Rosen's Populist Ploy Not Working
"Hotelier Harris Rosen's petition drive is a flop so far, and time is running out for the millionaire businessman to put a downtown sports-venue referendum to voters on the Jan. 29 ballot.I thought it was a real hoot that the richest guy in town was running a populist campaign to stop the arena from being built where he couldn't make money off of it. What's worse is some of *his* tourist tax money wasn't going to be controlled and spent by him.
Rosen wants to stop or delay construction of the $480 million Orlando Magic arena and $175 million in Florida Citrus Bowl upgrades that Orlando and Orange County leaders approved in July. The International Drive hotel magnate says voters should have a say on such costly projects.
But his anti-venue strategy calls for pushing the issue to voters fast, before Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty endorse huge project contracts and loans.
Wednesday was Rosen's self-imposed deadline to turn in the about 31,000 petitions needed to get a referendum to the ballot. But so far, only 1,215 have been certified."
I was worried too. Because so many of these populist initiatives wind up getting passed by know-nothing voters. Hopefully this puts the question to rest and our shiny new building will be ready in just 3 years from last night.