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My Word by Jacob V. Stuart
In a startling editorial (see below), the Orlando Sentinel accused Orange County Commissioners of "dirty tricks" in a "surprise gambit to derail" the so-called "paid sick leave" petition. The Sentinel writes that the Commissioners who voted to take the time to correct the misleading, maybe even fraudulent, ballot language on the petition have "broken faith" with voters; nothing could be further from the truth.
Orange County Voters should not be subjected to "bait-and-switch" false advertising; along these lines, I am confident many who signed the petition in good faith are now discovering that part-time teachers, part-time workers in cities and counties, part-time workers at state-supported colleges and universities, and part-time workers at all government agencies - none of them will quality for "paid sick leave."
Click here to read my comments to the Orange County Commission on Tuesday, September 11, 2012.
David Damron on September, 13 2012 4:24 PM
Orange County leaders Tuesday tried to snuff out a citizen-petition drive aimed at putting a sick leave measure on the Nov. 6 ballot.
A 4-3 majority voted to delay it, which would basically push it well past ballot printing deadlines, and keep voters from weighing on it this fall. That majority included commissioners Scott Boyd, Fred Brummer, John Martinez and Jennifer Thompson. Here's more background on that.
That 4-3 majority said the month-long holdup would allow them time to find a less confusing ballot title and summary, an argument that business groups had also been making about the measure in court.
Stopping the measure was just what sick time opponents such as Walt Disney World and Darden Restaurants and various other business groups wanted.
"The peoples' voice was heard clearly," said Central Florida Partnership President Jacob Stuart after the board's vote.
But not everyone was happy about how it went down.
And some of the reactions to it have been strong, and not very kind.
The sick-time opponents at the Orlando Sentinel editorial board called the commissioners out for using its"bag of dirty tricks" to kill the proposal with an"underhanded maneuver."
"The commission's majority has broken faith with county voters. Is it any wonder that so many people are so cynical about their government?"
On The Philips Phile radio show on WTKS-104.1, Jim Philips said"it's essentially stepping on democracy." Philips said it looked like the commissioners and Mayor Teresa Jacobs were taking their cues from business interests.
"It is so apparent they are not paying any attention to the citizens," said Philips, a Jacobs supporter during her 2010 mayoral run. Philips talked about it with the Sentinel's Scott Maxwell Wednesday, and they both blasted the way it was handled.
Maxwell said it could wake the"sleeping giant" segment of the public that often doesn't pay attention to local politics.
On WMFE 90.7, the Orlando Weekly's Billy Manes was just as rough and blasted the"seven-hour circus" of a hearing on sick leave, saying it"set a new low for local government." Manes compared the Mayor Teresa Jacobs-run process to the type of"backroom" deal politics that make voters so cynical.
After seeing how Orange leaders treated the 50,000-petition signature drive to put a sick leave measure on the ballot, Manes said,"Now nobody believes in local government. Nor should they." Here's his full commentary.
A group supporting sick pay, Family Values @ Work, says in this piece that"this is what democracy does NOT look like."
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