FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2016
CONTACT: Robert Agrusa, Executive Director
BusinessForce Supports Transparency and Fairness in
the Orange County Citizen Initiative Process
Increased Transparency and Reforms are Necessary
ORLANDO, FL (February 8, 2016) – After nine months and 14 public meetings, the Orange County Charter Review Commission will vote to adopt substantive and procedural changes to the citizen initiative process later this week. These proposed changes, if approved by the voters, will bring the Orange County signature gathering requirements in alignment with the state of Florida’s, ensuring equal and fair representation from residents of all six County Commission districts. And, in an effort to enhance transparency and clarity, reforms related to the collection process have been drawn from other charter counties in the state of Florida.
“Unfortunately, the current process allows for Washington, DC-based special interest groups, whose only concern is the national political significance of our region, to hijack the process and rewrite the sacred governing document of our county, the County Charter. I applaud the hard work and due diligence of the Initiative Petitions Work Group and I look forward to the Charter Review Commission continuing to take the necessary steps to ensure transparency and accountability, so that Orange County voters can make an informed decisions in the future,” said Robert Agrusa, Executive Director of BusinessForce.
Out-of-state special interests funded a substantial portion of the last citizen petition drive; however, many petition signers and voters were unaware of the substantial role such organizations played in the process.
“Common-sense reforms that mirror the best practices at the state level and in other counties protect the integrity of the process and ensure transparency for voters. The citizen initiative process should be just that – a transparent and representative process by which local citizens can petition for changes to the Charter,” concluded Agrusa.
BusinessForce is the political action arm of the Central Florida Partnership. BusinessForce’s goal is to affect positive change in Central Florida through regional public policy advocacy and by encouraging and supporting candidates for public office who, as public officials, will embrace free enterprise and sound, responsible business practices in government.