EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this article stated the ballot questions were being considered for inclusion in the 2022 election. This has since been corrected to 2018.
OCOEE – Every 10 years, Ocoee appoints members to create a Charter Review Commission to analyze the city charter and provide recommended changes.
This year, the CRC convened and crafted eight charter questions it proposed to have included on the ballot in the 2018 election.
During the Aug. 15 City Commission meeting, the CRC presented its questions and the reasoning behind each to the mayor and commissioners.
The questions included charter amendments to sections involving the residency requirement for future city managers, term limits for the mayor and city commissioners, changes to the number of years required for a full term and the extension of the period of time a mayor pro tem may serve in the event of a vacancy in the mayor’s seat.
Below is each proposed charter question. If approved, the CRC would then need to provide the commission with an official ordinance for consideration of adoption. The ordinance establishing ballot questions is required to be adopted by the City Commission Jan. 19, 2018.
Ballot Question 1 — Updating the independent audit section. Amend charter to remove the requirement that an independent auditor be appointed within 30 days of the beginning of a fiscal year.
Background: According to the current charter, city staff has 30 days to find an independent auditor at the beginning of every fiscal year. However, sometimes it takes longer than 30 days. This provision would remove this requirement.
Ballot Question 2 — Establishing term limits. Amend charter to limit mayor and the commissioners’ service in office to two full terms in that office.
Background: If approved in 2018, the two-term limit would commence in 2022 for the mayor and the District 1 and District 3 commissioners and in 2024 for the District 2 and District 4 commissioners. However, if four-year terms are passed, then the two-term limit would commence in 2023 for Mayor, District 1 and District 3 commissioners and in 2025 for District 2 and District 4 commissioners.
Ballot Question 3 — Extending service of mayor pro tem in event of vacancy. Amend charter to allow mayor pro tem to serve up to 12 months in event of vacancy in office of the mayor, allowing 12 months for a mayor or commissioner to be elected in the event of a vacancy and clarifying that mayor pro tem will return to district representation upon election of the mayor for the remainder of his/her term.
Background: The former mayor retired in the middle of a summer, which caused the city to host a special election and then spend more money for another regular election shortly after. The event called into question the need to change the charter regarding how long a mayor pro tem can serve in the event of a vacancy in the mayor’s seat. Under the current charter, in the event of a vacancy of the mayor’s seat, the mayor pro tem can serve for up to six months.
Ballot Question 4 — Residency requirement for city managers. Amend charter to require city managers to become a city resident within one year of commencement of employment with no waiver of this provision; providing for inapplicability to the current city manager.
Background: Under the current charter, the city can waive the provision that a city manager resides within the city’s limits.
Ballot Question 5 — Establishing four-year terms for the mayor and city commissioners. Amend charter to change mayor and city commissioners’ terms from three-year to four-year terms.
Background: Under the current charter, the mayor and commissioners serve three-year terms.
Ballot Question 6 — Revising changes adopted by the voters in 2010 to require City Commission Review’s report and adopt an ordinance. Amend charter to require the Charter Review Commission to submit ballot questions to the City Commission for review and approval.
Background: This year, the CRC proposed to allow the CRC to submit ballot questions to the City Commission for recommendations. The CRC then would have the power to decide whether to make changes. The CRC then would present the City Commission with an ordinance for approval.
Ballot Question 7 — Meeting and member requirements for Districting Commission. Amend charter to remove the requirement that Districting Commission meet every five years to adjust City Commission districts and instead require Districting Commission to meet every 10 years.
Background: If the Districting Commission meets every 10 years instead of every five, it would be able to base its suggestions for district boundary changes on census counts.
Ballot Question 8 — Establishing a requirement for alternate members for Districting Commission and CRC. Amend the charter to require City Commission to appoint alternate one and two as members of Districting Commission and CRC.
Background: The CRC and Districting Commission each have only five members. Alternatives would attend meetings and replace a member who is absent from three meetings.
Contact Gabby Baquero at [email protected]