Monday, October 06, 2014

The Questions on the 11/4/2014 Ballot: How I would vote. By Geniusofdespair

Genius of Despair, how I would vote: On The Constitutional Amendments 1 YES, 2 YES, 3 NO.  On 3: "Harry Lee Anstead, former justice of the Florida Supreme Court from 1994 to 2009, condemned the amendment as a "partisan political power grab. " 

Master Ballot
11/04/2014 General Election


No. 1
Water and Land Conservation

Dedicates funds to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands Funds the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to acquire, restore, improve, and manage conservation lands
including wetlands and forests; fish and wildlife habitat; lands protecting water resources and drinking water sources, including the Everglades, and the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; beaches and shores; outdoor recreational lands; working farms and ranches; and historic or geologic sites, by dedicating 33 percent of net revenues from the existing excise tax on documents for 20 years.This amendment does not increase or decrease state revenues. The state revenue restricted to the purposes specified in the amendment is estimated to be $648 million in Fiscal Year 2015-16 and grows to $1.268 billion by the twentieth year. Whether this results in any additional state expenditures depends upon future legislative actions and cannot be determined. Similarly, the impact on local government revenues, if any, cannot be determined. No additional local government costs are expected.

No. 2
Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions

Allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not authorizeviolations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.Increased costs from this amendment to state and local governments cannot be determined. There will be additional regulatory and enforcement activities associated with the production and sale of medical marijuana. Fees will offset at least a portion of the regulatory costs. While sales tax may apply to purchases, changes in revenue cannot reasonably be determined since the extent to which medical marijuana will be exempt from taxation is unclear without legislative or state administrative action.

No. 3 (The League of Women Voters Opposes It)

Prospective Appointment of Certain Judicial Vacancies

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution requiring the Governor to prospectively fill vacancies in a judicial office to which election for retention applies resulting from the justice’s or judge’s reaching the mandatory retirement age or failure to qualify for a retention election; and allowing prospective appointments if a justice or judge is not retained at an election. Currently, the Governor may not fill an expected vacancy until the current justice’s or judge’s term expires.
The scheme proposed in Amendment 3 gives a departing governor the power to tip the scales of justice for partisan reasons on the way out the door — with impunity. And, therein lies the easily identified real intent of this amendment. Partisan advocates, frustrated by the public's rejection of their attempt to remove these same three Florida justices in their retention elections in 2012, have audaciously found another scheme to achieve their goals of stacking the court politically.

It is a one-time gamble and a shortsighted strategy on multiple levels. First, it presumes Gov. Rick Scott is re-elected so that he can make the appointments at the end of his second term. More importantly, it cynically ignores the possibility that an informed Florida public will reject this blatant attempt to politicize the judiciary.  -
Harry Lee Anstead

Genius: A big fat NO on all of them. Don't mess with article 7. They are chipping away at this very important Amendment to the Home Rule Charter, also know as the Dan Paul Amendment, that protects Parks. DON'T CHANGE IT.  NO NO NO  

County Questions: 
Charter Amendment to Article 7 to Allow Libraries in Parks Article 7 of the Charter currently provides that parks shall be used for public park purposes only and limits construction at parks to certain permissible facilities. Shall Article 7 of the Charter be amended to: 

(1) permit parks to also be used for library purposes; and (2) add libraries constructed within recreation facilities to the list of those permissible facilities at parks?

Charter Amendment Exempting Miami Dade Regional Soccer Park from Article 7
Except for parks explicitly exempted by the Charter, Article 7 provides that parks
shall be used for public park purposes only and construction within those parks is limited to certain enumerated facilities. Shall the Charter be amended to also exempt the Regional Soccer Park on NW 58th Street from the provisions and restrictions of Article 7?

Charter Amendment on Protecting Preservation Lands and Allowing Campgrounds and Lodges/Cabins in Camp Matecumbe 
 Article 7 of the Charter currently provides that parks shall be used for public park purposes only and limits construction at parks to certain permissible facilities. Shall the Charter be amended to: (1) further restrict development and use of County designated preservation lands that would adversely impact natural resources; and (2) add the construction of campgrounds and cabins/lodges at Camp Matecumbe to the list of those permissible facilities at parks

Charter Amendment Exempting from Article 7 Florida International University’s Expansion onto Youth Fair Site

The Dade County Youth Fair site at Tamiami Park is exempt from the public park purposes use restrictions and construction limitations in Article 7 of the Charter. Shall the Charter be amended to:
• Extend this exemption to Florida International University (FIU) for its expansion onto up to 64 acres of such site upon relocation of the Youth Fair; and
• Provide that no County funds be used for FIU’s expansion and the Youth Fair’s required
Funding Court Projects through Issuance of General Obligation Bonds
Shall the County fund emergency repairs to the 1928 Courthouse and the acquisition and construction of new court facilities by issuing, in one or more series, General Obligation Bonds paid or secured by taxes derived from the assessed value of property in the County (advalorem taxes), potentially increasing property taxes, in a principal amount up to 393 million dollars, bearing interest not exceeding maximum legal rate, and maturing within 30 years from issuance?

Gimleteye on the Amendments:

Amendment 1  YES
Amendment 2  YES


Anonymous said...

As they say "Spot On" .. Especially Yes to Constitutional Amendment 1

Geniusofdespair said...

Wasn't in the mood to argue with that other comment so I just removed it. Note: Get your own blog...stop reading ours.

Anonymous said...

It is not so far-fetched we had to fight from a school being put in Haulover county park. Michael Krop was for it. He was at the school board at the time. Schools in parks are just as ludicrous as libraries in Parks. You might as well say goodbye to all the open space where people can gather if this library resolution passes.

Anonymous said...

The new courthouse is backed by property taxes. I don't think so I would never vote on that. You are right about bonds all they do is cost us money they are taxes with another name

Anonymous said...

If people in this county REALLY believe that relocating the Youth Fair won't cost us any $$$$$ .....

Anonymous said...

FIU should raise its academic standards instead of expanding. Miami Dade already serves the role of being the college "of the people." FIU should finally focus on becoming a real university.

Anonymous said...

Watson Island is publicly owned. Now the site is taken over by an (illegal) for-profit charter school and a money losing banquet hall and by some scammers who won a RFP 13 years ago and then NEVER put a shovel in the ground. Voters should oppose commercial encroachment into parks.

Anonymous said...

FIU can go vertical. Parks should be parks.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment about FIU should go vertical. What bothers me is that we will loose all the activities that are currently at the Youth Fair Site and don't forget the income that the county will also loose. Mostly I am also bothered by what the final cost will be for the relocation after a location is identified, purchased, built. Oh, and don't forget the cost of new roads, etc.

Anonymous said...

>Wasn't in the mood to argue with that other comment so I just removed it. Note: Get your own blog...stop reading ours.

Why even have a comment section then??

Geniusofdespair said...

Good question.

Do I have to argue all the time, can't I get mad once in awhile because a reader is so stupid I can't stand it?

365 days of comments, many meant to annoy me, I can get out of the mood and give them no platform.

Anonymous said...

The Fair is a sham of what is used to be, which was a celebration of student achievement. FIU is a great school and is doing really well for being so young. They should definitely be allowed to expand onto the fairgrounds.

MDC is a shit hole with terrible professors and the worst management I've ever experienced. Whoever said it's the college of the people must have meant the college of the idiots who weren't accepted anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Bonds for schools? We voted for casinos to expand because of the windfall of monies for our schools. Where did that go? The casinos have been highly profitable. Where's our money? All a scam?

Cristina said...

How would you vote on Funding Court Projects thru Issuance of General Obligation Bonds? For Bonds OR Against Bonds??

Geniusofdespair said...

last post you are kidding right? I hate bonds.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the write-up. I agree on all points and it helped make my research on the issues quicker.

Anonymous said...

I am a biology Ph.D. student at FIU, and although I admit my opinion is biased, I thought you should know FIU has grown into a very well respected research university in many fields. I chose to come to FIU over other prestigious universities because my advisor here is the best in the world at what he does. The university has built many, mutli-story new buildings in simply the two years I have been here. The university is growing at a pace at which expansion of the footprint of the university is inevitable. The university will (I am positive) simply build yet another set of satellite buildings in another less protected, less convenient open space if expansion is not allowed into Tamiami Park. This space is not of conservation concern, it is already developed into mowed fields and sporting areas. In a sense, building here is potentially saving what I see as inevitable building projects occurring over our precious natural areas. Please consider the quality of the parklands in question during your voting decisions. I do not see allowing exceptions to amendment 7 as such as slippery slope as GeniusofDespair. Legislators will still need to ask for our permission for any future changes.

Anonymous said...

I can almost guarantee FIU will use that space to build parking garages, not educational facilities. The county should use the money they would have spent on relocating the Youth Fair on building a metro rail to FIU. Problem solved.