By Scott Powers
Florida Politics
July 1. 2020

Some said SB 410 would reopen door to controversial River Cross project

SB 410, sponsored by Republican Sen. Keith Perry of Gainesville, began as an attempt to restrict his home county of Alachua’s abilities to control growth into rural areas. But it got amended in the closing days of the Legislative Session to extend the effect to up to 13 counties, including charter counties such as Seminole.

From the perspective of some Seminole County Commissioners, notably Lee Constantine, the amendment meant the controversial, twice-defeated River Cross land development pushed by former Rep Chris Dorworth in eastern Seminole could find new life.

Once the bill got approved, 23-16 in the Senate and 71-43 in the House Constantine and others in Seminole and in statewide groups, including the Florida Association of Counties, lobbied hard to get DeSantis to veto it.

On Sunday Constantine published an op-ed piece in the Orlando Sentinel declaring, “This week you have a rare opportunity. With a swipe of your veto pen, you can send a resounding message of ‘not on my watch’ to those who wish to undermine our state Constitution for personal gain and save millions of taxpayer dollars. … It would open the door to special interests wanting to destroy our rural boundary.”

“I believe the Governor understood the constitutional implications and did the right and ethical thing,” Constantine said. “This is a good day, another good day, for protection of the rural boundary in Seminole County.”

Full article on Florida Politics

Lee Constantine has been all about fairness , the little people, nature and conservation for over 30 years. Lee has advanced his ideas regarding parks, recreation, clean water and especially protecting our streams, rivers and springs. Lee has been at the forefront of protecting Seminole County’s Rural Boundary and the Eastern Rural Area. He fought hard against a major developer in “stopping the swap” when the developer wished to run roughshod over the citizens and at least one Commissioner regarding gaining control of a Wilderness Area that the Citizens already owned. Lee Constantine led the charge on that and that is all there is to it. Lee is a CHAMPION for the people. The citizens need him desperately to continue our fight against urban sprawl, everything green and supporting keeping our rivers and Springs protected.

Don Peterson
June 26, 2020

 Dear Commissioner Constantine,

I am writing to express sincerest “Thanks!” for your personal interest, dedication and support of Seminole County and our Sabal Point Community, and to wish you success in this current re-election campaign.  

When our neighborhood faced the threat of extensive development on our closed Sabal Point Golf Course, you listened to residents’ concerns, became actively involved, and played a critical role in negotiating a settlement between the homeowners and the developers.  The final agreement preserved over 85 acres of environmentally-sensitive open space land and helped the community obtain funding support for maintenance of the property.  Today our residents, visitors and neighborhood wildlife enjoy the benefits of the undeveloped recreational areas and waterways.  We appreciate also your strong voice and leadership on all matters related to future development and environmental protection in Seminole County.  Thank you again!

Wayne Hunicke
Sabal Point Community
Longwood, Florida
June 26, 2020

“Lee Constantine is a passionate public servant, who loves his community and is a loyal fighter for good public policy. He has been in the trenches fighting for and upholding Republican values and policies for more than two decades. I first knew Lee when we were backrow minority members in the FL House. He was by my side working for Republicans to gain the majority and promote conservative principles of less government, lower taxes and more individual freedoms. I was fortunate to have him fighting alongside me then and am thankful he is still serving his community today.”

Congressman Daniel Webster (R), FL-11 
(served as the Speaker of the Florida House from 1996 to 1998 – “the first Republican Speaker in 122 years”)

Please take an interest in this Seminole Commission [District 3] race and join me in voting for and supporting Lee’s re-election. 

He is the Commissioner who strongly supported voting down the multistory Apartments on Balmy Beach—he supports maintaining the comp plan to limit massive developments in East Seminole. The opponent is recruited and funded by the ousted State Legislator who is a partner in the giant proposed development near Lake Jessup and the Black Hammock—when the developer was voted down he declared to oust every Commissioner who voted against his project and didn’t agree to override the County’s rural lands protections to us benefit.

Lee helps keep our lake quality (Bear, Brantley and Orienta are active concerns in his District) safe from polluting storm water.

His years in the State legislature and as Commissioner/Mayor of Altamonte Springs give him clout beyond our corner of Seminole County.

Besides all that, his Charity Challenge fundraiser has raised and donated millions of dollars back to small and large recipients for over 30 years.

Knowing the lobbyist’s campaign style, you will receive a barrage of nasty mailers accusing Lee of all kinds of stuff—I have known Lee and his entire family for well over 30 years. He is a kind, smart, and caring person. His UCF allegiance is incomparable, his friends are for a lifetime, and he’s a tough demanding boss who expects results and gets them. He’s survived politics before and has developed a good thick skin.

Bottom line, Lee is a good commissioner, serves the public interest well, loves his county and state and wants to preserve all that we enjoy. I could only wish for more elected officials like him.

It would be a travesty to allow a power-brokering lobbyist to run him out of office just to get a massive development approved and turn Seminole County into another Orange County.

Please pass this on and ask others to join in voting for Lee Constantine this fall.

-Bev Winesburgh, former Chairwoman of the Board, Seminole County Chamber of Commerce

Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine Interview for 2020 East Side Regional Hob Nob

Click here to read Lee Constantine’s responses to the Ovieda-Winter Springs Chamber of Commerce 2020 East Side Regional Hob Nob Q&A