|Meeting Proceedings for July 22, 1997|
PANAMA CITY PUBLIC HEARING
July 22, 1997
PRESENTATIONS WERE MADE BY THE FOLLOWING:
MARY KNIGHT- Tallahassee (Representing Florida League of Women Voters)
Article IV, s. 4: Cabinet should be appointed by the Governor, with Senate confirmation. Special interests finance campaigns of specialized cabinet members. Board of Education should be a separate board with education as the primary interest of the members.
TED FORSGREN- Tallahassee (Representing Coastal Conservation Association)
Article XI, s. 3: Supports initiatives. We need to retain a way for the people to act when the government wonít.
SAM FARRELL- Lynn Haven (Commercial Fishing Ind, Cook Fish Co., Southeastern Fisheries)
Article XI, s. 3: Initiative process should be changed - if you have enough money you can buy the Constitution of the State of Florida.
DEWEY DESTIN - Panama City (Southeastern Fisheries/Self)
Article XI, s. 3: Recommends changing the initiative process. Perhaps initiatives could be limited by:
(1) restricting the subject matter of an initiative to the subject of the structure of government, or
(2) treating initiatives like special act which would apply only to certain areas; i.e., the provision would become law only in the counties where it passed.
CHARLES HILTON - Panama City (Self; previous Chair of Florida Tax Watch)
Article VII: Consider tying increases in government spending to increase in personal income
Article VII: Impose spending limits on the government
Article VII: Limit Legislatureís ability to raise taxes; require 2/3 majority vote of each legislative body or require 75% voter approval
Article XI, s. 3: Preserve, but modify the initiative process; eliminate the single subject requirement for initiative petitions
Article XI, s. 3: Ballot title and summary should be validated before the petition is circulated
Article VI, s. 4: Impose term limits on all officials, including judges
Article V: Elect all judges
Article V: Elect all judges from single-member districts
Article I, s.2.: Supports a property rights amendment, which would extend to existing regulations
Article VII: Impose a consumer sales tax in lieu of all other taxes, with rebates to the poor to counteract any regressive effect
JACK LATVALA - Palm Harbor - (State Senator)
Article XI, s. 3: Retain initiatives with modification. Require signatures by 5% of the voters for placement on ballot. Have initiatives apply for a time certain, such as somewhere between 2 and 5 years.
Article X, s. 16: Donít undo what the voters have already done (net ban)
WAYLON THOMPSON - Panama City - (Self)
Article X, s. 13: Sovereign immunity should not apply when the government is performing a business function. Repeal sovereign immunity, or at least provide that the limits automatically increase with inflation
PAMELA DRU SUTTON - Panama City - (Self; Bay County Chapter of National Organization for Women)
Article I, s. 23: Donít tamper with the privacy amendment in any way that would affect the current status of abortion, including with regard to minors.
Article IX, s. 1: Consider a constitutional right to the full and fair funding of education.
MARIE MARSHALL - Panama City - (Bay/Franklin/Gulf Healthy Start)
Article XI, s. 1: Supports full and fair funding for education. Health and education for children are intertwined.
JIM APPLEMAN - Panama City - (State Attorney)
Article V, s. 1: State must find a way to pay the costs of the state court system and not leave these substantial costs to the counties.
JACKIE MALONE - DeFuniak Springs - (Common Cause, State Chair)
Article III, s. 16: Provide for an independent redistricting commission, based on solid principles: equality in population, compact and contiguous districts, respect of local boundaries, and not favoring any candidate or party.
Article V: Extend merit selection and retention of judges to circuit and county judges
Article I, s. 24 and Article III, s. 4(e): Preserve or strengthen the open government provisions
Article II, s. 8: Preserve or strengthen the ethics provisions; give more power to the Ethics Commission
Article VI: Support public financing of campaigns
DEBORAH L. SISK - Panama City Beach - (Self; member of National Organization of Women)
Article I, s. 23: Maintain privacy act as is with regard to abortion issues
Expand privacy provision as relates to information that can be obtained from computers
JANEGAYLE BOYD - Monticello - (State Representative)
Article XI, s. 3: An important purpose of the Constitution is to protect the rights of minorities. Modify the initiative petition process, perhaps by distinguishing types of things that are appropriate for the constitution and which are not.
JAMIE WESTBROOK - Marianna - (State Representative)
Article XI, s. 3: Issues like the net ban should be dealt with by the Legislature
CELESTE COBINA - South Walton - (Beach-to-Bay Connection)
Article XII, s. 9, fn 1: Add the P2000 program to the Constitution and extend it to at least the year 2020. P2000 funds should not be used for things other than preservation
ROBERT WRIGHT - Panama City - (Bay County Commissioner)
Article VII: Suggests a flat rate sales tax on all goods and services, allowing a reduction in the sales tax to 2-3%.
Article VII, s. 6: Modify the application of the homestead exemption on property taxes. Allow counties to apply the exemption on a sliding scale, or in other ways.
DR. MIKE ROHAN - Panama City - (Self)
Article XI, s. 3: Retain the health and viability of the initiative process
CHARLIE CLARY - Destin - (State Senator)
Article IV: Reduce the size of government. Eliminate on state level what can and shoul be done locally.
RONALD EUBANKS - Fort Walton Beach - (Self)
Article V, s. 15: Supreme Court should not regulate lawyers. Regulation should be by executive branch, like other professions.
PHIL SEXTON - Panama City - (Self)
Article VII, s. 5: Retain and strengthen prohibition on personal income tax
Article VII: Recommends the flat sales tax
Article XI, s. 3: Repair the initiative process - it might apply only to government structure and limitations on the government. Have statutory initiatives for other matters
Article VI: Prohibit using general revenue to finance campaigns. Require that contributions must come from individuals who are electors qualified to vote for the candidate. Require immediate acknowledgment of the amount and source of contributions. Funds should be designated for a specific campaign and returned pro rata if there are excess funds.
DAVID A. NEWTON - Panama City - (Self)
Article IV, s. 4: Governor should choose his own cabinet.
Article X, s. 10: Felonies should be limited to extremely serious crimes. The state has gone prosecution crazy.
Article X, s. 16: Supports the net ban
Article VII: Supports the flat tax and national sales tax and federal flat income tax of 12- 13%. Intangible tax should be eliminated.
JOE HARBISON - Panama City - (Self)
Article X, s. 16: Supports net reduction provision
Article XI, s. 3: True citizens initiatives proposed and supported by grass roots efforts should be strengthened, not weakened
MADELYN COLLINS - Perry - (Self - fisherman)
Article XI, s. 3: Opposed to initiative petitions. The Legislature should do its job.
SUE SMYRNIOS - Steinhatchee - (Taylor & Dixie County Fishermen)
Article X, s. 16: Opposed to net ban. Special interests shouldnít have this power over a minority. Elected officials are supposed to make the laws.
DONALD KAMPWERTH - Shalimar - (Self)
Article X, x. 16: Supports net ban. Necessary because Legislature, Governor & Cabinet, and Marine Fisheries Commission did not act.
Article XI, s. 3: Adjust, but donít do away with the initiative process.
RAY SANSOM - Destin - (Okaloosa County Commissioner)
Article V: Counties need for the state for assume its obligation for Article V costs (costs of running the state court system).
Article VIII, s. 1(g): Home rule should be retained, whether or not the county is chartered, particularly with regard to financial matters.
Article VII, s. 18: Unfunded mandates are a problem. Most mandates are federal, but as to the state, Article V costs are the most onerous.
FRED NULL - Panama City - (United Cerebral Palsy of North Florida )
Article IV: Proposes the creation of a separate department for persons with disabilities in the Florida Constitution
JOHN W. VOORLUIS - Bonifay - (Divorced Dads)
Article V: A process needs to be designed to remove bias and discrimination from divorce and custody determinations. Judges need to be trained in family law cases.
WAYNE PADGETTE - Tallahassee - (Florida Libertarian Party)
Article X, s.6: The requirements on government for the exercise of eminent domain should be tightened. The standard of "public use" should be changed to "a substantial, explicit public purpose."
Article VI: Restrictions on ballot access should be eased. Florida is the most difficult state in which to get on the ballot because of high filing fees, access laws, and petitioning requirements.
Article I: There should be no further limitations on the right to bear arms
DANIEL WALKER - Tallahassee - (Florida Liberatrian Party)
Article VI: The rights of political associations in electorial participation should be enhanced. Any law that burdens the exercise should be subject to strict scrutiny.
Article VI: Include a declaration that competition and electorial choice are interests of the citizens. Minor parties and independents should not be suppressed.
Article IV, s. 3 (b): The provision regarding gubernatorial incapacity needs to be rewritten; it provides no standards and could result in a constitutional crisis. Look at Georgiaís provision. (This recommendation is on his own behalf, not a proposal of the Florida Liberatarian Party.)
DOUG SMITH - Panama City - (Self; attorney)
Article X, s. 4: Constitution should provide that the assets that may be preserved in a bankrupt estate not include so generous an estate as 160 acres outside of a municipality/one-half acre within a municipality. The Constitution should set a dollar amount, adjustable to compensate for inflation
MARY L. BRUCE - Panama City - (Self)
Article 1, s. 15: Opposes the death penalty. It is applied discriminatorily and is not found in any other civilized country.
RONALD F. CRUM - Panacea - (Consumer/Fisherman)
Article X, s. 16: The net ban provision is flawed and needs to be fixed.
JAMES H. PIC - Panama City - (Charter fishing captain)
Article X, s. 16: Favors the net ban; it hasnít hurt the fishermen; the fish are back.
JOHN W. SMITH - Panama City - (Self and commercial fishing)
Article X, s. 16: Put the net ban back on the ballot now that people more fully understand it and realize its effect.
JERRY SANSON - Satellite Beach - (Organized Fishermen of Florida)
Article XI, s. 3: The initiative process is broken. This is too complex a society to be governed by direct democracy. Initiatives should be limited to issues relating to the framework of government, and not to governmental regulation.
CHESTER G. KROEGER - Panama City - (Self)
Article XI, s. 3: Favors the initiative petition provision. Gives the common man the ability to bring things into law when the government will not act
LEO COLLINS - Destin - (Self; Flat Out Charters)
Article X, s. 16: Favors net ban. No job is guaranteed, and conservation is just as important.
THE FOLLOWING DID NOT SPEAK BUT LEFT WRITTEN COMMENTS:
JOHN N. KOLODZIEJ - Milton - (Self)
Article VII: Eliminate the intangible tax. Prohibit state income tax. No medical care for children. Workfare not welfare.
STANLEY H. KIRKLAND - Lynn Haven - (Self)
Article X, s. 16: Supports the net ban. It should remain as is and not revisited.
THE FOLLOWING SUBMITTED APPEARANCE CARDS BUT DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK:
Johnnny Clopton, Navarra - (Organized Fisherman of FL) -Against net ban.
John G. Cummings, Youngstown
Michael F. Kolesar, Panama City Beach
Jack Mashburn, Youngstown
Bill McCandliss, Panama City Beach-Favors net ban
Bruce Mercer, Panama City
Allen Rankin, Panama City - (Association Wakulla Commercial Fishermen)
Elmo J. Sanaer, Panama City-Against net ban
Jim Tucker, Fort Walton Beach - Favors net ban
Kenneth L. Veach, Fort Walton Beach (CCA) - Favors net ban