Sarasota News Leader

09/21/12

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CHARTER CHANGERS One of the proposed amendments to the City of Sarasota's charter would necessitate a super-majority vote of the City Commission to approve a lease of any city property for more than 10 years. Photo by Norman Schimmel ONE SARASOTA CITY CHARTER AMENDMENT ON THE NOV. 6 BALLOT CALLS FOR 'SUPER-MAJORITY' VOTES OF THE CITY COMMISSION TO ACHIEVE CHANGE IN TWO TYPES OF SCENARIOS. By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Editor's note: There are seven weeks until the Nov. 6 election and seven amendments proposed for the City of Sarasota's charter. Each week until Election Day, The Sarasota News Leader will examine an amendment. The seven amendments to the city charter are not numbered or lettered. There is no "shorthand" way to remember the amend- ment except by its title and summary. But cutting through the legalese finds each one of the amendments has a unique feature that will allow voters to recognize it on the ballot. Only one amendment references a "su- per-majority" of four city commissioners out of the five. Like many charter amendments over the years, its genesis lies in a hot po- litical topic of the day. In this case, the Sarasota city commission- ers, by a bare 3-2 vote, had approved a 30- year lease extension for a bayfront marina and restaurant downtown. The lease was not up for renewal anytime soon. When the 30 years was added to the time remaining on the existing agreement, the lease on the prime city-owned land was good until the mid-2040s.

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