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Pinellas Charter Review Board to Discuss Election Changes

Public Meeting | Discussion | Meeting

Among the tentative topics: Letting voters recall county commissioners.

PINELLAS COUNTY – As part of its public process, the Pinellas Charter Review Commission (CRC) has begun its review and discussion of topics presented by county residents, including election issues.

Topics tentatively planned for the next CRC meeting include changing the election of constitutional officers to a non-partisan election, modification of the human rights section of the charter, and adding a recall provision for county commissioners and constitutional officers.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., Wednesday (Jan. 6) at the Pinellas County Utilities Building, 4th Floor, 14 S Ft. Harrison Ave., Clearwater.

 The CRC has established a process to collect topics submitted by residents of Pinellas County and will also hear from invited speakers to provide pertinent information to assist in its decision-making. Citizens have several options by which to submit ideas to the Commission. They include: Attending and speaking during the public comment segment of Commission meetings. Completing the “public input form” available through a link on the CRC website. Sending an email to the Commission using the “Contact Us” link on the CRC website or sending emails directly to Charterreview@pinellascounty.org.

In Florida, counties are subdivisions of the state. In 1968, Florida voters amended the state constitution to empower counties to govern themselves, a process often referred to as home-rule. Counties can enhance their home-rule authority by adopting a charter, or constitution. Pinellas County became a charter county in 1980 when its charter was approved by referendum vote.

Pinellas County’s charter is reviewed every eight years by a Charter Review Commission (CRC) which can then place charter amendments on the ballot for voters. The charter review process provides Pinellas County residents direct influence on the structure of their local government.

The CRC has retained the Orlando business consulting firm Diane Meiller & Associates to facilitate the process and the Vose Law Firm from Winter Park for legal counsel. The CRC began meeting in August 2015 and will present its final report by July. Any CRC recommended amendments to the charter will be placed on the November ballot for a vote by Pinellas County residents.

For information about the Pinellas County charter review process, go to pinellascounty.org.

Pinellas County | Charter Review | Recall | Charter Review Commission | TB Reporter

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