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THE REFERENDUMS FOR OLDSMAR CHARTER REVISION

Oldsmar voters will consider three proposals to change their city's charter when they go to the polls Tuesday. Two affect the terms that the mayor and City Council members serve, and the third would make it easier to fire top officials, such as the city manager. The charter _ which serves as the city's constitution _ limits the mayor and council members to two consecutive terms. The first referendum item would change that to three consecutive terms.

A committee of Oldsmar residents who studied the charter and proposed those ballot items considered offering another choice: unlimited terms. But members dropped the idea.

"We felt the people weren't ready for that and would not support that," committee member Richard Massman said.

The charter also sets the length of each term at two years. The second item on the ballot, if approved, would lengthen the mayor's and council members' terms to three years.

A previous attempt to change the terms failed. Two years ago, voters rejected a proposal to give the mayor and council unlimited four-year terms.

The third item on the ballot deals with city officials who work for the council. The charter says firing the city manager, city clerk or city attorney requires a vote by four of the five council members. The third referendum item, if approved, would change that to three of the five members.

Two months ago, when council members considered putting that item on the ballot, City Manager Bruce Haddock suggested they drop it, saying job security for municipal administrators isn't strong, anyway.

But the council members approved it, saying the voters should get the chance to choose.

_ CRAIG PITTMAN

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