Sarasota News Leader

10/26/2012

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CHARTER CHANGERS City Hall has plenty of shade on one side of its First Street location. Photo by Norman Schimmel CALL THIS ONE THE 'HOUSEKEEPING HEADACHE' By Stan Zimmerman City Editor State law forbids any constitutional amend- ment from covering more than one topic. However, changes in city and county charters are exempt from that, which leads to some- times agonizing choices as multiple issues are crammed into one yes-or-no question. Do you hold your nose and vote for something that is four-fifths excellent and one-fifth aw- ful? And what if there are 17 different sugges- tions leading up to your single yes or no? This type of convoluted situation is one of your choices on Nov. 6, and it is called the "General Recommendations" amendment. Among members of the City of Sarasota's Charter Review Committee, this was dubbed "the housekeeping amendment." It was proposed by the committee after a call went out to all city departments. Is there some- thing they needed fixed, clarified or amended in the city's charter? A bunch of ideas came back, and 17 were approved by the committee and eventually by the City Commission for in- clusion on the ballot as a single question with one up-or-down decision by voters. This city charter amendment deals with va- cancies, redistricting, how to conduct a spe- cial election, residency requirements, how to call an emergency meeting, deletion of a notice concerning the annual financial report,

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