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Voters allow charter tweaks in Safety Harbor, Oldsmar, Clearwater

Relatively minor charter amendments drew an overwhelmingly positive response from voters in three North Pinellas cities Tuesday.

Safety Harbor, Oldsmar and Clearwater all asked voters if they could make changes regarding canvassing board methods.

Each city wanted to let the Pinellas County Canvassing Board test machines and perform other duties but keep the option of canvassing the elections themselves.

One reason is the Pinellas County Canvassing Board has more experience doing the job.

Oldsmar also requested that, in cases where it canvasses its own election, it be able to appoint a board of five qualified electors of the city (registered voters who live within the city limits) or qualified electors of the city and one or more members of the City Council.

A large number of voters — 64 percent in Safety Harbor, 66 percent in Oldsmar and 70 percent in Clearwater — answered yes.

The cities proposed the changes because Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark asked them to. Voters in Indian Rocks Beach and Kenneth City also approved similar changes. Other Pinellas cities already allow Clark's office to act as the canvassing board.

There were two additional amendments on Safety Harbor's ballot.

One was to decide if newly elected city commissioners should take office at the regular or special meeting following the certification of election results rather than simply after the election results are announced.

This way, should there be a recount, "we wouldn't be forced to seat a commissioner before they are certified,'' said City Clerk Cathy Benson.

The majority of voters, 87 percent, agreed.

Another was whether to move up the qualifying period for candidates by 10 days.

Again most voters, 81 percent, gave their blessing.

This will help the city meet new ballot deadlines, Benson said.

Eileen Schulte can be reached at schulte@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4153.

Voters allow charter tweaks in Safety Harbor, Oldsmar, Clearwater 11/05/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 7:45pm]
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