Lobbyist Ron Book Works To Save The Davie Commons



I can just see Ãœber-lobbyist Ron Book right now.

While everybody else is relaxing on the weekend, Book is working like some mad political Dr. Frankenstein.  He is working to shock the dead project, The Davie Commons, back to life.

Instead of electrodes and lightning used by Frankenstein, Book will rely on his mastery of the legislative process.

His goal: Getting the Legislature to stop another vote in Davie Town Hall.  

Tuesday’s election cost the shopping and office complex a key supporter in town hall, making its passage by the Davie Town Council unlikely.

The developers of The Davie Commons should be happy, despite their election loss Tuesday in Davie.  Their project is in good hands.

Book plays the Legislature like Heifetz plays the violin.

Here is how I predict it will work:

Book will quietly get a growth management bill shaped to permit The Davie Commons.

“I wouldn’t tell you that is out of the range of possibilities,” Book said.

One way to do it is Book calling in a favor from a friendly legislator. 

The friendly legislator will be asked to insert a last-minute amendment in a growth management bill.

The amendment will stop local communities like Davie from reviewing land use changes twice before they are approved.

Right now local communities get two bites at the land use apple. 

They approve a land use change.   It goes to Tallahassee.  Then it comes back to the local community for another approval.

Davie has already gone through step one.  The town approved a land use change to permit construction of The Davie Commons two years ago.

But with Tuesday’s election defeat of Mayor Tom Truex, the developers lack the votes to pass The Davie Commons through the council a second time.

Book must stop any second vote by the town.

That’s my prediction based on three decades of watching Book work his magic on the Florida Legislature.

Now, Book is not foolish enough to telegraph his tactics on my website.

He says he is working for The Davie Commons in the state departments that have control over growth management. 

He said it was “no secret” that the Legislature is considering relaxing growth management laws. The lawmakers say it is  a way to kick start the building industry and overcome the recession.

“There is a serious effort to break down barriers to development,” Book said.   

 The “serious effort” presents opportunity for The Davie Commons.

If I wanted to kill The Davie Commons, I would be watching any growth management legislation very carefully — line-by-line, every word and every punctuation mark.  Book is smart enough to hide his fingerprints.

You heard it at Browardbeat.com first. 

9 Responses to “Lobbyist Ron Book Works To Save The Davie Commons”

  1. Davie Resident says:

    The Commons should never be allowed. This is our tea party! We should not permit it and if the Legislature allows it, we should throw them out of office.

  2. ZZTOP says:

    All those who disagree with the Davie Commons must be wealthy and care for themselves. History shown us that wars and construciton helps the econonmy in a rapid way. Our war at this timje has not, but construction does.

  3. Give It Up says:


  4. Ellis Traub says:

    Every one of the folks who were led to fear what The Commons would do to their qualit of life went to the polls on Tuesday.

    At least half of those who were merely in favor of it (of which there were many more) simply didn’t bother to vote.

    Fear invariably drives people harder than desire.

    Of course, the biggest problem today is apathy!

    But then, who cares!

  5. Liberal Al says:

    We need jobs. The Davie Commons will provide economic development and construction jobs, along with white collar work for engineers, architects, planners, inspectors. This is a no-brainer, folks!

  6. Democrat says:

    There is something undemocratic about making an end run around the voters in Tallahassee. They lost on Tuesday. Get over it and make plans for some other use of that land.

  7. watchful says:

    The malls and strip malls are empty. WTF?

  8. Floridan says:

    An amendment such as you suggest, allowing only a single vote, would backfire on the development community.

    As it is right now, reviewing agencies are usually fairly lax in their initial review, knowing that the project has to come back before them.

    Knowing that there is but a single opportunity to review and vote on a project will result in more stringent scrutiny and will require the developer to get all loose ends tied up before the review (which will translate into more time and money for the developers).

    Finally, the first review is an opportunity for the developer to determine what the major points of contention might be, which can then be worked on before the second vote. The developer would forfeit this “advantage” with a single vote.

    Finally, if this passes, it will be tied up in court for years — it’s one thing to change the rules for future projects, but there will be legal challenges to any attempt to revise the rules in mid-stream.

  9. Floridan says:

    Obviously, there should only be one “finally.”