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New Campaign To Defeat Amendment Four

By Gina Jordan


Tallahassee, FL – Business and labor leaders in Florida have found common ground with their dislike of Amendment Four, known as Hometown Democracy. They announced the results of an economic impact study Tuesday in Tallahassee, as they launched a campaign to defeat the proposal.

The report, conducted by the Washington Economics Group, shows Amendment Four could have a negative impact in Florida of $34-billion and a loss of more than a quarter-million jobs. Mark Wilson is president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He's also on the board of the newly formed "Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy."

"It proves that far beyond construction and real estate and development, this is an economic job killer for the whole state of Florida."

The former mayor of St. Pete Beach, Ward Friszolowski, says he hopes Florida voters will learn from his town's mistakes. They adopted a local version of Hometown Democracy in 2006, so residents could make decisions about growth in their community.

"Amendment Four is not designed to give voters a say. It's designed to stop progress even as voters approve it."

Friszolowski says residents went to the ballot box to make land use changes that would revitalize the downtown area, only to be met with lawsuits by the same people who promoted the amendment. He says the city has paid half a million dollars in legal bills so far, as businesses have closed.

Supporters of the measure say it will save untold billions of dollars by making unplanned, reckless development more difficult to push through. They say the opponents are those who profit from unchecked growth.