Hear the unscripted words of Tim Burr, chairman of the city’s Charter Review Committee in the video above.
Members of the Gulf Breeze Charter Review Committee:
Why is there a ballot referendum to restate the City of Gulf Breeze city charter?
The Auditor General of the State of Florida has advised that the City of Gulf Breeze remove outdated sections of its charter which are best incorporated into local ordinances so as to be consistent with Florida Law and government purchasing policies. A charter review is also municipal best practice.
The City’s charter is over 60 years old. A review to ensure consistency with Florida laws and municipal best practices is necessary from time to time. Two years ago, the Auditor General advised that the City update the City’s charter as part of an operations audit in order to address best practices, specifically as it relates to outdated budgetary controls best suited to local ordinances. The Auditor General is currently following up on its findings that the city’s charter be amended to remove outdated budgetary and procurement controls which are best suited to municipal ordinances so as to be updated consistent with Florida laws as necessary. Florida Statutes, Section 166.031(1), governs the adoption of amendments to a city charter, and requires that amendments to any part of or all of a charter be submitted to the electors of the municipality. The restated Charter proposed by the City’s Charter Review Committee complies with the recommendations made to the city by the Florida Auditor General.
What is the background on this?
The City Council appointed a Charter Review Committee in December of 2019, which determined that the Charter’s general provisions require updating. In 2022, the City Council held a joint workshop with the Charter Review Committee. The Council next adopted an ordinance providing for the charter restatement as recommended.
The changes do not reflect a change in the City’s Council-Manager form of government. Rather, the committee recommends the approval of a restated charter after a review of more current charters of 10 other cities that are similar to Gulf Breeze, a national model charter, and information from other sources.
Q: Will the charter change the mayor’s term from 2 years to 4 years?
A: Yes. The change makes the mayor’s term consistent with city council terms, as is the norm for municipalities.
Q: Will competitive bidding still be required?
A: YES! Florida law requires competitive bidding, and so do the city’s purchasing policies and procedures as established by ordinance. A charter cannot exempt a municipality from Florida law.
Q: Does the charter change the requirement for a majority vote by the City Council?
A: There is no change. A majority vote is required to affirm actions by the City Council.
Q: Will the Mayor and Council still be volunteer positions?
A: Yes. The charter restatement keeps the mayor and council earning $1 per year, in the city’s long-held spirit of public service and volunteerism.