Six Florida mayors announce support for Amendment 1

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Today, mayors of six of Florida’s largest cities announced support of Amendment 1, also known as the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, which is on the ballot for Tuesday.

Publicly supporting the constitutional proposal: Mayors Buddy Dyer of Orlando; Bob Buckhorn of Tampa, Rick Kriseman of St. Petersburg; John Marks and Mayor-Elect Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee; Jack Seiler of Fort Lauderdale; and Frank Ortis of Pembroke Pines.

“Floridians have a unique opportunity to keep our drinking water clean, protect our rivers, lakes, and springs, restore natural treasures like the Everglades, and protect our beaches and shores without raising taxes,” Kriseman said in a statement. “All we need to do is vote ‘Yes’ on Amendment 1.”

If approved by voters, Amendment 1 sets aside 20 years of funding for conservation, management, and restoration of Florida’s water and land resources beginning July 1, 2015. Funding for the amendment would come from one-third of documentary stamp taxes (paid every time real estate is sold).

Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, who is spearheading the Vote Yes on 1 campaign, also announced wide-spread support for the referendum from nearly 40 Florida mayors, city commissioners, and county commissioners statewide.

The money would go to restore the Everglades, protect drinking water sources, and revitalize the state’s responsibility to protecting natural lands and wildlife habitat through the Florida Forever program.

 “We are honored to receive such strong support from this wide array of Florida’s most trusted leaders.  said Water and Land Legacy campaign manager Will Abberger. “These local elected officials understand how critical Amendment 1 is to protecting drinking water sources and conserving wildlife habitat, without having to raise taxes.”

With less than a week to go before Election Day, Amendment 1 faces little organized opposition. Nearly 1 million voters signed petitions to get it to the Nov. 4 ballot, and over 40,000 Floridians have volunteered to support the campaign.

Florida’s Water and Land Legacy is a coalition of more than 400 organizations and businesses.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.