Holmes Beach charter reviewers push for finish line, final report

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Holmes Beach Charter Review Commissioners Sean Murphy, Chair Edward Upshaw and Claudia Carlson discuss a final report at their May 2 meeting. Islander Photo: ChrisAnn Silver Esformes

The ordinance is written and the final report is in process.

Holmes Beach Charter Review Commissioners Claudia Carlson, Sean Murphy and Chair Edward Upshaw met May 2 to consider Upshaw’s first draft of a final report on the CRC’s findings.

Commissioners Nancy Deal and David Zaccagnino were absent with excuse.

The commission completed its review of the city charter in April and will present its recommended amendments to the city commission with a final report.

At the May 2 meeting, Carlson asked that the section of the report detailing “governance” include appendices with reports from both sides of the issue.

During the four-month review of the charter, form of government — whether the city should retain its strong-mayor status or hire a city manager — was debated.

When the CRC considered the matter, the vote was split with Carlson, Deal and Upshaw supporting a ballot question on the city manager form of government and Murphy and Zaccagnino opposing the measure.

The charter review process requires a supermajority vote — at least 4-1 — to place an amendment on the ballot for voter consideration. Because the vote was split 3-2, the matter will not be on the Nov. 5 municipal ballot.

Commissioners approved 3-0 a motion to accept changes to the governance section of the report, including summaries of arguments for and against the city-manager and strong-mayor forms of government, provided at the next meeting by Murphy and already submitted by Carlson, who will be absent with excuse.

Charter changes already approved by a supermajority of the committee will be submitted to the city commission as an ordinance, and then to the Manatee County Supervision of Elections for a citywide vote on the November ballot.

The Holmes Beach CRC will hold its next meeting and vote on the final report at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 8, at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

Upshaw will present the report to the city during a commission work session at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 30, also at city hall.

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