The Mount Dora City Charter – The Silent Candidate (part 2)

The Mount Dora City Charter was reviewed by committee in early 2015.

Several areas of concern were noted and acted upon by the committee.  The Charter Review Committee met for several weeks, reviewing each paragraph of the City’s Charter.  The committee discussed the document and prepared recommendations.  Five of the six recommendations were unanimously approved by the committee.  All of the committee’s recommendations, having been voted upon, were presented to the Mount Dora City Council.  The Mount Dora City Council then agreed to pass all of the issues along to the ballot for Mount Dora voters to decide.  The ballot language, as well as the outcome of the committee’s votes, are delineated below. All six of the amendments will appear on Mount Dora City residents’ 2015 ballots.


*Disclosure – Both the Mount Dora Citizen editor, Melissa DeMarco and writer, Joe Runnels were members of the City of Mount Dora’s 2015 Charter Review Committee. The Mount Dora Citizen did not come into being until approximately 3 months after the Charter Review Committee was disbanded.*


 

City Charter Amendment 1: INCLUDE THE REQUIREMENT OF PERMANENT RESIDENCY TO CRITERIA FOR HOLDING COUNCIL OFFICE.

Shall Section 5 of the Mount Dora Charter be amended to include permanent residency in the criteria for holding council office, as is required in other provisions of the Charter?

Section 5. Qualifications.

Any elector and permanent resident of the City of Mount Dora shall be eligible to hold council office, including the office of mayor.  However, any elector seeking or holding council office as a district representative must be an elector and permanent resident of the particular district which the elector represents or seeks to represent.  The city council shall be the sole judge of the qualifications set forth in this section as applied to any of its members or prospective members.

2015 Charter Review Committee Action on Proposed Charter Amendment #1: Mr. Runnels moved to approve. Ms. Anderson seconded. Approved unanimously.

 

City Charter Amendment 2: HOUSEKEEPING CHANGE – SECTION 9.

Shall Section 9 of the Mount Dora Charter be amended to correct an error by changing the word “purpose” to “purchase?”

Section 9. Duties

The city council shall, by resolution, annually adopt, no later than the adoption of the budget procedures and limitations for the purpose purchase of tangible personal property and services, and for the rental of tangible personal property, including ceilings on amounts which may be expended without express city council approval.

2015 Charter Review Committee Action on Proposed Charter Amendment #2: Ms. Pepperman moved to approve. Ms. Anderson seconded. Approved unanimously.

City Charter Amendment 3: AMEND PROCEDURE FOR CITY COUNCIL’S REVIEW OF CODIFICATION AND REMOVE REPORTING REQUIREMENT OF REVIEW COMMITTEE.

Shall Section 9 of the Mount Dora Charter be amended to remove the requirement that City Council annually cause the codification of ordinances and eliminate the yearly reporting requirement of the ad hoc reviewing committee?

Section 9. Duties.

The city council shall create and maintain a codification of ordinances.  The codification shall contain those ordinances designated by the city council in its sole and absolute discretion.  The city council shall annually cause the codification established hereunder to be reviewed, by ad hoc committee and the city attorney.  The city shall also annually update the codification established hereunder.  The report of the reviewing committee shall be presented to the city council no later than the first regularly scheduled council meeting in August.

2015 Charter Review Committee Action on Proposed Charter Amendment #3: Ms. Anderson moved to approve. Ms. Pepperman seconded. Approved unanimously.

City Charter Amendment 4: EXPAND THE TERM OF COUNCILMEMBERS FROM TWO (2) TO THREE (3) YEARS.

Shall Section 12 of the Mount Dora Charter be amended to expand the term of council members and the mayor from two (2) to three (3) years?

Section 12. Terms.

The term of each city council office, including the office of mayor, shall be two (2) three (3) years.  However, all office holders shall continue in office until the office holder’s successor is appointed or sworn to office, unless the office holder’s office is declared vacant pursuant to this charter.  All elected council members, including the mayor, shall assume office and be sworn at the second regularly scheduled meeting of the November their election.

2015 Charter Review Committee Action on Proposed Charter Amendment #4: Mr. Runnels moved to approve. Ms. Pepperman seconded. Approved by vote of 3 for and 2 dissenting.

City Charter Amendment 5: REDUCE THE NUMBER OF COUNCILMEMBERS FROM SEVEN TO FIVE AND REMOVE AT-LARGE REPRESENTATIVE POSITIONS.

Shall Sections 4, 6 and 12 of the Mount Dora Charter be amended to reduce the number of council members from seven (7) to five (5) and remove the two (2) at-large representative positions?

Section 4. City Council.

The city council shall consist of seven (7) five (5) members, including the mayor.  The mayor shall be considered a member of the city council for all purposes.  Members of the city council may not cast votes in abstentia.

Section 6. Composition; districts.

The seven (7) five (5) member city council shall be comprised of four (4) district representatives, two (2) at large representatives, and one (1) mayor, who shall be elected at-large. The city council shall, by ordinance, establish the district boundaries as required by law.

Section 12. Terms.

The mayor, and the district representatives of districts 1 and 4 shall be elected in the same year, and the at-large odd representative shall be elected in odd-numbered years.  The district representatives of districts 2 and 3 and the at-large even representative shall be elected in even-numbered years shall be elected in the same year.

2015 Charter Review Committee Action on Proposed Charter Amendment #5: Ms. Anderson moved to approve. Mr. Runnels seconded. Approved unanimously.

City Charter Amendment 6. ESTABLISHING GUIDELINE FOR BREAKING A TIE BETWEEN TWO CANDIDATES FOR ELECTED OFFICE.

Shall Section 14 of the Mount Dora City Charter be amended to establish a guideline in the event of a tie between two candidates for an elected office?

Section 14. Voting.

An elected office shall be filled by the candidate for the elected office receiving the majority of the vote.  Should any candidate fail to receive the majority of the vote during the a general election between three or more candidates, a runoff election shall be held between the two (2) candidates for the elected office receiving the highest number of votes.  This runoff election shall be held in a manner established by ordinance consistent with the laws of the State of Florida.  In the event of a tie between the two candidates for the elected office, the winning candidate shall be decided in accordance with State law.

2015 Charter Review Committee Action on Proposed Charter Amendment #6: Ms. Anderson moved to approve. Mr. Runnels seconded. Approved unanimously.

 

Joe Runnels, Writer (joe@mountdoracitizen.com)