HB charter committee sets timeline for progress

School is back in session for the Holmes Beach Charter Review Committee, and homework is due March 19.

Committee chair Bob Johnson distributed an outlined plan of action to committee members and handed out discussion sheets for homework Feb. 26 at city hall.

The discussion sheets are a guide for members to follow during the March 19 meeting.

The committee plans to discuss significant issues bookmarked during its initial review. Johnson is encouraging citizens to attend the meeting and weigh in on the issues.

The committee will discuss term limits and term lengths, as well as height and density requirements and other controls for building in the city.

Committee members were asked to consider:

• What are the benefits to the community and municipality for making each change?

• What are the possible approaches for implementing each change?

• What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of the changes?

• What are the reasons to make each change?

“I want this discussion to be well thought out and educated,” Johnson said.

Following the review, the committee will suggest revisions in the charter, a document likened to a municipal constitution. Any changes recommended by the committee will then be considered by the city commission and, if approved, will be placed on the November ballot for the electorate.

Johnson prepared an outline of the work ahead for the group, as well as an inventory of proposed revisions.

According to Johnson’s inventory, there are 31 minor edits suggested throughout the 13 articles of the charter and its 53 subsections. Minor edits are word changes for clarity and consistency.

There are four significant edits proposed thus far. Johnson is calling sections significant edits that need to be redrafted to reflect updates in operations, regulations or laws.

The final category is major changes. Johnson listed four “possible” major changes, including the addition of a human resources department, changes to elected officials’ term lengths and limits and the inclusion of height or density limits.

At the Feb. 26 meeting, committee members decided to add a human resources department to the list of suggested revisions to the charter.

The next charter review meeting will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 12, at city hall — a review of the minor and significant edits.

The committee members decided to discuss three of their major changes at an evening meeting in the hopes of attracting citizen participation at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

Review HB charter online

To access and read the Holmes Beach City Charter online, go to www.municode.com, or search for Holmes Beach municode.

The charter, codes and ordinances are free to view, although there is a fee for a printed copy.

The charter committee welcomes input at the meetings, or by email to cityclerk@holmesbeachfl.org.


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