SIDNEY F. DINERSTEIN, Appellant,
SUSAN BUCHER, Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach County, THE CITY OF PALM BEACH GARDENS, PATRICIA SNIDER, City Clerk of Palm Beach Gardens, VOTERS IN CONTROL, Appellees.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit,
Palm Beach County; Janis Brustares Keyser, Judge; L.T. Case
D'Loughy of Advisor Law, PLLC, Palm Beach Gardens, for
Lohman of Lohman Law Group, P.A., West Palm Beach, for
appellee City of Palm Beach Gardens.
plaintiff appeals a final judgment in favor of the City of
Palm Beach Gardens ("City"). He argues the trial
court erred in applying the "magic words" test in
finding the City did not expressly advocate in favor of a
ballot initiative and in finding the ballot initiative's
title and summary valid. We disagree and affirm.
2018, the City Council passed and adopted three ordinances to
appear on the August 2018 City Election Ballot as Ballot
Question Nos. 1, 2, and 3 (collectively "August Charter
Ballot Question No. 1 (Ordinance 7-18)
Sought to increase term-limits for city council members from
two to three consecutive terms.
Ballot Question No. 2 (Ordinance 8-18)
Consisted of several amendments to remove and modify
provisions of the City Charter.
Ballot Question No. 3 (Ordinance 9-18)
Sought to remove the requirement that the City Manager be a
resident within one year of appointment.
article published August 17, 2018, the Palm Beach Post
reported that the City paid Cornerstone Solutions Florida,
LLC, a local political consulting company, $43, 200 to plan,
manage, and execute the City's voter education campaign
before the March 2018 City Election. And, the City planned to
spend no more than about $65, 000 on the August 2018
August 22, 2018, the plaintiff filed a verified emergency
petition for declaratory and injunctive relief as to the
misuse of public funds for unlawful government advocacy and
injunctive relief against a political action committee
concerning the dissemination of deceptive advertisements.
Question No. 2 passed in the August election, but Ballot