Friday, December 18, 2009

Nuisance Abatement

During the commission meeting, thanks to Bill Ganz proposing a new ordinance, the City now will be able to take remedial action on abandoned properties and levy a special assessment against the building so the city will get their money back. The City will also create a nuisance abatement trust fund and have a nuisance inspector, the aim is to maintain properties, prevent blight and vandalism.

That this kind of ordinance is needed rekindles my anger at the current mess Florida is in and the laxness of government oversight in allowing, even encouraging loans to people with no hope of paying long term, and at developers who were so greedy they build condo after condo selling to flippers with interest only loans and interest only in making millions, and at our elected officials, the corrupt and maybe not so corrupt who listened to the developer lobbyists who promised increased tax revenue and gave large campaign donations if allowed to build their monstrosities. There was no researching by commissions to find out if the claims were true, if they had, they would have found that for every dollar in taxes residential developments bring in the city has to spend from $1.75 to $2.50+ depending on the study you read, but certainly every study shows they cost more than they bring in.

George Santayana, a great Spanish philosopher said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” and, Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. However our politicians don’t seem to get it, and once again are starting to tout building as a way to get out of the recession. (Yes, the very thing that is to blame for the mess we are in.) OMG!!!

The fear of the coming Hometown Democracy Amendment 4 referendum provision which, if passed, will give citizens the right to vote for or against a city's proposed comprehensive plan land use change, has developers flocking to commissions trying to get their parcels of farmland, green space, golf courses and parkland changed from whatever they are now to residential or commercial or industrial usage before the residents have to have a say.

If we are to save what is left of Florida, we need Amendment 4, we cannot leave the decisions to builders, developers, lobbyists and especially our commissioners who are to blame for the mess we are in, we need to have the people who live in a community have a say as to whether a proposal is good for the quality of life in their neighborhood, and the future of their city.

We need a different emphasis in Florida; one that focuses on education and high paying jobs, and attracts industry and business with those kinds of jobs. This will keep our property values high, and prevent the boom and bust that is historic Florida.

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