Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday, November 28: Let Public Vote On Gambling In Florida

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez had the right idea, but the wrong execution.

Martinez proposed a straw poll on the issue of gambling for the Jan. 29, 2012 Republican primary ballot. His colleagues have tabled the idea, for now. In any case, the primary would not attract a representative slate of Dade voters because it's for Republicans only. (By the way, more to come on the commission's wrong-headed decision of putting charter reform proposals on that ballot.)

And the gambling issue should not just be on a straw poll. Ever since Malaysian company Genting bought the land on which The Miami Herald building rests and announced its plans for a mega-hotel and casino, the debate has popped up about what such a project will do to the quality of life in the area. In addition, other companies are circling to try to build mega-casinos of their own around other parts of South Florida.

Those affected - voters - should have the final say - not just locally, but also at the state level.

So, whether the body is the Florida Legislature or the Miami-Dade Commission, the message is the same: Let the public vote on these projects.

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