Florida League of Cities affirms its opposition to solar power amendment


More than a year of elections in 2016, one of the most controversial issues in Florida continues to fight for a constitutional reform in solar energy.

Solar choice Floridians are looking for an amendment that would allow voters to homeowners and businesses that sell up to two megawatts of solar energy and forbid the state to erect barriers to the roof solar market in Florida.

But an assortment of heads of government and industry are fiercely opposed such a move, with some of them filing a legal brief asking the Supreme Court to reject the measure. One such group is the League of Cities of Florida, which has alienated some elected officials around the state. In protest, the last 16 mayors and / or members of the city council, wrote a letter to the League, asking for a vote at its annual meeting this week that the organization may withdraw its legal brief.

But the proposal of the mayor of the Village of Pinecrest Cindy Lerner was a crushing defeat today with the resolutions committee of the League in Orlando.

“I’m obviously disappointed,” Lerner said. “Obviously, the league will end up on the wrong side of history. It was very clear to me that public services were in full force, lobbying of all committee members, misleading and misinforming them all.”

Ron Sachs, a spokesman for the Florida League, said about 40 people allows them to sit on the committee participated in a voice vote, with Lerner being the only vote against the action of the League.

“There was a robust debate”, he said. “Everyone who wanted to speak had the opportunity to speak, including the mayor, and held a vote, and others that only the mayor vote of dissent, the resolutions committee supported the presentation of the League and rejected any attempt to remove “.

Of the 16 elected representatives who wrote to the League earlier this summer, including members of the city council of St. Petersburg Karl nurses and Darden Rice. His letter said that the presentation of the brief was filed outside the proper protocol League and the arguments presented in the submission were “alarmist, unsupported and speculative.”

“The League for over 30 years has selectively looked at issues of constitutional reform, and was very careful and choose as a kind of short on a ballot or a constitutional amendment is,” he said Sach adding what happened in this case.

Although relatively minor in the scheme of things, the vote of the League was just another indication of the battle up suddenly that the choice of the Solar Florida seems to be against that leads to review language current voting by the Supreme Court the next month.

The organizers, which include a mix of progressive and conservative groups quickly began earlier this year in the collection of signatures to qualify for a review of the Supreme Court, but were met with significant opposition along the way, driven in large As for the electricity companies. Florida Power and Light, Duke Energy, Tampa Electric and Gulf Power all in June filed a brief opposing the proposed ballot initiative, saying that the initiative aims to remove barriers to the installation of solar energy are “completely contrary to the system Florida regulated to provide safe, efficient power. ”

Then came the Solar choice for consumers, the vote organizers admit alternative measure was created in opposition to the Solar Choice Floridians. Modification – also in the process of collecting over 68,000 signatures to qualify for a review of the Supreme Court – calls for the establishment of a right for consumers to rent or solar equipment on their property to generate electricity for their own use .

Village of Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner says it’s hard to believe that the other members of the committee may oppose a resolution giving their voters to vote on the proposal at the polls next year. He said one member said he would see as they were about to face support the proposal from the Lerner League back to oppose the measure, but says the vote should not be taken seriously outside the walls of the Marriott Center World in Orlando.

“I’m not really surprised, because when all is said and done, I do not think people across the state know or care much what the League of Cities Florida is said and done,” I said-that.