As I've watched the citizen-driven Fair Districts initiative successfully bulldoze past legal attempts by the Florida state legislature to remove Amendments 5 and 6 off the November ballot, I had a thought.
If citizens are frustrated enough to draw the line on gerrymandering in this state--the practice of the majority party power "drawing districts to favor incumbents or political parties with little rhyme or reason as to the interests of voters"--then how much longer before citizens reach a similar limit regarding the impact of public records overreach on their individual right to privacy?
Case in point.
The city of Titusville, Florida unanimously approved a $150 charge on homeowners who face foreclosure proceedings or have mortgages in default.
The city would pocket half the fee and give the other half and "...to Suntree-based Federal Property Registration Corp., which will help identify foreclosed property and manage the registry."
Yep. You read right. A foreclosure registry.
Under the agreement, Darnell's company would contact lenders with foreclosures in the city, inform the lenders of the city's registration requirements, and provide an electronic method of registration for the lenders, including through the city's website. A mortgagee would have to register the property with the city within 10 days after the mortgage is declared in default.
"This is a quicker way of identifying and registering these properties than the 'one-by-one' process the city would use through code enforcement," Titusville City Manager Mark Ryan said in a memo to the city council. "Many cities are struggling with new inventories of foreclosed homes, and creating ordinances as a way to help mitigate the damage to communities and recover costs incurred."
Two hundred properties have since been registered.
How much more must Floridians endure?
Read Titusville's public records policy here.
Read Florida's Ballot Initiative 101 here.
And vote YES on Amendments 5 and 6.