Term Limits on Agenda for Pinellas Charter Review Group
The commission is also scheduled to tackle dual voting.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Over the next few weeks, the Pinellas County Charter Review Commission (CRC) will discuss dual voting and term limits, two issues that county residents have expressed concern about since the CRC was established last year.
The next CRC meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 20), which is when the commission will discuss the dual vote matter. The meeting witll be at the Pinellas County Utilities Building, 4th Floor, 14 S Ft. Harrison Ave., Clearwater. It is open to the public.
The dual vote matter refers to Section 6.04 of the county’s charter, which states that amendments affecting regulatory authority must be passed by both municipal and county electorates. This section has been deemed by both independent and CRC legal counsel to be in violation of Florida’s constitutional rules regarding regulatory powers. The commission will review examples of past issues that were stymied due to complications from the dual vote regulation.
The term limits issue will be the subject of discussion at a CRC workshop held immediately before the commission meeting on Feb. 17. The term limits issue has sparked significant public interest and discussion since the commission was announced last year.
Other discussion topics planned for the Jan. 20 meeting include consolidation of government services, the Pinellas Suncoast Transportation Authority and whether the charter has authority to impact the PSTA, selection of CRC members, grievance handling and campaign restrictions.
At its Jan. 6 meeting, commissioners determined not to move forward on issues including human rights, non-partisan election and recall of constitutional officers.
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 is similar to a constitution. 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 Charter Review Commission, 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 began meeting in August 2015 and will present its final report to the Citizens of Pinellas County by July 2016. Any CRC recommended amendments to the Charter will be placed on the November 2016 ballot for a vote by Pinellas County residents.
For information about the CRC, go to pinellascounty.org.
Pinellas County | Charter Review Commission | Term Limits | Dual Vote | TB Reporter
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