Hometown Democracy: Pols fear power of the people

You know who really scares Buddy Dyer and the rest of the folks down at Orlando City Hall?


Yep, the City Council and staff said as much this week during a lengthy discussion on Hometown Democracy — the upcoming amendment that would give voters the chance to have a direct say on the growth of their community.

The politicians do not like this idea — not one bit.

They like to be the ones giving developers what they want — whether it's a Super Walmart or far-flung subdivision.

You, after all, might say no.

So Buddy staged a not-so-fair-and-balanced presentation for his council this week.

His staff vowed to give both sides of the debate on Hometown Democracy.

And would you like to guess how much time — during a half-hour workshop — the planning staff dedicated to describing the potential benefits of the amendment?

89 seconds.

The rest of the presentation from staff and discussion among council members was full of hand-wringing over just how uninformed voters were — and just how bad life might get if you actually get a say in the growth game.

Buddy warned about the potential atrocities:

"You'd have residents in Christmas making decisions about Bay Hill or Windermere …"

Oh, no! Not the unwashed masses from Christmas!

The next thing you know, those know-nothings in Zellwood — or, heaven forbid, Taft! — may start trying to get in on this whole Democracy thing.

We can't let that happen.

Buddy's example was a little misleading — because residents in unincorporated parts of the county, such as Christmas, would not vote on projects within incorporated cities and towns such as Windermere.

For the most part, city residents would vote on city projects. And county residents would vote on county ones.

But Buddy is right that unincorporated Christmasians would get to vote on projects that would primarily affect unincorporated Bay Hillians.