Sarasota News Leader

10/12/12

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OPINION COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT SHOULD WIN PASSAGE Charter Amendment Providing Timetable For Proposed Charter Amendment Refer- endum; Effective Date Of Voter-Approved Amendments. EDITORIAL This proposed amend- ment to the Sarasota County Charter would allow for referenda on changes to the charter to be scheduled at the next general election, rather than within 60 days as currently provided. Enacting this change will save county taxpay- ers hundreds of thousands of dollars in spe- cial elections costs. It also will result in much larger voter participation in these referenda as a result of their occurring during a general election. Concerns have been expressed that the delay in holding referenda will diminish the abili- ty of citizens to make timely changes to the county charter as a result of citizens' initia- tives. However, amending any constitutional document (and the county charter is such a document) is something that should be ap- proached by voters soberly and deliberately. Having as much as a year or more to contem- plate fully the ramifications of a proposed amendment will result in far more benefit for the citizenry than might be gained by a more contemporaneous referendum. We recommend that voters cast their bal- lots FOR the amendment.

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