A couple of days ago we asked Vice Mayor George Brummer about the City of Pompano Beach's official opposition to the controversial Amendment 4. The "Hometown Democracy" movement is sweeping across Florida, revving up its engines for a vote this November 2010 that would put growth back in the hands of ordinary citizens rather than, say, politicians who might be likely to fall headfirst into the pockets of developers. If Amendment 4 passes, it shall be written into the consitution that major land use changes will be subject to popular vote.
The Pompano Beach City Commission, we learned last week, is hardly the first city in Broward County to want to make a grand symbolic gesture about Amendment 4. We asked Rhonda Calhoun over at the Broward League of Cities about this, and she forwarded us a list of cities who have already passed official resolutions decrying the Amendment.
Deerfield, Hallandale, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, Southwest Ranches, Coral Springs, West Park, Wilton Manors, Tamarac, North Lauderdale, and Lauderdale Lakes have all rallied against the Amendment in recent years.
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"As far as I know," Calhoun says, "No cities have passed a resolution in favor of the Amendment."* And the big guys, it seems, remain inscrutable on the subject.
Hollywood**, Fort Lauderdale, and Davie appear to have no interest in beating the anti-4 drum. Does this signal approval? Or just indifference? Perhaps Lauderdale and Hollywood are so thoroughly joined at the hip to high-rolling developers they don't have to fret over any silly citizens' initiatives. If anybody knows how to skirt the law, it's these dudes, right?
Luckily, until the Supreme Court tells us otherwise, cities are not legally entitled to vote, the way, say, corporations are entitled to make political donations. It remains to be seen whether or not these city commissions reflect the will of their constituents: November will tell.
*Deerfield did make a strong statement in 2008 in favor of Amendment 4. We'll check in with them today and post an update.
**At its February 3, 2010 commission meeting, the city of Hollywood passed a resolution to support the Broward League of Cities Legislative Priorities. That lengthy list of priorities includes opposition to Amendment 4.