The following proposed Charter Amendments will be included on the November 2016 General Election Ballot for City of Eustis residents. The information below outlines the proposed Charter changes:
Amendment #1 Qualifications of Candidates
Article III, Section 3, of the City Charter requires a two year residency in order for someone to be eligible to qualify as a candidate for the Commission. Amendment #1 would amend “Section 3 – Qualifications of candidates” to require a one year residency rather than two. Recent court opinions have upheld a city’s right to impose a residency requirement; however, they have generally indicated that one year is appropriate but two years was too much.
Amendment #2 Filling of Vacancies
Article III, Section 9, of the City Charter currently requires that a Commission mid-term vacancy must be filled by appointment of the Commission within 30 days. It also requires that if more than six months remains in the term, a special election must be held. In the past two years, the City has experienced two mid-term resignations. Both required the Commission to advertise for applicants for the interim appointment. The first situation also required the City to hold a special election following that interim appointment. The proposed amendment would remove the special election requirement and allow the Commission to appoint an interim Commissioner until the next regular election. If the term would not be expired by the next election, then the election would be for a partial term. The proposed amendment would eliminate the possibility of the Governor making an appointment to the Commission and would reduce the cost to the City of holding a special election.
Amendment #3 Meetings
Currently, Article III Section 10(a) of the City Charter sets the first meeting of the year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January at 7:30 p.m. However, the regular Commission meetings are held on the first and third Thursday at 6:00 p.m. Changing both the day of the week and time of the first meeting of the year has, in the past, created confusion for residents. Therefore, the proposed amendment would eliminate this requirement allowing the first meeting of the New Year to be held the same as the regular Commission meeting.
Amendment #4 Arrangement for Municipal Elections and Canvass of Returns
Article IX, Section 2 and 3 of the City Charter, provides for the City Commission to make all arrangements for the municipal elections, appoint poll inspectors and clerks and canvass the returns the day following the elections. State Statute designates the County Supervisor of Elections as the official in charge of all elections. The proposed amendment would eliminate most of this provision and designate the City Clerk to work with the County Supervisor of Elections to organize the election and the Lake County Canvassing Board to canvass and certify the returns pursuant to State Statute.
Amendment #5 Road District: Taxation
Article IX, Section 3 of the City Charter, sets the corporate limits of the City as an independent road district and provides for road and bridge taxes to fund the maintenance. This section of the Charter is obsolete and has been superseded by the Local Option Gas Tax. This amendment would bring the City Charter in line with current practice and state and county laws. This is not a new tax.
For more information on Eustis proposed Charter Amendments, please contact the Eustis City Clerk at (352) 483-5430. For a complete sample ballot or for more information about your voting location, please contact the Lake County Supervisor of Elections Office at http://elections.lakecountyfl.gov/ or (352) 343-9734.