There appears to be big trouble in little Bal Harbour, Florida, as residents have filed a lawsuit against the Village alleging that Clerk Dwight S. Danie unjustifiably refused to count 200+ valid petitions that were collected to force a referendum on using taxpayer dollars to expand the Bal Harbour Shops.
Residents that oppose the expansion believe that if any commercial construction or expansion is to take place, an up or down vote with 60% approval needs to take place.
One resident says that Danie “refused to accept the signatures” because the petitions collected were “not correct.”
While he claimed that the petitions were invalid because they “did not follow the format the Village” has used for the past 10 years, Danie said that the decision to not accept the petitions was solely his, and that said petitions were never destroyed and are “permanent record.”
Attorney Juan Carlos “J.C.” Planas, who represents the residents, believes that all “guidelines imposed by the statutes (Florida law)” have been met, adding that the petitions should be counted.
Here is the quote:
“The Florida statutes have specific language on how to amend municipal charters. While municipalities have the ability to impose some criteria on the process if they so choose, Bal Harbour does not have any law regarding charter amendments. Our petitions meet the guidelines imposed by the statutes and are thus valid and should be counted,” said attorney “J.C.” Planas.