Forum On Amendments Planned


Readers have requested a place where they can learn about the proposed amendments on the ballot next month.  Well, here is it:



Open to the Entire Community and Free

 Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El
8200 Peters Rd., Plantation FL 33324

Guest Speaker
Professor Robert M. Jarvis, Nova Southeastern University Law Center

Bob Jarvis came to the Law Center in 1987 and was awarded tenure in 1992. Prior to entering academia, he practiced admiralty and international law in New York City, first with Haight, Gardner, Poor & Havens (now Holland & Knight) and then with Baker & McKenzie. In addition to NSU, Bob has taught at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Fordham University, Saint Thomas University, Tulane University, and Yeshiva University and has served as a Bar/Bri bar review lecturer.  Bob’s scholarship includes 18 books and more than 100 articles. Bob often is called on by the media to provide commentary on current events. He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, CNN, HBO, and National Public Radio.

No charge to attend.   To register, go to or call 954-252-6949

For information contact Pepi Dunay, 954-252-6949 or email 

14 Responses to “Forum On Amendments Planned”

  1. Vote Yes On Amendment 4 says:

    Stop the destruction of our neighborhoods and Florida. Bahia Mar and Coolie Hammock in Fort Lauderdale are threatened. Is your neighborhood next?

  2. S only says:

    Good. It’s about time there was some communication about the amendments. Do you have to register to go?

  3. BewareWhatYouWishFor says:

    Alot of the “vote yes for Amendment 4” people are either totally uniformed or they are deliberately misleading folks. For example, the post above makes it seem that amendment 4 would be applicable to the Coolie Hammock and Bahia Mar situations. Absolutely not true – those situations are rezonings, not land use plan amendments, and would not be subject to Amendment 4. Also, many proponents say that there would be no countywide vote required for land use plan amendments. Not true. In Broward, changes required to the County Plan, such as Davie Commons, would require a countywide vote under Broward’s system. Last point, the wording of the constitutional amendment requires votes for changes to the “comprehensive land use plan.” There is no such thing under Florida law and the definition provided in the ballot is unclear. That means that a judge will interpret that the provisions requires votes on any changes to the entire “comprehensive plan” – not just the land use “element” (the correct term). Therefore, nitnoid changes like updates for road projects, definitions of environmental terms, schedules for utility projects, etc., will all be subject to a vote. It will be a mess. The people who wrote the amendment thought that by making things simple, and it would be an easy black and white sell. But, instead they were lazy and sloppy, and created something that will be very cumbersome and inefficient.

  4. Lpeerman33063 says:

    I have been on the fence about this for exactly the points you mention. I don’t think people understand the County part of it. I can see cities being pitted against cities. I can also see people voting NO on a project just because a government entity wants it with no concern if it is good for them or not. I can see milage rates going up to pay for the massive amounts of special elections that will be needed. I still haven’t heard the people for it explain how the things I am concerned about and some that you mentioned will be resolved.

  5. Floridan says:

    @BewareWhat You Wish For,

    Well said (or written).

    If Amendment 4 is passed, it will be the triumph of emotion over intellect.

    Of course, there is a lot of that going around nowadays.

  6. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    Amendment 4 is public’s way of addressing a problem that are angry about. However, does the answer create even more problems than it tries to avoid?

    Without getting into whether or not to support it, I just want to point out what the result of Amendment 4 will do in Broward County.

    Because Broward County also reviews land use changes the following will be required for approval of any new land use amendments.

    1) It requires a positive vote by the city government;
    2) It requires a positive vote by the electors of that city;
    3) It requires a positive vote by the electors of Broward County.


    1) Who will pay for such elections?;
    2) When can they be put on the ballot (every 2 years in November or other general elections (i.e., primaries) whenever they come up, plus can both the city and county question be on the same ballot or different ballots (will you see the same item twice on a ballot if you live in the right city)?;
    3) How long will the process take due to the referendum votes required (1 year, 2 years, more than 2 years)?;
    4) Will anyone even bother to try to make land use changes, even if the residents of a city want the change, because it may be too difficult and costly to even try?;
    5) How long will the county ballot be if every land use amendment from every city is put onto the ballot, and will anyone ever try to figure out the ballot (especially in areas not being effected by the elector)?;
    6) Will people vote anything but “NO” when they don’t understand the issue?

    So the question is whether Amendment 4 is the answer?

  7. So Nixionian says:

    Maybe trying amendment 4 is not the best answer,but it’s a start. Maybe when an elected elected official puts the public’s interest before his campaign contribution sources, Amendment 4 will not be needed. No offense to you Mr.Mayor, but the track record of public officials acting in the Public interest is not so good, as evidenced by the recent spate of indictments.

  8. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    Mr. “So Nixionian”

    I agree the track record of public officials is not so good. Plus, I don’t think we have seen the end of it. This saddens me, and others like me who try their hardest in trying to provide good government.

    I don’t think Amendment 4 will solve this problem either.

  9. So Nixionian says:

    Dear Mayor Kaplan
    You may be an exeption to the rule amoung your colleagues. However, to do nothing is not the right thing either. The public’s trust in elected officials is broken to say the least as a result of the unbridled greed and arrogance exhibited by those who seek the publics trust. So maybe amendment 4 will send a message, if passed which is highly unlikely given the copious amounts of money
    being spent by the development community to lull the public once again in believing that they are acting in the public’s interest.

  10. Richard J Kaplan says:

    I agree with you on many points, but I would like to think that I am not the exception.

    In city officials alone in Broward there are about 200. Of that less than a dozen have caused the problems.

    On the county level it is another thing (i.e., Palm Beach and Broward), and you do have a point.

    I long ago advocated to regularly have ethic courses for elected officials at the Universities. I went so far to say that until you take the course and pass it you couldn’t run for office or continue to hold office if you fail a subsequent course (of course that won’t work).

    Amendment 4 doesn’t send a message to the public officials, it removes their elected authority by the people to legislate.

    Now if you want to eliminate elected bodies and require public votes on everything, that is one point of view. Not efficient, but an answer.

    I personally believe there is a problem, but I don’t see how Amendment 4 fixes it. What I see is that is substituted one problem with a much bigger one.

    I guess people don’t know how things will be until they try it out. But if they don’t like it, it is very difficult to reverse them.

  11. So Nixionian says:

    “I guess people don’t know how things will be until they try it out. But if they don’t like it, it is very difficult to reverse them”



  12. So Nixionian says:

    “Amendment 4 doesn’t send a message to the public officials, it removes their elected authority by the people to legislate.”

    LAST GENERAL COMMENT,A PUBLIC OFFICIAL FOFEITS THE AUTHORITY TO LEGLISLATE WHEN They DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY USE their OFFICE/AUTHORITY TO SELL THAT Leglislative power TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER. Unfortunately by the time they are caught, if ever, the damage has been done, the “Bell” can not be unrung and the Public bears the brunt of the Leglislative abuse. So maybe Amendment 4, will provide an upfront “firewall” between the Corruptors and CORRUPTEES.

  13. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    Or it will outright stop all future land use changes irrespective of whether it is good or not.

    I’ve enjoyed the discussion too. Fair and reasonable.

  14. Floridan says:

    Today’s Miami Herald has a good article on Amendment 4