DeLand, FL – Despite numerous legal setbacks, Volusia County will continue its fight against an amendment voters throughout the county and the state approved last November.
By a 4-3 vote during today’s meeting, the Volusia County Council agreed to have County Attorney Dan Eckert proceed with an appeal which could see the Florida Supreme Court review Amendment 10 again.
District 4 Representative Heather Post – a consistent “no” vote throughout Eckert’s attempts to fight Amendment 10 in court – was one of the three who voted against. She was joined by the two newest VCC members: At-Large Representative Ben Johnson and District 1’s Barbara Girtman.
Eckert’s request to send this case to the First District Court of Appeal came after a judge in Leon County dismissed his arguments last week against what was known as the “Protection Amendment” in the run-up to the 2018 midterms.
The county’s legal team argues that Amendment 10 – which, among other things, creates an elected Tax Collector and allows more autonomy to other elected county officials – circumvents the “home rule” right of Volusia voters because it was decided by a statewide vote.
There are also concerns about how much it would cost to implement Amendment 10. County estimates have ranged between $5 and $10 million, a number that’s been disputed by Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, a strong supporter of Amendment 10.
Chitwood blasted the VCC publicly when they voted to appeal 10 in December, labeling Eckert and everyone else who voted for that appeal as “scumbags”.
The amendment passed with over 60% of the vote statewide and 53% of the vote in Volusia.
Eckert said during today’s meeting that September’s ruling by the state’s highest court left open the possibility of defeating the amendment after the election, but only if the county continued with its appeal.
Also during today’s meeting, the VCC voted to create a searchable public county-wide animal abuse registry in an effort to prevent those who have been convicted of crimes against animals from owning one in the future.