Joe McClash was first elected in 1990 to make decisions for the county as a member of the board of county commissioners. But 20 years later, there are still some choices he thinks the electorate needs to decide for itself.
McClash this afternoon will announce that he is personally endorsing - that is, as an individual and presumably not on behalf of his colleagues on the county commission who bristle when anyone thinks McClash might be speaking for them - the Hometown Democracy measure on the November general election ballot.
If approved by 60 percent of voters, Amendment 4 would instill a large dose of direct democracy into development planning by requiring an election every time a county or city wanted to change its respective comprehensive plan.
Those decisions are now left to the public's elected representatives like McClash - which in turn, according the measure's backers, has caused great peril for the state.
"With Amendment 4, your power to vote on growth will enable you to preserve your neighborhood and your community and protect the value of your home," states the Florida Hometown Democracy Web site organized by backers of the measure.
McClash confirmed that he would would be endorsing Amendment 4 but deferred comment until a 2 p.m. news conference set for today at the old Manatee County courthouse in downtown Bradenton.
UPDATED, 4:25 p.m.
McClash said approval of Amendment 4 would be a needed counterweight against the influence of Shroeder Manatee Ranch and other developers.
Read his statement here.
--- Marc R. Masferrer