The fight to defeat Amendment 4 — which would change the Florida Constitution by requiring voter approval of changes to local comprehensive plans — has picked up more high-profile funders. The Sun-Sentinel reported yesterday:
As business executives gathered Wednesday at a [Fort Lauderdale] downtown restaurant to raise money to fight a ballot initiative Amendment 4 that requires public votes on development, slow growth activists picketed outside.
The Broward Workshop, a group of top local business leaders, held the YOLO fundraiser to pay for a local advertising and education campaign and chipped in $100,000.
AutoNation executive Mike Jackson and JM Family Enterprises executive Colin Brown each gave $50,000. Other sponsors of the fundraiser included mega-lobbyist Ron Book, car dealership owner Rick Case, billionaire businessman H. Wayne Huizenga and Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce chief Dan Lindblade.
Florida Hometown Democracy led the drive to get Amendment 4 on the November ballot. Bett Willet, the leader of the South Florida chapter of Hometown Democracy, tells The Florida Independent, “Every county throughout the state has a master plan that includes issues like land use changes. If you want to put up a residential high-rise on a golf course, that is a land-use issue included in the master plan.”
According to Willet, Amendment 4 “would give voters a say on the final approval of the local comprehensive plan.”
The Sun-Sentinel article quoted construction executive Terry Stiles saying, “This is nothing more than a stop-growth initiative.”
Ryan Houck, the executive director of Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy, a group leading the No on 4 campaign tells The Florida Independent, “This proposal would delay new business creation in Florida. It would also increase government costs and lead to tax raises to cover cost per referenda.”