Near the bottom of the Nov. 2 ballot, Pinellas County voters will find a referendum question about an amendment to the county charter. The amendment was proposed by the Charter Review Commission, a group of elected officials and residents appointed every six years to review the charter for needed changes. The group's proposals for change are submitted directly to voters, since the charter can be changed only with voters' approval.
This year's review commission proposed several relatively minor changes to the charter review process. One change would lengthen the time between charter reviews from the current six years to eight years to coincide with presidential election years, and it would allow the commission to remain in place through the election. Another would require two public hearings before the commission could submit proposed charter changes to the County Commission and the ballot.
These would be positive changes to the charter review process and would allow the public to be better informed about proposed amendments before voting.
The Times recommends a yes vote on the Pinellas County charter amendment.