Can’t Run Pinecrest Through Referendum

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Grant Miller

In the Village of Pinecrest, like in the rest of the country, we have representative democracy. We vote people into office to represent our values, our vision and our goals. If we don’t like the results, we vote them out. It’s that simple and easy.

Since its incorporation, Pinecrest has shown how well the system can work. Home values have grown, crime is down, the tax rate is low, the schools are great and the parks are beautiful.

But that might all change soon because some people in the Village want to change the charter to make zoning changes possible only through referendum. This reminds me of that saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Do you take you car to a mechanic if it is driving smoothly on the road? Do you tent your house when there are no termites? Do you have invasive surgery for kicks and giggles?

Going into the Village’s charter is the equivalent of invasive surgery – and you may not make it home. It’s like changing the Constitution. You make such a drastic change only if there is no other remedy. In fact, changing the charter is such a big deal, that you need a petition with lots of signatures to make it possible. That means lots of blood, sweat and tears over months under Miami’s blistering summer sun to meet the minimum requirement.

Soon you will be seeing such a petition asking you to support changing the charter for just this reason – to require zoning changes by referendum. This is a horrible idea and goes against the whole point of representative democracy. And, the consequences of breaking what ain’t broke are big.

Here are the meat and potatoes of it:

Elected officials working with professional staff to adjust the code in response to the community’s needs will be replaced by whim politics if the charter is changed to require zoning changes by referendum. We need experienced people helping our representatives make the best decisions on zoning, not burden hardworking individuals and families who have enough to worry about with COVID-19 and schools and inflation, and everything else.

Ballot initiatives and special elections for these referendums would cost Pinecrest residents lots and lots of money and bring governance to a halt. This is not why residents incorporated into the Village of Pinecrest in the first place.

Reject this very bad, no good idea. Zoning by referendum is no way to run the Village of Pinecrest.

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  1. Good OpEd Grant. Let us hope the well intended but misguided residents who back the proposal are not successful. But, with that said, the concern that motivated them should not be ignored.

  2. Consider investigating the number of cars parked illegally under “No Parking” etc. signs around Palmetto Senior High. Gotten much worse over the last years considering I counted over 237 empty spaces in the schools several parking lots in February. You will see the Principal and staff want nothing to do with any issue outside school property while parents picking up their children, have no place to park.
    Your reporting may improve the possibility of moving this to the “Front burner” with the Village, residents and the school.
    Thanks in advance,
    Peter DiFilippi
    7381 SW 117 Terrace


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