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Chiles Opposed to Amendment 4

Independent gubernatorial candidate Bud Chiles said Thursday that he’s opposed to Amendment 4, which would require voter approval before changes in local comprehensive plans, a measure aimed at curbing runaway growth.

The amendment, which was pushed by a “smart growth” group called “Hometown Democracy,” is generally opposed by the development community, but a Ron Sachs/Mason Dixon poll last month showed about 60 percent of voters would vote for it.  Chiles, speaking Thursday to the Florida Press Association and the Florida Society of News Editors, said referenda on local changes to growth rules would be “unworkable.”

“I think it will be a roadblock,” to local governments trying to control growth in ways they want to at the local level , said Chiles, the son of former Gov. Lawton Chiles.

Chiles said an overriding way in which he would seek to solve problems if he were elected governor would be to move problem solving to the local level and away from Tallahassee.  That would be the best way to address growth management issues as well, according to Chiles.

4 Responses »

  1. Let me understand this. Bud Chiles doesn't want local citizens to have a say in local development decisions, but wants to greater empower local politicians to make those development decisions without either effective state or citizen oversight. That works, but only to rubber-stamp development decisions. How many local politicians do we have to put in jail for making illegal money off of development decisions (and one-third of my county commission has recently gone to jail for this type of activity) before the message gets through that there has to be effective state and/or citizen oversight. I'm not a proponent of Amendment 4, but I'll be voting for it for exactly this type of political non-sense and anti-growth management thinking among our legislators in not reauthorizing the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) this past year. I financially supported, worked for, and voted for Bud Chiles' dad for governor. Unfortunately, it appears his son, Bud Chiles, was gone far too long from Florida to appreciate the anger and frustration that Florida's citizens have over the sprawling development decisions their local politicians make. Clearly, Bud Chiles doesn't want a strong, effective DCA, nor does he want local citizens to have a say in the growth decisions affecting their lives. Unlike his father, Bud Chiles will not get my financial support, my political time and effort, nor my vote.

  2. Apparently I'm not the only one who has some issues with Bud Chiles over his work as a developer - see http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/18/1687086/florida-gubernatorial-hopeful.html - contains the following two observations:

    1 - ``It has been a flop from the beginning,'' said Wilburn ``Curley'' Messer, Carrabelle's mayor.

    ``He had a fine daddy; I respected him,'' Messer said of the former two-term governor. ``But I don't have any respect for Bud.''

    2 - Many Carrabelle residents are unhappy with Chiles because they feel he used his political connections to secure the business deals but left town when things turned south.

    Chris Langston, who works in his father's real estate company, said: ``He made big promises, and very few of them were kept.''

  3. Hello Mr. Chiles...don't know where your head has been in the sand...but one of the main problems IS Local Government County Commissions making decisions based on developer contributions to their campaign in lieu of representing citizens. When a developer can make a presentation last six hours to justify every which way as to 'why' he needs to build more of what we have already too much of....and the citizen gets a limit of 3 minutes (after listening to a lengthy 'dog n pony show') reflects just how local government is out of balance and out of tune with just who they represent.

  4. Full disclosure- I am supporting Bud and here's why with answers to your posts.

    A few things about the statements:

    "How many local politicians do we have to put in jail for making illegal money off of development decisions..."

    Answer: As many as your local community VOTE in to make decisions. Understand, these are LOCAL official voted in by the LOCAL community. Mandating that you take official decisions out of ELECTED officials hands, by giving to the local community is simply shifting the target for the "special interests" to send their bribe money. State-wide mandates of this type are not one size fits all. Local communities understand what needs to happen, we see it daily and this amendment is a result of our angst. But realize, we can easily be taken advantage of when state/federal (non-local) lawmakers see local unrest and want to come in and rescue us, permanently. Did not work well for Katrina.

    #2: Let's get some facts straight shall we (even at the expense of messing up a nice credibility story of how bad Chiles may seem at first glance)

    a. "Tony Attalla invented the product" NOT Bud Chiles, “Chiles secured connections with city leaders and was the company's public face, in October 2008.”
    b. A little Context- in 2008- NOBODY who wanted to build was safe- especially in Florida. It was a clear attempt to create jobs, implement better technology, people wanted it or expressed interest then the crash happened. I’m sure some of you know of at least one person affected by it in a negative way.
    c. Chiles got back his initial investment, plus a ``minimum compensation'' for his time. The firm has since gone into bankruptcy and is looking for investors. – He was bought out, which is to say, there are no legitimate lawsuits against him. Chiles is not in Bankruptcy, NOT in litigation directly with these cases. Since he was the “public face” and the jobs did not come due to housing market conditions which set up global ramifications- not even a “public face” can create a miracle. Straw arguments work well for the unthinking.
    d. Chiles “attended several City Commission meetings, as well as a job fair, and said the company had standing orders for more than 100 homes…maybe they did have orders. But they evidently didn't materialize.'' Trust anyone in business, they would have made more money and helped the community with jobs if he built the homes. He makes no profit by losing out, again context.

    Lastly: “one of the main problems IS Local Government County Commissions making decisions based on developer contributions to their campaign in lieu of representing citizens”

    This is his whole point. This is a local issue, locals see it, people at State levels don’t understand it. Thus Amendment 4 looks good on paper, yet one of the biggest examples of its implementations (St. Pete Beach) has shown the exact opposite. The mayor of that town is opposed to it for a reason.

    Sadly, we will likely keep sending local officials to jail. Hopefully that will clean things up in addition to voting for the right people. Education on these matters is the key; and neither the Republican nor Democratic candidate understand local needs. That’s why they are in the pockets of the special interests (such as the ones that Amendment 4 is fighting to break up) with their puppet strings getting pulled.

    Bud Chiles is the best hope to change this in a direct, better and more thoughtful way that involves local communities. His father would be proud and the Democrats who are calling him a "spoiler" should be ashamed, wake up and support him; the one who will be a voice for people like you and I on this message board. At the very least, we will be heard. At the very most, our voice will create productive change.