Pros, Cons of Charter Government

Article excerpt

Byline: MAC MITCHELL

On July 15 a public debate was held at the County Auditorium to discuss the possibility of adopting a charter form of government for St. Johns County. Ginger Delegal, general counsel with the Florida Association of Counties, explained how charter counties operate, and how they differ from non-charter counties. Former County Commissioner Craig Maguire and Crescent Beach environmentalist Pat Hamilton discussed the pros and cons of the charter with Hamilton in favor of the plan and Maguire opposed.

What is a charter?

A charter in the state of Florida is a document that outlines a county's powers, duties and privileges. It alleviates the need for state legislation of local concerns. A charter and all amendments must be approved by the voters.

Charter vs. non-charter counties

NON-CHARTER COUNTY

County power is derived from the Legislature, which is able to make amendments and change the language of the law without a public vote from citizens. CHARTER COUNTY County power is derived directly from the Florida Constitution, and allows citizens the opportunity to vote on local government reform.

Reasons to adopt the charter

PROVIDED BY PAT HAMILTON

- Provides campaign reform reducing the maximum campaign contribution from $500 to $250. - Allows for the choice of holding non-partisan elections. …