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Seminole voters will be asked about changing city charter

SEMINOLE

Voters in this city will not only elect two council members on March 9, they will also be asked if they want to change the city charter. The charter is somewhat like a constitution and sets out the duties and limitations of elected and appointed officials. Some of the changes are mere housekeeping — bringing the charter into line with state law. Others are more substantive — such as moving the city elections from March to November. In all cases, voters should vote "yes" if they want the change.

Question No. 1

Acquisition and use of property acquired by eminent domain

Shall the city charter, pursuant to ordinance No. 31-2009, be amended to provide that the city may only use the power of eminent domain to take private property if such property is to be owned by the city and used for a public purpose?

 YES

 NO

This change is designed to bring the charter into compliance with a recent state law that bans governments from condemning and taking private property so that it can be turned over to a developer. A yes vote means the city would have power to take land only if Seminole intended to keep it and use it for a public purpose.

Question No. 2

Election and terms

Shall the city charter, pursuant to ordinance No. 32-2009, be amended to provide that the regular election of City Council, including the mayor, shall be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday of November of each year?

 YES

 NO

This is connected to Question 7, which seeks to change the date of the Seminole election from March to November. If the election dates are changed, then this section of the charter needs to be changed to make the mayor's and council members' terms of office end in November rather than March to fit the new election cycle.

Question No. 3

Election and term of vice mayor

Shall the city charter, pursuant to ordinance No. 33-2009, be amended to provide that the vice mayor will be elected at the next regular council meeting after each annual election?

 YES

 NO

This merely sets the time when the council shall elect the vice mayor.

Question No. 4

Filling of vacancies

Shall the city charter, pursuant to ordinance No. 34-2009, be amended to provide that in the event of a temporary absence of the mayor then the vice mayor shall serve as the mayor during such absence, and in the event of a permanent absence of the mayor then the vice mayor shall become the interim mayor with the full powers, duties and salary of the mayor?

 YES

 NO

This says that the vice mayor would take office if the mayor's seat becomes vacant in midterm.

Question No. 5

City clerk

Shall the city charter, pursuant to ordinance No. 35-2009, be amended to provide that the city manager shall be responsible for appointing the city clerk?

 YES

 NO

Under the current charter, the City Council hires and fires the city clerk. This would transfer that duty to the city manager.

Question No. 6

Compensation

Shall the city charter, pursuant to ordinance No. 36-2009, be amended to provide that the compensation of the manager shall be fixed by the council and shall not be reduced during the term of the contract?

 YES

 NO

This is a minor language change. Under the current charter, the city manager's salary cannot be changed during his "tenure." The change would clarify tenure as being during the period of his contract.

Question No. 7

Regular elections

Shall the city charter, pursuant to ordinance No. 37-2009, be amended to provide that the city's regular election be changed from the second Tuesday in March to the first Tuesday following the first Monday of November of each year?

 YES

 NO

This would move Seminole city elections from March to coincide with the November general election.

Question No. 8

Disaster emergencies

Shall the city charter, pursuant to ordinance No. 38-2009, be amended to provide that the city's disaster emergency language and procedures conform to state law?

 YES

 NO

This would bring the charter into compliance with state law.

Seminole voters will be asked about changing city charter 02/27/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 26, 2010 12:00pm]
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