Single-Member Districts on County Charter Review Commission Agenda
January 26, 2020
Press release from Alachua County
The Alachua County 2020 Charter Review Commission (CRC) will meet on Wednesday, January 29, at 5:30 p.m. in the Jack Durrance Auditorium (room 209), located on the second floor of the Alachua County Administration Building (12 S.E. 1st Street, downtown Gainesville). The public is encouraged to attend and submit ideas for Charter Amendments.
Those wanting to speak on the submitted proposals outlined below, are encouraged to attend this meeting. The CRC will be discussing whether items should be advanced or eliminated. The CRC will discuss as many items as time permits. Items not discussed will be continued to the following meeting.
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The meeting agenda includes:
1. Discuss communication with staff liaison and attorney, the Golden Rule, responses to information requests provided to all CRC members, and determine method by which members may consult with the attorney.
2. Review Chair’s list of proposals submitted within topic areas.
3. Review the submissions below for advancement or elimination.
A. SINGLE-MEMBER DISTRICT REPRESENTATION 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 15, 29, 34, 35, 42, 45, 48. Submission 48 increases the number of County Commissioners from five to seven, with five single-member districts, and two at-large districts.
B. COUNTY COMMISSION RESIDENCY 43 – County Commission candidates: require a minimum of one year residency prior to qualifying period for any general or special election.
C. REDISTRICTING OF COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICTS 47 – District boundaries shall be changed after the census shows a substantial increase in permanent residencies to the county or a substantial increase in property appraiser’s residential records.
D. TERM LIMITS 14, 34, 35. Submission 14 also proposes no pensions for County Commissioners, and that their insurance shall cost the same as the public’s.
E. VOTING/ELECTIONS OFFICE 2 – Not allow college students to vote in local elections 24 – Electronic Campaign Report Filing – remove paper report requirement 26 – Voting machines 44 – Campaign financing – contributions should be consistent with Florida Statutes
F. BUS TRANSIT SYSTEM/ROUTES 6 – Add bus route to N.W. 6th Street, Whitney Park, Turkey Creek, and Millhopper 22 – Alachua County Bus Transit System – connect all municipalities
G. UNCONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS (per previous Court rulings) 20 – Remove unconstitutional residency requirements 21 – Remove unconstitutional provision re: inclusion of all Classifications of Persons 50 – Remove #20 & #21 (as one question)
H. ELECTRIC SYSTEM RATES/UTILITY TRANSFERS 9 – SOS to Better Government (reduction in electric rates) 38 – utility transfer payments
I. STATE PRISON 13 – Reconsider using State prison inmates for roadside clean up
J. US SUPREME COURT DECISIONS BINDING ON ALACHUA COUNTY 19 – Acknowledge that Brown v. Board of Education and other U.S. Supreme Court decisions are binding on Alachua County.
4. Member Comments
5. Informational Items – Tabled Motion (December 11, 2019) – Commissioner Thompson moved and Commissioner Robbins seconded that the Charter Review Commission shall clearly indicate to the Board of County Commissioners and the Supervisor of Elections its preferred order of appearance on ballot for proposed amendments
In 1986, the electorate established a home rule charter for Alachua County. This gave the County the full local home rule benefits afforded by the Constitution of the State of Florida. Every ten years, the CRC reviews the Charter and proposes amendments or revisions for placement on the general election ballot, which in the case of this CRC would be the November 2020 ballot.
The members of the 2020 CRC are Penny Wheat (Chair), Joe Little (Vice-Chair), Douglas Bernal, K. Richard Blount, Scott Camil, Eric Drummond, James Ingle, Pradeep Kumar, Erroll “Stanley” Richardson, Tamara Robbins, James Thompson, and Kristen Young.