Update from Martin County on All Aboard Florida

http://www.martin.fl.us/News
9/20/15
Dear Martin County citizen:

As a subscriber to Martin County’s general information email list, we thought you would also be interested in receiving periodic updates on Martin County’s activities related to the proposed All Aboard Florida (AAF) project. If you do not wish to receive these periodic updates, simply reply back and we will promptly remove you from these communications.

In Martin County’s most recent effort to address ongoing concerns about the negative impacts of the proposed All Aboard Florida (AAF) project to the citizens of Martin County and the Treasure Coast, Martin County recently filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari against the Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC) and All Aboard Florida (AAF). The Writ was filed in the appellate division of the circuit court of the ninth judicial circuit in Orange County, Florida where the FDFC maintains an office.

In plain language, a Writ is an order issued by a legal authority with administrative or juridical powers, typically a court. In this case, Martin County is asking for a specific type of write – a Writ of Certiorari – by which the appellate court would decide to review Martin County’s case at its discretion.

“T he word “certiorari” comes from Law Latin and means ‘to be more fully informed’,” said County Attorney Michael Durham. “This has been at the heart of Martin County’s entire approach to the AAF project – the desire for lawmakers, decision makers, and the public to have access to the critical information and facts that are necessary to make the best decisions for our community.”

The Writ focuses on issues relating to the FDFC’s public meeting on August 5 where $1.75 billion in tax-exempt private activity bonds were approved by the FDFC board and issued to AAF. Key arguments within the writ center on: the FDFC board acting in a quasi-judicial capacity rather than a legislative capacity during that meeting; the FDFC not providing Martin County and other municipalities and the public with adequate notice and opportunity to be heard; the FDFC engaging in extensive communications with AAF and its affiliates prior to the meeting; the FDFC not following the law; and the FDFC not basing its findings on competent, substantial evidence.

Through the writ, Martin County is requesting the Court invalidate the FDFC resolution. “We believe Martin County citizens have strong standing for this lawsuit because due process rights of the county and its citizens have been violated,” said County Attorney Michael Durham. “Martin County has demonstrated the AAF project will have many adverse impacts on citizens in Martin County and throughout the Treasure Coast – the exact opposite of what the FDFC claims in its resolution, and specifically what the law protects against.”

For more resources on Martin County’s fight against All Aboard Florida, including presentations, studies, letters of concern to state and federal agencies and more, visit www.martin.fl.us/hottopics .

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GBF/ADM

This notification can be reproduced in an alternative format upon request by contacting the County ADA Coordinator (772-221-1396), the County Administration Office (772-288-5940) or Florida Relay 711.

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