Wednesday, May 15, 2019

End the delay, the time is now for Palmetto Bay to debate and take action on Council Member David Singer's proposed ordinance to ban plastic straws in Palmetto Bay

Let's go Palmetto Bay. Stop bottling up Council Member David Singer's plastic straw ban and let the debate come to the council floor where council members can finally let the public know why they have not seen fit to hear this item. There are no reasons to continue to avoid the issue of banning plastic straws in Palmetto Bay - as, as Gov. DeSantis opined: 
"Citizens who oppose plastic straw ordinances can seek recourse by electing people who share their views."
I have lost count as to how many regular and special council agendas this ordinance has been placed on, but excuses have ranged from inability to complete the agenda on meeting night (leaving a meeting with items unfinished) to the speculation that the Legislature was banning the right of local governments to enact this sample environmental legislation - and the legislature did through HB 771!

HOWEVER - Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed HB 771 that sought to restrict the right of local governments – which presently include Pinecrest and Miami Beach as well some communities that have been looking to enact, such as Council Member David Singer's sponsored ordinance here in Palmetto Bay.

Which all brings us back to the here and now. Council Member David Singer has unfortunately been on the losing end of 1-4 votes recently. Why should you care? Because these items involve Council Member Singer's proposals to increase transparency in Palmetto Bay government or to simply hold on to gains in transparency made from 2016-2018. Other recent loses include holding the line on Village spending as well as other fiscally sound proposals. The unreasonable and petty hold up of Council Member Singer's plastic straw ordinance is merely one example of unsound politics at work in Palmetto Bay. Thankfully, other local governments took action while the Palmetto Bay council bickered - otherwise no action would have been taken in Tallahassee. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke loudly with his veto pen last week, stating in his veto letter that:
"A number of Florida municipalities, including Sanibel, Ft. Myers Beach and Miami Beach have enacted ordinances prohibiting single-use plastic straws," DeSantis wrote in his veto letter. "These measures have not, as far as I can tell, frustrated any state policy or harmed the state's interests. In fact, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has encouraged Florida residents, schools and businesses to reduce plastic straw use." 
"Under these circumstances, the State should simply allow local communities to address this issue through the political process."
Again, as Gov. DeSantis opined: "Citizens who oppose plastic straw ordinances can seek recourse by electing people who share their views."

(CLICK HERE) to view the full veto letter of May 10, 2019.

Please - no more delays in Palmetto Bay. Move this item forward Council Member Singer. And I request that the current Mayor and council to co-sponsor your proposed ordinance. Remember, as Gov. DeSantis stated: "Citizens who oppose plastic straw ordinances can seek recourse by electing people who share their views."

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