Vote “no” on super-majority (Amendment #10)

February 4, 2010

Why do those supporting a super-majority vote in Winter Park insist on referring to those who disagree with them as “development-related special interests” (My Word: “Vote ‘yes’ for a super-majority,” Orlando Sentinel, Tuesday)?

A broad spectrum of citizens with varied interests and experiences are rightfully questioning Amendment 10.

On Tuesday, Winter Park voters will decide whether to require a super-majority vote (4-1) of city commissioners when changing land-use policies within our comprehensive plan. A “no” vote in opposition to Amendment 10 will assure that a minority will not control future land use in Winter Park.

Winter Park’s charter review committee considered Amendment 10 but could not get enough support to recommend it.

The city commission put it on the ballot anyway, with a move proposed and seconded by commissioners Beth Dillaha and Margie Bridges.

This passed 3-2, ironically failing to meet a super-majority threshold.

I contributed to “Vote NO on Amendment #10,” a group Bridges characterizes as merely developers “throwing a lot of money into an aggressive negative campaign.” I and many other contributors are not developers. The only property I own in Winter Park is my home.

Seven Winter Park mayors from many walks of life recommend a “no” vote on Amendment 10.

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, primarily small business owners, recommends a “no” vote on Amendment 10. Winter Park residents who already understand the consequences have placed “Vote NO” signs in their yards.

And to make matters worse, this isn’t the comprehensive plan you want to carve in stone through a super-majority requirement.

Amendment 10 seeks to protect a comprehensive plan our Winter Park city attorneys found to be flawed in ways that expose our city to lawsuits.

The city attorneys are continuing their review, anticipating additional flaws that put Winter Park at risk.

The bottom line: The comprehensive plan recently approved by Bridges et al. needs to be changed to avoid lawsuits.

Will this fiasco result in more tax dollars paid to property owners not to redevelop in Winter Park?

Every Winter Park resident has reason to be concerned.

This is not about special interests. Our laws should provide reasoned flexibility and not enable a minority view to hold Winter Park’s future hostage.

Vote “no” on Amendment 10.

Peter J. Weldon lives in Winter Park.

Copyright © 2010, Orlando Sentinel

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