the questions they answered in the Gondo Election issue. The only candidate in favor of 4 passing
is Harry Walia.


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