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12/22/94(reso\exparte)vk <br />RZBOLUTION 90. 95-_QL. <br />A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMIBBIONERS of <br />INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, FLORIDA, ADVOCATING AN <br />AMENDMENT TO THE /TATE CONSTITUTION WHICH No= <br />RESTORZ AND REOPEN 00101UNICATION CNANNILB BETWEEN <br />ELECTED OFFICIALB AND THEIR CONSTITUENTS. <br />MHZRBAB, recent court decisions have resulted in the potential for <br />communications between elected public officials and their constituents being <br />chilled as to important community matters including many types of land -use <br />decisions and similar quasi-judicial matters; and <br />WHEREAS, these decisions impact written, telephonic, and personal <br />contacts between elected public officials and their constituents; and <br />NHEREAS, Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of <br />Florida provides that "(t)he people shall have the right ... to instruct <br />their representatives, and to petition for redress of grievances" (emphasis <br />added) and the United States Constitution provides for protection of each <br />citizen's right to speak to and petition hie/her government; and <br />NHERZAS, elected officials may become timid in their responsiveness to <br />their constituents by reason of the potential legal entanglements which may <br />result from controversial ex parte communications; and <br />NHERZAS, the passage of appropriate legislation may serve as a mechanism <br />to restore and reopen communication channels between elected officials and <br />their constituents by establishing procedures and regulations providing for <br />the free and full access of each citizens to his/her local elected official <br />when making land -use decisions and other quasi-judicial decision; <br />NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF <br />INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, FLORIDA, that: <br />1. The Indian River County Legislative Delegation is urged to study the <br />recent decisions of Florida's courts, such as Jennings v. Dade County <br />and support passage of the attached join; resolution proposing an <br />amendment to the State Constitution which, upon approval by the voters, <br />would protect communication channels between elected officials and their <br />constituents by ensuring that citizens may freely and openly instruct <br />and petition their elected local officials. <br />