This year in Port Richey, there is no council election as incumbents Nancy Britton, Steve O'Neill and Terry Rowe all kept their seats without opposition. But voters are being asked to decide on a referendum that would sort out term lengths.
On qualifying day, city officials found a gap in the city's charter. With no one running against the incumbents, city officials determined that a referendum would be needed to set term limits for the incumbents due to a change years ago to the charter.
City code was changed after a charter review board recommended that all council seats should be increased to three-year terms. In order to do that, the 2012 election was selected for one council member to be assigned a one-year term in order to put the entire council on the same term schedule. This year, of the three winning candidates, the one with the fewest votes was to earn the one-year term. But the charter change did not say what happens if candidates win unopposed.
On April 10, voters will be asked to vote on amending the charter to allow deciding who gets the one-year term by drawing straws, or to allow a council member to volunteer.
— Robert Napper, Times Correspondent