By: Mayor Christine Hunschofsky
In April, the Florida Legislature is in the second part of its 60-day session, which ends May 3, 2019. While most people look to local government regarding zoning, community regulations and quality of life issues in their cities, state government has been preempting local control the past few years on issues such as micro-cell tower location, charter schools and others. State government also continues to work on preempting local control regarding short-term rental regulations and Community Redevelopment Agencies. Some mandates that come from Tallahassee do not come with funding—adding an additional financial burden on local government.
While some issues are more conducive to being legislated statewide, others are better legislated locally. For example, residents in the Panhandle will have different needs and wants from their city than the residents of South Florida. Even within South Florida, every community has its own attributes that make it special.
By mandating a one-size-fits-all approach to communities, the legislature takes away local control and inhibits the individual qualities and features of each community. If local residents do not like state-mandated laws, they have to go to Tallahassee and speak to a majority of the State Representatives and State Senators, most of whom live in other areas of the state, and convince them to vote a different way. When issues are controlled locally, residents just need to contact their city commission, which usually consists of five to seven members. It is much easier to attend local city commission meetings than numerous committee meetings in Tallahassee.
Parkland has adopted a legislative platform and we continue to monitor bills coming out of the Florida Legislature. To follow what is going on this legislative session, please visit https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bills/2019 and https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/bills.aspx.
I would like to thank our State Representative Kristin Jacobs and our State Senator Kevin Rader for always supporting our community so strongly in Tallahassee. Representative Jacobs is one of 120 Representatives and Senator Radar is one of 40 Senators, but they have earned the respect of so many of their colleagues and they are important voices for us in Tallahassee.
Our next city commission meetings are Wednesday, April 3, and Wednesday, April 17. Commission workshops and recognitions start at 6:00 p.m. and regular commission meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. You can view all meeting agendas at www.cityofparkland,org/cc. Keep up with Parkland events by following www.facebook.com/copfl and subscribing to our e-blast “Parkland on Tap” at cityofparkland.org/notifyme to ensure you never miss an event.
I love hearing from residents, so please share your thoughts and comments with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance for your input.