Charter Review Commission Submits Final Report to the Citizens of Pinellas County
The 2010 Charter Review Commission has completed its review of the Pinellas County Charter and has issued its Final Report to the Citizens of Pinellas County. The document is available on the Pinellas County website (www.pinellascounty.org/charter), as well as in area libraries.
The 13-member Charter Review Commission is appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to look at the Pinellas County Charter and discuss areas in need of improvement. The commission functions as an independent authority with the ability to put charter amendments and referendum questions directly before the voters. This year's ballot question concerns the frequency and duration of future commissions. The charter amendment, which will appear on the November general election ballot, proposes that the group meet once every eight years to coincide with presidential elections. Furthermore, the group recommends that the Board of County Commissioners assemble the commission no later than August 1 of the year prior to any presidential election and that the CRC remain in force until Election Day of the presidential year. If the ballot question is approved, the next CRC will be appointed in August of 2015.
Future charter review commissions would also be required to hold two public hearings regarding their final recommendations. In addition to the ballot question, this year's CRC proposes that the Board of County Commissioners amend its lobbying ordinance to include as lobbying any type of contact including telephone calls and e-mails; that forms reporting contact be distributed to all commissioners; and that all lobbyist registration forms and related records be posted on the county website. The CRC further recommends that penalties for failure to comply with lobbying policy should include being disbarred.
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