1. JOHN McDOUGALL (Lee County Sheriff)
Art. I: Proposes an amendment that would require criminals to serve at least 85% of their lawfully imposed sentence.
Art. IV, s. 5: Don’t want sheriffs to lose their ability to appeal their budgets to the governor and cabinet. This would take away the checks and balances that protect the sheriff from the whims of a county commission
Art. VIII, s. 1(d): People should have the right to elect their sheriff, whether in a charter or non-charter county.
2. CHARLES CANADY - (Congressman)
Art. I: Prohibit the use by local governments of race and gender preferences. The foundation of our constitution is to guarantee equal civil rights to all. Local governments are giving preferences to certain citizens. The constitution should recognize that every person must be treated equally. It is morally wrong to give some citizens preference simply because of race or gender.
3. JOHN MANNING - Cape Coral (Lee Co. Commissioner/Florida Association of Counties)
Art. V, s. 1: Amend this section to specify that the state is primarily responsible for funding of the state court system.
Art. VIII, s. 18: Provide that any proposed legislative mandate must fulfill a "compelling state interest" rather than an "important state interest". Mandates should be prohibited if the mandate concerns a matter that is primarily local in nature, or if it reduces the authority of municipalities or counties to raise revenues. Any insignificant fiscal impact exception should be applied to each municipality or county individually rather than to local governments in the aggregate. The mandate provision should apply to rules adopted by state agencies.
Art. VIII: County governments’ right to manage and control public rights-of-way should be vigorously protected. All private interests should compensate the county taxpayers for the use of the public rights-of-way.
Art. I, s. 5: Restore the open communication channels between elected officials and their constituents by overturning Florida court decisions requiring imposition of the ex parte communications rule in certain land use and other quasi-judicial matters.
Art. XI, s. 3: Explore the use of statutory initiative. Protect home rule authority from statewide voter initiatives. Diminishment of home rule should only be by general law, charter amendment, or special act approved by referendum.
Art. VIII, s. 1: Strengthen the home rule authority of non-charter counties.
Art. VII, s. 1: Fiscal home rule should be established for all counties, i.e., there would be removed and prohibited any legislative limitations placed on municipalities’ and counties’ taxing authority.
JOHN MANNING (Cont’d from page 1)
Art. VII, s. 6: Consider a more fair structure for the homestead exemption. In small counties, as high as 60% of all residential properties are exemption from property tax.
Art. VII, s. 9: Strengthen home rule by removing the two-year limitation in exceeding the 10 mill cap for local government taxes. Millage authorized by law and approved by the electors of a dependent special district should not be included in the 10-mill cap.
Art. VII, s. 6: Authorize partial year property tax assessment.
Art. X, s. 14: Review this provision and more clearly define "sound actuarial basis."
4. WALTER R. SHAW, SR. - Sunrise (Self)
Art. I, s. 2: This section should deal with the mentally handicapped as well as the physically handicapped. The constitution should provide for the promulgation of rules for the pro se and disabled so that they can get a fair hearing, with the understanding that persons appearing pro se and disabled do not know the law or rules.
Art. I, s. 9: There are no reasonable accommodations provided for the physically and/or mentally handicapped to comply with rules of court and administrative proceedings. The rules discriminate against people appearing pro se.
Art. I, s. 21: The court is not open to every person for redress of injury when the procedures leading up to court appearance constrain a person with handicaps. The Supreme Court’s ADA guidelines are lacking in that they only address court appearances.
5. JOHN R. HANLON - Englewood (Lemon Bay Conservancy)
Art. XII, s. 9(a): Create a land and water conservation trust fund, setting aside a portion of the documentary stamp taxes for a permanent funding source.
Art. XII, s. 9(a): Protect Florida’s wild lands forever. Support a constitutional amendment that will establish a no net loss of conservation and recreation lands, and ensure lands purchased for conservation, water resource protection and recreation will be managed permanently for these purposes only.
Art. XII, s. 9(a): Extend the bonding authority for conservation and recreation lands.
6. RHONDA AND MIKE DOABEY - Bokeelia (Self)
Art. XI, s. 3: Something must be changed with regard to initiatives - guidelines regarding special interest groups should be established. The net ban was supported by commercial interests, such as Florida Sportsman.
7. TOM FUESS - Fort Myers (Coastal Conservation Association)
Art. X, s. 16: Supports net ban.
Art. IV, s. 9: Supports unification of the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission.
8. PETER GREENAN - Sarasota (Self)
Art. X, s. 16: The net ban really works.
9. FRANK C. REPPA - St. James City (Self)
Art. X, s. 16: The net ban discriminates against the consumer. The Marine Fisheries Commission is run by special interests.
10. DENISE REPPA - St. James City (Self)
Art X., s. 16: The net ban has stripped away our way of life and ability to make a living. The sports fishermen and conservationists have misled people in passing the net ban amendment.
Tracy Darna, Yolanda Williams, Michele Truax - recognized on the same matter as above two speakers.
11. MELANI MEO LONG - Pineland (Self)
Art. X, s. 16: Those who voted for the net ban were misled.
12. PAUL GRAY - Lorida (Audubon Society)
Art. II, s . 7: Supports the environmental bill of rights
Art. XII, s. 9(a): Supports the permanent protection of conservation lands
Art. XII, s. 9(a): Supports permanent funding for acquisition and protection of conservation lands.
13. PAT CLARK - Ft. Myers (Self)
Art. XI, s. 3: Recommends allowing statutory initiative.
14. DAVID E. GUGGENHEIM - Naples (The Conservancy of Southwest Florida)
Art. XII, s. 9(a): Strongly supports a permanent trust fund for the purchase and protection of conservation lands.
Art. XII, s. 9(a): Supports maintaining and permanently protecting the conservation lands we already have.
15. FRANKLIN B. ADAMS - Naples (Florida Wildlife Federation)
Art. IV, s. 9: Supports the unification of the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission under the system created in the constitution for the Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission.
16. RALPH LIVINGSTON - Fort Myers (State Representative)
Art. XI, s. 3: Amend the second sentence of this section to read: "It may be invoked by filing with the Secretary of State a petition containing a copy of the proposed revision or amendment, signed by a number of electors of the state, equal to eight percent of the votes cast in each congressional district of the state respectively in the last preceding election in which presidential electors were chosen." Almost half of our congressional districts are concentrated in only three counties.
17. ELLEN PETERSON - Estero (Sierra Club)
Art. X, s. 16: If we don’t take care of our environment, we won’t have to worry about the fish.
Art. IV, s. 9: Unify our fish and wildlife management.
Art. IV, s. 5: Keep our elected cabinet system. Sometimes the cabinet is the only resource for the citizens.
Art. XII, s. 9: Improve land acquisition and make purchases permanent.
Art. I, s. 2: Protect the civil rights that we have gained for women
Art. VII: Consider right of water management districts to impose taxes. These are unelected officials, and this represents taxation without representation.
Art. XI, s. 3: Opposes the suggestion that initiatives would require signatures from every congressional district.
SHARON AND ANDREW NEUHOFER - Punta Gorda (Self)
Did not speak, but wish the following statement to be read into the record:
Please use extreme caution in proposing amendments to our constitution. It is designed to be the framework for our laws - it must not be used to enact laws. We have a legislature which meets every year for this purpose.
18. WARREN WORTHLEY - Punta Gorda (Self)
Art. XI, s. 3: Volunteer who obtained signatures on the net ban initiative. Please do not put this back on the ballot. It was passed overwhelmingly.
18A. DONNA WORTHLEY - Punta Gorda (Self)
Art. XI, s. 3: Important to keep the citizen initiative to amend the constitution.
19. HILARY M. SWAIN - Lake Placid (The Nature Conservancy)
Art. XII, s. 9(a): Supports a constitutional amendment for an assured source of funding to acquire and protect conservation lands.
Art. XII, s. 9(a): Ensure that lands acquired for conservation are protected in perpetuity.
20. HAL STEPHENS - Fort Myers (Self)
Art. XI, s. 3: Supports the current system for initiative petitions. The net ban is a good example.
21. ARLENE FLISIK - Bradenton (Audubon Society)
Art. XII s, 9: Establish a vehicle to continue P2000 program.
Art. XII, s. 9: It should be stated that the purpose of this program is first and foremost to maintain the natural attributes of the land and only secondarily and to the point that it would not interfere with the primary purpose should other uses, such as recreation be considered.
Art. X, s. 16: If you want to reconsider the net ban, then consider the tax on sugar - the vote was a lot closer on that.
22. CHRISTINA LURVEY- Bonita Springs (Self)
Art. XI, s. 3: Citizens should not change their constitution lightly. Clarify the criteria for deciding whether an issue is best dealt with by amendment or by the legislature.
Art. II, s. 7: Strengthen the protection and preservation of our natural resources.
Art. VII, s. 6: Supports the partial year assessment of property.
23. VIRGINIA SPLITT - Fort Myers (Self)
Art. XII, s. 9: Need to provide for the permanent protection of our natural resources. Sustainability is of paramount importance. Many species that face extinction may well be instrumental in medical break throughs.
Art. XII, s. 9: Create a permanent constitutional Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund, with a permanent funding source.
Art. XII, s. 9: Adopt a constitution al policy of no net loss of conservation and recreation lands.
24. CULLUM HASTY - Fort Myers (Sierra Club)
Art. X, s. 16: Supports the net ban
Art. IV, s. 9: Supports unification the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission
Art. II, s. 7:Supports the environmental bill of rights
25. KRIS THOCMKE - Naples (Florida Wildlife Federation)
Art. IV, s. 9: Supports unification of Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission and the Marine Fisheries Commission
Art. XII, s. 9(a): Supports continuation of the P2000 program. It makes good environmental and economic sense.
26. JUDY AXELROD - Fort Myers (Self)
Art. IV, s. 9: Supports unification of the Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission and the Marine Fisheries Commission
27. TIM DIXON - Placida (Self)
Art. IV, s. 9: Opposed to the unification of wildlife agencies.
Art. XI, s. 3: The net ban was passed with misleading statements.
28. CHARLES GERZ - Bokeelia (Self)
Art. X, s. 16: Opposes the net ban. This amendment was not based on protection of resources. Advertisements were misleading.
29. JERRY SANSOM - Melbourne (Organized Fishermen of Florida)
Art. IV, s. 9: Opposes unification of the fish and wildlife agencies. Let the initiative process run its course. The fisheries regulation should be overseen by an elected body, such as the governor and cabinet.
30. JANIE THOMAS - Fernandina Beach (Organized Fishermen of Florida)
Please find a way to help the commercial fishermen.
31. CORBETT LEVENS - Ft. Myers (Self)
Art. X, s. 16: Opposed to the net ban. We robbed from the poor to give to the rich. This is not a resource issue, but a social issue.
32. MALCOLM DALE - Ft. Myers (Self)
Art. X, s. 16: Supports the net ban.
Art XI, s. 3: The initiative process works well.
33. CAROLYN ROUTSON - Maitland (Orlando Right to Life)
Art. I, s. 23: Restore a parent’s right to make decisions for their children. A parent’s right should be protected before a child undergoes medical procedures.
Art. I, s. 23: Ban partial-birth abortions
Art. V, s. 10: All judges should be elected by the people
34. CATHY BOYER - Orlando (Self)
Art. I, s. 23: The T.W. decision is an intrusion into the rights of parents. Parents should not be cut out of the loop by the courts.
35. SALLY LAM - Naples (American Association of University Women)
Art. IX: Strongly support the religious freedom clause. School choice must be limited to public schools. Public funds should not be diverted to private schools. School choice must be part of a comprehensive effort to assist and improve all public schools within the district.
Art. I, s. 23: Retain the privacy clause and stand fast against those forces which would impose their set of beliefs on all others.
36. BILL BERMAN - Fort Myers (Hemlock Society of Lee County)
Art. I, s. 23: Do not disturb right of privacy.
Art. I, s. 23: Enact a constitutional amendment to exempt adult, competent terminally ill patients from F.S. 782.08 (assisted suicide). Adopt safeguards to avoid abuse.
37. KATHERINE MILLER - (Self)
Art. I, s. 23: The privacy act has been manipulated and is not what voters intended -- for parents to lose their parental rights. Suggests mandatory parenting classes in public schools.
38. GUY R. STRAYHORN - Ft. Myers (Self)
Art. I, s. 23: A provision should be included specifying that people do not have the right to assisted suicide. Persons have the right to be left alone but do not have right to abuse that right.
39. JOHN D. WILSON - Ft. Myers (Lee County Public Safety Director)
Art. II: Supports the proposal of Department of Community Affairs Secretary James Murley to protect citizens against disaster. We should define and delineate the need to protect our citizens and their property from disasters (natural and non-natural).
40. KATE GOODERHAM - (National Women’s Political Caucus)
Art. I, s. 2: Add the word "sex" to Article I, Section 2.
Art. I, s. 23: Do not change Section 23 -- Right to privacy.
41. KIM PATRICK HART - Ft. Myers (Self)
Art. X, s. 13: Government entities have the same responsibilities as private people and businesses when they hurt others.
42. FRANKIE ROSS - (Self)
Art. I, s. 3: Uphold the separation of church and state.
Art. I, s. 23: Make no changes to this section.
Art. I, s. 23: The decision to establish living will and a right to die document is a personal one, and the government should not intrude or take the privilege away.
Art. I, s. 23: We have the right to make our own reproductive choices. We have to guarantee to every individual the freedom of life choices.
43. MICHAEL FELDMAN - (Collier County Jewish Federation)
Art. I, s. 3: No changes should be made to this section. Public funds should not be used to teach religion.
Art. I, s. 23: No changes should be made to this section. Protection of religious freedom and right to privacy.
44. MARGARET SCHNEIDER - (CCFCC)
Art.I, s. 23: The right to privacy, including women’s rights to reproductive freedom and pregnancy termination, should not be changed.
45. ROBERT McBRIDE - Naples (Self)
Art. I, s. 23: Preserve the right to privacy. We need more privacy, not less. Women do not need men to explain their rights. We all need protection from antiprivacy groups.
46. JACQUELINE GILLESPIE - Naples (Freedom of Choice Coalition)
Art I, s. 3: Consider whether the language of this section needs to be strengthened. There is a concentrated effort on the part of the Christian Coalition and other similar groups to force into the curricula of the public schools courses on the Bible as history. By the time this is over the majesty of the Bible will be thoroughly gutted.
47. REVEREND WAYNE ROBINSON - Fort Myers (Planned Parenthood)
Art. I, s. 23: Supports woman’s right to choose. Concerned by efforts to deny access to minors to unrestricted, safe, competent health care without parental consent.
48. LYLE DANIELSON - Ft. Myers (Responsible Growth Management Coalition)
Art. II, s. 7: Supports environmental bill of rights
Art. VII: Supports tax breaks/credits for those who preserve sensitive lands on their own property.
People are not treated fairly under our constitution. Money seems to speak too loudly; for example, the new university was sited in the wrong place because someone stood to gain.
49. CLAYTON MAXWELL - (Unincorporated Homeowners Association of Lee County, Inc.)
Art. 1, s. 24/Art. III, s. 4(e) Retain and strengthen the open government provisions. Do not weaken efforts public disclosure. These provisions should be applied to all elected officials in the state.
Art. II, s. 8: Opposes weakening ethics and disclosure laws. Form 6 full public disclosure should apply to all elected officials.
Art. IV, s. 5: Retain the elected cabinet system.
Art. V, s. 10: Retain the election of trial judges
Art. VI: Supports public financing of campaigns.
Art. VII: Retain the provision prohibiting the levy of a state income tax.
Art. VII: Repeal the intangible tax.
Art. VII: A super majority should be required to pass taxes.
Art. VII: Prohibit any tax or fee on self-supplied water users.
Art. VIII, s. 1: Retain home rule whether or not a county is chartered.
Art. XI, s. 3: Ballot title and summary should be validated before the petition is circulated.
50. SHIRLEY KEITH - Cape Coral (Common Cause)
Art. V, s. 10: Extend merit selection and retention to all judges. Judges are not legislators elected to represent their constituents; they should be chosen on their legal knowledge and ability to interpret and apply the law fairly.
51. WILLIAM BENJAMIN POLK - Ft. Myers Beach (Self)
Art. VI: The resign to run law should be preempted. The most quoted and best known section of the 1838 constitution: The state will prohibit bank officers, clergymen and dualists from being elected governor, U.S. Senator or member of Florida general assembly. That has since been repealed, although s.99.012(2) also has a taint of exclusivism - the resign-to-run law. Most states require resignation upon election to another office, not simply to run. It is difficult enough to get community spirited persons to serve the government without this.
52. CAROL LYNN B. KENDALL - Naples (Collier County Women’s Bar Assoc; Women’s Political Caucus; Womens’ Republican Club of Naples)
Art. XI, s. 3: Supports constitutional initiatives; process is difficult enough as is.
Art. V, s. 10(b): Retain election of trial court judges.
53. RABBI HOWARD GREENSTEIN - Marco Island (Jewish Center of Marco Island)
Art. I, s.3: Maintain this important separation of church and state provision. A desire to keep religion out of the public schools should not be equated with hostility to religion. Separating the two institutions strengthens and enriches both.
54. KATHLEEN L. COPPOLA - Port Charlotte (Commissioner, Charlotte County Airport)
Art. VII, s. : Supports constitutional immunity from taxation for all governmental agencies.
55. FRED WATTS - Punta Gorda (Executive Director, Charlotte County Airport)
Art. VII, s. 3(a): Specifically provide in the constitution for immunity from taxation for special districts. Municipal property used for public purposes is currently exempt from taxation. This exemption does not include special districts, such as airports and seaports. The legislature attempted to grant an exemption, but it was held unconstitutional.
Art. VII: If the legislature enables a public body to perform a public services, they be prohibited from doing so without giving the public body the authority to tax.
56. KENNETH M. WILKINSON - Ft. Myers (Lee County Property Appraiser)
Art. VII, s : Proposes eliminating the filing requirement on the first $5000 on intangible personal property. Counties are spending more collecting small levies on intangible personal property than they are getting in collections. In Lee County, seventy-six percent of the intangible personal property returns are for valuations less than $5,000. This represents those taxpayers who can least afford to pay the tax.
57. NICHOLAS G. LINDEBERG (Self)
Art. VII: The tangible tax is an immoral, unethical, and an irresponsible way to collect revenue. Over time he will pay more in tangible tax than the cost of his vending machines. The tax should relate to the income capacity of the property, not the cost of it.
58. REBECCA ANDREWS - Bonita Springs (International Council of Shopping Centers)
Art. VII: Special assessments are taking the place of other taxes for traditional governmental services. There should be some limitation put in place, such as a cap on special assessments.
59. LAURA MILLER - Ft. Myers Beach (Self)
Art. VII, s. 4: Allow for partial year assessments. Assessment changes take place on January 1. If a person takes possession the next day or any time prior to the next year, an owner can live in a home for almost two years before paying tax on the structure. This represents a loss of about $4 million in Lee County, and $80 million statewide.
60. CAROLYN ZUCKER - (Sarasota County School Board)
Art. IX, s. 1: Consider clarifying a minimum amount of funding per student that is adequate.
Art. VII, s. 9: Give local control to school board members to raise the necessary dollars in their community. There should be a policy to address local needs rather than a statute for everyone.
Art. IX, s. 5: Whether the superintendent is appointed or elected should be decided at the local level.
Art. VII, s. 2: Supports partial year assessments.
61. WAYNE DALTRY (American Planning Association)
Art. III, s. 19: Florida shall adopt a state plan. The state plan can address environmental bill of rights and many of the other issues that have been brought before the Commission. Look into that statement and get it effectuated.
62. JAMES ENGLISH - Alva (Self)
Art. IV, s. 5: Likes the cabinet the way it is.
Art. IV: All these appointed boards and commissions are not accountable to the people.
63. MARJORIE WARD - Bonita Springs (President, Citizens Assoc. of Bonita Beach)
Art. II, s. 7: Our beaches are in jeopardy by overdevelopment. Opposes offshore leasing and drilling.
Art. II, s. 8: Tighten ethics requirements and enforcement. Increase penalties.
64. LARRY BUSH - Ft. Myers (Self)
Endorses proposals of Constitutional Liberty Coalition
Art. I, s. 5: Supports equal ballot access for all candidates of all parties.
Art. X: Preserve property rights in the constitution.
Art. I, s. 9: There should be no civil asset forfeiture prior to conviction. Even after conviction, the penalty should fit the crime.
Art. I, s. 23: Supports physician-assisted suicide. Dying with dignity should be a right.
65. AARON O’BRIEN (Self)
Art. I, s. 9: Add: Private property may not be forfeited before criminal conviction of the property owner. Floridians are having their property forfeited without having been convicted of a crime.
Art. I, s. 17: Add: There shall be proportionality between the legal offense and the severity of forfeiture.
THE FOLLOWING DID NOT SPEAK BUT LEFT WRITTEN COMMENTS:
BRADLEY CORNELL - Naples (Collier County Audubon Society)
Art. XII, s. 9: Establish a permanent Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund to continue the work of P2000. Also use funds for private land stewardship incentives.
Art. XII, s. 9: Public conservation and recreational lands should be protected forever.
Art. XII, s. 9: Extend bonding authority for conservation and recreational lands.
Art. II, s. 7: Include a set of public rights related to environmental integrity. While private property rights surely must be clearly defined and guaranteed, no less should community natural resource rights be ensured in the constitution and in every level of government.
SUZANN CORRAL - Tampa (Self)
Art. I, s. 23: Revise the privacy clause so that all surgical procedures performed on minors require parental consent.
KELVIN ROBINSON - Tallahassee (Florida League of Cities, Inc.)
Follow up information was provided as requested of Mayor Sam Ferreri, President of the League of Cities at the Orlando public hearing.
Art. X, s. 13: Supports an amendment to assure the sovereign immunity of municipalities is the same as the state and its agencies and political subdivisions. Opposes any amendment that would expend the tort liability of municipalities.
Art. V: Supports an amendment to reestablish municipal courts.
Art. VI: No more computers counting the votes. Require paper ballots, counted by both poll watchers from all political parties involved, and any interested parties, not just the league of women voters.
Art. VI, s. 4: Include in term limits, one term only for the state attorney, and then no employment with the state attorney’s office for life.
Art. V: Provide a simple recall system for judges that can be instituted by any citizen, not just the bar of the legislature.
Art. II: Create a statewide citizens review board with the power to fire immediately all police officers and other public officials. This board would consist of at least 20 members, no lawyers or members of the justice system, at least 15 of whom earn median wage or less. Member to serve one term of six months. Decisions would be by simple majority.
Art. IV: Abolish water management. It’s only function now is extortion.
Art. X: Reaffirm private property rights.
Art. X: No state or county is to give grants of the taxpayers money to environmental groups, as it is only used to sue and harass the taxpayer with his own money.
Art. IV: All bureaucratic laws sunset within one year, subject to review by citizens committees, then no bureaucratic laws. All laws enacted by elected officials only.
Art. V: Bring back common law courts as originally provided for in the U.S. Constitution.
ANITA BROWN - Orlando (Families Against Wrongful Death)
Submitted articles and clips regarding the wrongful death act, medical malpractice, and the legislative experience of this group.
THE FOLLOWING SUBMITTED APPEARANCE CARDS BUT DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK:
Alexander J. Lozano, M.D. (Self)
Karl Berning - Fort Myers (Self)
Pamella A. Seay (Charlotte County Development Authority)
Dawn Litchfield (Self)
Robert M. Neeld - Cape Coral (Self)
Sam Brounstein - Naples (Self)
David Wasserman - Winter Park (Self)
Michelle Pinel - Arcadia (Self)
Matt Uhle - N. Fort Myers (Self)