Pinellas Sets Hearings on Proposed Changes to County Charter
The hearings are a last step before the proposed changes go to the Pinellas County Commission.
PINELLAS COUNTY – The Pinellas County Charter Review Commission has announced the dates, time and locations for two public hearings to review proposed amendments to the Charter.
The public hearings:
• 6 p.m., Wednesday (June 1) at the city of St. Petersburg City Council chambers, City Hall, 175 Fifth St. N.
• 6 p.m., June 15, at the Pinellas County Board of County Commission chambers, 315 Court St., Clearwater.
The CRC must conduct two public hearings no sooner than 21 days and no less than 10 days before the submission of its final report if the commission has amendments to propose. The CRC has six proposed referenda for the Nov. 6 ballot. The titles of the six ballot proposals:
• Pinellas Charter Cleanup Amendment
• Charter Review Commission Members Residence Requirements
• Selection, Termination, and Annual Review of County Attorney by County Commissioners and Constitutional Officers
• Creation of a County Redistricting Advisory Board
• Lowering Signature Percentage and Expanding Time Period for Petition Drive to Propose County Charter Amendments
• Fiscal Impact Analysis Requirement for Proposed Charter Amendments
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, which, like a constitution, sets forth the framwork of the county government. Pinellas County became a charter county in 1980 when its Charter was approved by referendum vote. Currently, 20 of Florida’s 67 counties are charter counties.
Pinellas County’s Charter is reviewed every eight years by a 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.
For information about the Pinellas County Charter Review process, go to pinellascounty.org.
Photograph courtesy of Pinellas County Communications Department.
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