Submitted Amendment Proposals

2020 Submitted Charter Amendment Proposals​

  • 4
    This proposed amendment to the County Charter stipulates that land use designation remain under the authority of Alachua County for areas annexed in the future by municipalities. County impact fees shall be collected regardless of municipal jurisdiction.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: This proposed amendment to the County Charter stipulates that land use designation remain under the authority of Alachua County for areas annexed in the future by municipalities. County impact fees shall be collected regardless of municipal jurisdiction.
    Name: James Thompson
    Phone: 3522466863
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: This amendment would keep certain environmental protections and wise urban planning controls under the governance of Alachua County, which can better mitigate the effects of sprawl on the economy and environment than detached individual municipalities. It would encourage development to look inward to the urban cores with pre-existing infrastructure and services for growth opportunities. The precedent and model for this proposed item is the court-tested Seminole County plan (“Rural Area” Charter Amendment) passed by that county’s residents in 2004 https://www.seminolecountyfl.gov/_resources/pdf/handout_homeruleamendment.pdf ).
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: The road, school, public works, and public safety infrastructure and environmental regulations decisions that municipalities make affect a broader network beyond city and town borders. Sprawl from any one city impacts all other cities and unincorporated citizens. Municipal and unincorporated voters within the County should have a right to decide which local governing authority can best manage growth and oversee environmental protections. The County already has authority over air and water quality. Alachua County has a history of placing county governance items before all of its citizens in both incorporated and unincorporated areas--including environmental protections, taxation instruments, and conservation projects. This proposed amendment is in keeping with that democratic practice.
  • 5
    not allowing college students to vote in our local elections...
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: not allowing college students to vote in our local elections...
    Name: richard bastiani
    Phone: 3523754336
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: to limit college students from voting in our local elections. my address says gainesville yet i am not allowed to vote for anything in gainesville,i live outside city limit, and tho i am a permanent resident i do not have a say in things that do concern and affect me while a student who is here for a short time gets to determine the future of our city.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: just did
  • 6
    County Commissioner Elections by District
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: County Commissioner Elections by District
    Name: Caleb Benton
    Phone: 3526787946
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: County commissioners should be elected by voters in their district and only that district. If there are any at-large seats, there should be only a small number.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: The county electoral system as it is now denies representation to minority political groups in the county. The commissioners do not need to represent their own districts, but only the views of the majority in the county. This leads to certain groups being more or less ignored politically because their opposition simply outnumbers them. For example, there are approximately 87000 registered Democrats, 50000 registered Republicans, and 45000 registered voters in neither party. Based on these numbers there should be approximately one Republican and one commissioner not affiliated with either party. I am aware that the elections are nominally non partisan, but they are just that: nominally. This misrepresentation can also be viewed in geographic terms, as the less populous (and prosperous) eastern districts have long been neglected in favor of the western ones. While these issues are complex and will likely not be solved easily, I believe a commissioner who is solely elected by his or her constituents in an eastern district will be more well equipped to deal with the problems those districts face.
  • 7
    District representation
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: District representation
    Name: Michelle Leonard
    Phone: 352-359-0996
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: There are 5 districts but just single district representation. People living in cities outside of Gainesville are not fairly represented and our needs are never met nor are our voices heard. We need single district representation with seats living in the district and/or precinct. It’s not fair that voters, regardless of place of residence, cast a vote in all races, as stated on the Votealachua webpage.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: People living in cities outside of Gainesville are not fairly represented and our needs are never met nor are our voices heard. We need single district representation with seats living in the district and/or precinct. It’s not fair that voters, regardless of place of residence, cast votes I. All races
  • 8
    At-Large Representation
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: At-Large Representation
    Name: Marlon Bruce
    Phone: 3478442457
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: This proposed amendment would institute a true district representation for the County Commission.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: At the present time, while each County Commissioner represents a certain district of Alachua County, the electors who choose each Commissioner fo not only reside in said district. County-wide elections for district office present an abuse of democracy as it dilutes the voice of those who reside in the district, as well as depriving those same residents of fair representation. As it stands some one running for District 1 could easily lose a majority of the District 1 votes, win an overwhelming majority in every other district and end up representing District 1. It is an injustice which needs to be corrected.
  • 9
    Adding Bus Route to NW 6TH ST, Whitney Park, Turkey Creek and Millhopper
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Adding Bus Route to NW 6TH ST, Whitney Park, Turkey Creek and Millhopper
    Name: Katherine T Griffith
    Phone: 3527923127
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Add Bus Route to underserved area, to benefit elderly and disabled. This suggestion was proposed to the City Commission years ago. However; it was proposed during the surtax proposal which was later voted down.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Adding the neighborhoods of NW 6th St (Humane Society) Whitney Park, Turkey Creek and Millhopper to RTS bus route would greatly improve the lives of the elderly, disabled, and young people who live in these neighborhoods.
  • 12
    Commission Districts
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Commission Districts
    Name: Chris DeCubellis
    Phone: 352-538-5993
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Would like real commission districts, in which only people who live in that district select their commissioner. I would also like temporary resident student to vote absentee in their home district.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: This would better represent all permanent citizens of Alachua County.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: I don't have any at this time.
  • 13
    Voting
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Voting
    Name: James Callari
    Phone: 352 219-0989
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Voting for Commissioners should be limited to the single district that the voter lives in. Each district should have its own distinct representative, not some homogenized representative as the way the system is now. Also, students living on campus should be using absentee ballots from their home town. Technically, UF campus is in our county, but is not part of our county, comprising its own government, regulations and police. When a student moves off campus and owns or rents in the city or county, then they should be able to vote locally, as their decisions will directly affect them. The way the system is set up now, it smacks of political machinery, which has limited political diversity on the Commission. This means that a large portion of the electorate has been denied representation for too long, and that is unhealthy for the county and the Commission.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: This will create a more just and diverse local government, allowing for some opposing voices on our commission. This will improve accountability and integrity for the Commission.
  • 15
    SOS to better Government
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: SOS to better Government
    Name: Mark
    Phone: 352 304 0028
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Get rid of greed. Undouble the electric rates. Should be 8 cents kW Get rid of impact fees. I'd expect that from extortionists
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Other counties and State for electric is 8 cents kW more or less. Electric co charges us. The you double it to line your own pockets. This is not a 3 rid. world state. Impact fees is like what the Martha charges as perfection fees. Same goes for that extra fee for plates for a car.
  • 16
    Don’t know which one
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Don’t know which one
    Name: Janice Hamilton
    Phone: 352-317-2818
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Oh Lord I pray you listen. Please make land use universal throughout the county. For cities or towns to “rape” the land and forests is criminal. The City of Gainesville cannot seem to stop mowing over as much natural land as possible. This WILL affect our springs, not to mention the crazy traffic to come. I swear the political arm of Gainesville thinks Miami- Ft Lauderdale or Orlando is example of wonderful tax sources at any long term costs. You can’t pave PARADISE, ignore our farms without having some terrible natural repercussions
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Growth in the county is ruining the very reason many people cam to live here. There is no benefit to people in the long term if no farms or agriculture is left. We should be the “bread basket” of Florida if not the US
  • 17
    Single Member Districts
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Single Member Districts
    Name: Walt
    Phone: 3525755707
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Each county commission candidate shall be elected by only those citizens votes that reside in the district that the commission candidate is running for.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Everyone believes in equality, and that goes for political representation. Single Member Districts assure that other districts in the county are not negating the votes within each individual district.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Shall Alachua County Commissioners be elected from votes coming only from the duly registered voters within the district for which Alachua County Commision candidate is running for
  • 18
    Fiscal Responsibility and Accoutabiluty
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Fiscal Responsibility and Accoutabiluty
    Name: Jeffrey A. Means
    Phone: 3864625550
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Require all areas of county government to be held fiscally responsible to the taxpayers. No manipulating of funds for anything other than the purpose they were appropriated for.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Too many examples of monies being collected for one specific purpose, then taken and used for something else. For example; the bed tax ... monies were intended to be used for road projects within the county. We now know some of those funds have been diverted to other purposes, nothing to do with improving local roads.
  • 20
    Reconsider using State prison inmates for road side clean up.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Reconsider using State prison inmates for road side clean up.
    Name: Janet Hunter
    Phone: 352-317-1174
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Reinstate recently cancelled contact with Florida Department of Correction for inmate road side clean up.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Please reconsider using State prison inmates for road side clean up. This program worked well for decades. It was terminated based on incorrect data. The program was and is not a slave wage gimmick. First and foremost it is a volunteer program. The pay may be less than minimum wage but inmates are providing transportation, uniforms and meals. They are offer time off sentence. I could continue on the benefits to the inmates but to the point of the savings to the county having to contact with commercial cleaning crews will be great. If that county is having to hire additional labors you are also adding benefits like health care and pensions that could continue a lifetime. It was a costly and misinformed mistake to cancel our contract with the state! Please, at least review the inmates opinion of the program and let them tell you what you have deprive them of. Thank you for your time.
  • 21
    Term limits , pensions, and insurance
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Term limits , pensions, and insurance
    Name: James Barbarito
    Phone: 352 225 0442
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: For every commissioner to serve no more then 2 term and will not receive a pension of any sorts . Nor shall they have any different insurance then what's available to the public and once out of office said insurance if they decide to keep it will be at their cost .
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Any one who is elected into any office should only serve 2 terms and should not receive a pension for they get a good salary plus are allowed to have other means of income while in office. No body should live off the people for life after serving 2 terms and it would end alot of that good ole boy dealings. Being elected to any office by the people is a honor and should be rewarded with a life time pension.
  • 22
    No more at-large elections for Alachua County commissioners
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: No more at-large elections for Alachua County commissioners
    Name: Len Cabrera
    Phone: 3528710662
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: No more at-large elections for Alachua County commissioners
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Alachua County has roughly 250K residents. The City of Gainesville has about 150K. With all county commissioners elected "at-large" (in county-wide elections), the City of Gainesville effectively decides the county elections. By restricting district elections to residents who actually live in the districts, commissioners will be more likely to represent the people in their district, rather than the county majority view. This will allow more minority voices/opinions to be heard in county government.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Candidates for Alachua County Commission seats must reside in the district they represent. Only Alachua County residents who live in the district can vote for the representative for their district.
  • 23
    Recreation
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Recreation
    Name: Alison
    Phone: 3523380606
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Add the words "within the vicinity of ..." To the recreation component.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: The recreation component (When I was involved) spelled out a need for 3 acres of recreation for every 1,000 people. (I'm doing this from memory so might have it wrong...) The problem is the parks all went to places where the majority of people didn't live, so didn't serve the vast majority of residents. Residents need passive green and active recreation spaces within reach of their daily lives. It shouldn't require an entire day to get there, enjoy, and return home. This is especially true as we infill and become denser, putting more people in shared housing.
  • 25
    Establish Environmental Protection Charter Officer
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Establish Environmental Protection Charter Officer
    Name: Scott Camil
    Phone: 352-375-2563
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: The County Commission shall ad a third Charter Officer in charge of Environmental Protection, County Resiliency, and Climate Change.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Strengthens environmental protections for the County by not having a gatekeeper between the County Commissioners and the Environmental Protection Department. Promotes social justice and social equity among and across all departments.
  • 27
    False claims
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: False claims
    Name: Gabe Kaimowitz
    Phone: 352-375-2670
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: The federal and state government have elaborate plans to encourage whistle-blower complaints about government malfeasance. Included in each is protection against retaliation by accused individuals who have the power to punish the complainants. The amendment should provide relief from a provable cover-up by any county employee including judges, clerk of court, and county supervisor of elections.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: CRC Chair, former County Commissioner Penny Wheat, has stated clearly that this Review should enhance the ability of the County to be more autonomous from State oversight. To justify such action, the County should provide a legal vehicle or vehicles to assure that its operation and administration of county government are clean.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Track the Florida state whistle-blower law.
  • 28
    Acknowledgement that Brown v. Board of Education and other U.S. Supreme Court decisions are binding on Alachua County
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Acknowledgement that Brown v. Board of Education and other U.S. Supreme Court decisions are binding on Alachua County
    Name: Gabe Kaimowitz
    Phone: 3523752670
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: This proposed Amendment would declare acknowledgement that Alachua County including its courts recognizes the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions as supreme and binding even if the State does not.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: In 1957, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice B. K. Roberts, speaking for 5 of the 7 members, in State Ex Rel. Hawkins v. Board of Control, 93 So.2d 354 (1957) declared that state courts could defy U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Brown v. Board of Education, 349 U.S. 294 (1954) if state justices or judges would have reason to believe that implementation would result in violence or mischief. The U.S. Supreme Court in James v. Boise, Idaho struck down such state/local defiance as unconstitutional.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Ask Charter Review Commission member Joseph W. Little, whose knowledge prompted me to research this issue.
  • 29
    Remove Unconstitutional Residency Requirements
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Remove Unconstitutional Residency Requirements
    Name: Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (via County Attorney)
    Phone: (352) 374-5218
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: The Charter currently requires members of the Board of County Commissioners to reside in their jurisdictional districts at the time of qualification, rather than at the time of election. Almost identical provisions in law have been found to be inconsistent with the Florida Constitution. We propose that this almost-certainly unconstitutional provision be removed from the Charter.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Residence Requirement in §2.2(A) A. History In 1999, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners appointed the 2000 Charter Review Commission (the “2000 Review Commission”) to review the County’s Charter and to recommend possible amendments or revisions for inclusion on a ballot. One amendment proposed by the 2000 Review Commission was related to county commissioner residency requirements. Specifically, the 2000 Review Commission recommended removing the requirement that “each candidate for the office of county commissioner shall reside within the district from which such candidate seeks election at the time of qualifying to run for the office[.]” The 2000 Review Commission further recommended ballot language to be offered to the electorate on the November 7, 2000 election. The original recommended ballot language read: SHALL THE ALACHUA COUNTY CHARTER BE AMENDED TO REMOVE THE CURRENT UNENFORCEABLE REQUIREMENT TO RESIDE WITHIN THE DISTRICT ON THE DATE OF QUALIFICATION? However, prior to the November 7, 2000 election, the Board amended the above recommended ballot language in a later resolution. The amended ballot language read: SHALL THE ALACHUA COUNTY CHARTER BE AMENDED TO REMOVE THE CURRENT REQUIREMENT TO RESIDE WITHIN THE DISTRICT ON THE DATE OF QUALIFICATION? The amended language shifted the intended meaning of the charter amendment by removing the key term “unenforceable.” This gave voters a different interpretation of the amendment the 2000 Review Commission’s original intention, which was to remove the unenforceable language from the Charter. Possibly due at least in part to this change, the amendment did not receive the necessary votes and failed. B. Legal Analysis The residency requirement language that the 2000 Review Commission recommended to remove continues to exist in the Charter. Several Florida cases, including one recent Florida Supreme Court case, have ruled that charter language of this nature is unconstitutional, and the Attorney General’s Office has given a similar opinion in the past. In the most recent case, Brinkmann v. Francoi, the Supreme Court ruled that requiring candidates for county commission to reside within their districts at the time of qualifying for an election is inconsistent with the Florida Constitution. Brinkmann involved a challenge to Florida Statute §99.0615, which required write-in candidates to physically live within the boundaries of the district at the time of qualification. The Court concluded that the fact that a write-in candidate did not live in the district at the time of qualification is not dispositive to his capacity to be a candidate for office.8 The Court found the statute conflicted directly with Article VIII, §1(e) of the Florida Constitution, an article that courts have construed as requiring county commissioners to obtain residency at the time of election, not at the time of qualifying for the election. Similarly, in the Charter, requiring a candidate to live in district at the time of qualification is not dispositive of the candidate’s ability to be a candidate, and maintaining this language in the Charter is inviting a constitutional challenge. To avoid a constitutional issue, the Charter should instead require candidates to live in the district at the time of election or be silent on the issue. Further, in 1974, the Attorney General answered questions related to residency of candidates for county commissions. In his opinion, the Attorney General stated that the Florida Constitution requires a person who is elected to be a county commissioner to be a resident of his district at the time of election. Though the Florida Constitution does not provide requirements for a person who simply wishes to become a candidate for office, the Attorney General’s Office further clarified that, in order to comply with the constitutional provision, the candidate should establish residence in the district he seeks to represent no later than the day before the election.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: We recommend that the Review Commission consider proposal of a revision to § 2.2(A) of the Charter to remove the unconstitutional residency requirement. Currently, the Charter states: (A) The county commission. The governing body of the county shall be a board of county commissioners composed of five (5) members serving staggered terms of four (4) years. There shall be one (1) commissioner for each of the five (5) county commission districts established pursuant to general law and they shall be elected on a countywide basis by the electors of the county. Each candidate for the office of county commissioner shall reside within the district from which such candidate seeks election at the time of qualifying to run for that office, and during the term of office each commissioner shall reside in the district from which such commissioner ran for office, provided that any commissioner who is removed from a district by redistricting may continue to serve during the balance of the term of office. To render the Charter consistent with the Florida Constitution, we recommend that the entire phrase related to residency at the time of qualification be removed from the Charter. The amended language would read: (A) The county commission. The governing body of the county shall be a board of county commissioners composed of five (5) members serving staggered terms of four (4) years. There shall be one (1) commissioner for each of the five (5) county commission districts established pursuant to general law and they shall be elected on a countywide basis by the electors of the county. During the term of office each commissioner shall reside in the district from which such commissioner ran for office, provided that any commissioner who is removed from a district by redistricting may continue to serve during the balance of the term of office.
  • 30
    Amend Charter to Remove Unconstitutional Provision re. Inclusion of All Classifications of Persons
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Amend Charter to Remove Unconstitutional Provision re. Inclusion of All Classifications of Persons
    Name: Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (via County Attorney)
    Phone: (352) 374-5218
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: A court has ruled that a provision of the County Charter is unconstitutional. That provision should be removed
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Current Language and Legal Standing In 1993, the Board of County Commissioners passed an ordinance amending Articles II and III of Chapter 111 of the Alachua County Code of Ordinances (the “Code of Ordinance”), providing protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the areas of public accommodations, employment, and housing. In 1994, after the passing of the above 1993 ordinance, citizens of Alachua County gathered signatures for a petition to adopt an ordinance repealing the Board’s ordinance, as well as proposing a Charter amendment to prohibit the inclusion of sexual orientation, sexual preference, or similar classifications in any County ordinance. The citizens of Alachua County gathered the required number of signatures for the Charter amendment to be placed on a ballot, and, as required by the Charter, the Board adopted a resolution to place the Charter amendment on the ballot for the next general election on November 8, 1994. The ballot language, labeled as Alachua County Amendment 1 (“Amendment 1”), stated: Prohibiting inclusion of “Sexual Orientation”, “Sexual Preference” or any similar classification in any County Ordinance. Shall Section 2.2(D) of the Alachua County Charter be amended to provide that the Board of County Commissioners shall not adopt any ordinance creating classifications based upon sexual orientation, sexual preference, or similar characteristics, except as necessary to conform County ordinances to Federal or State law? Both the repeal ordinance question and the Amendment 1 question were voted-upon favorably in the November 18th 1994 election. Therefore, Alachua County Ordinance 93-12 was repealed and “sexual orientation” was deleted as a protected classification in Articles II and III of the Code of Ordinances and the amendment was added to the Charter. B. Legal Analysis After the passage of Amendment 1, the relevant portion of the Charter was amended to state: (D) Authority. The board of county commissioners shall exercise all legislative authority provided by this home rule charter in addition to all other powers and duties authorized by general law or special law approved by a vote of the electorate. Provided, the board of county commissioners shall not adopt any ordinance creating classifications based upon sexual orientation, sexual preference, or similar characteristics, except as necessary to conform county ordinances to federal or state law. In opposition to this added language, a lawsuit was filed against the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections in November 1996 to determine whether Amendment 1 violated the Equal Protection clause of the United States Constitution. In this case, Morris v. Hill, the circuit court ruled Amendment 1 violated the Equal Protection clause because it “singles out one characteristic, sexual orientation, the basis for discrimination against homosexuals and bi-sexuals, and prevents the Alachua County Commission from passing any laws without a referendum, to provide protection against discrimination.” The court cited a similar ruling in Colorado, where the Colorado court stated “[a] law declaring that in general it shall be more difficult for one group of citizens than others to seek aid from the government is itself a denial of equal protection of the laws in the most literal sense.” Therefore, because the language of the amendment singled out sexual orientation and sexual preference, the amendment was found to be in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and was struck down. This court ruling was not appealed. The Charter currently contains language that has deemed invalid by the court. The court ruling could not remove the language from the Charter, only a referendum vote can.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: We recommend that the Review Commission consider proposal of a revision to § 2.2(D) of the Charter to remove the unconstitutional language which obstensively prevents the adoption of ordinances creating classifications based on sexual orientation, sexual preference, or similar characteristics. This can be done by amending this portion of the Charter to be inclusive of all classifications of persons. Currently, the Charter states: (D) Authority. The board of county commissioners shall exercise all legislative authority provided by this home rule charter in addition to all other powers and duties authorized by general law or special law approved by a vote of the electorate. Provided, the board of county commissioners shall not adopt any ordinance creating classifications based upon sexual orientation, sexual preference, or similar characteristics, except as necessary to conform county ordinances to federal or state law. To render the Charter consistent with the Constitution, we recommend replacing the phrase related to sexual orientation with a statement giving the Board authority to provide protections to all people, regardless of their classification. With this recommended amendment, the Charter would read: (D) Authority. The board of county commissioners shall exercise all legislative authority provided by this home rule charter in addition to all other powers and duties authorized by general law or special law approved by a vote of the electorate. The board of county commissioner shall have the authority to provide protections to all classifications of persons. Further, to avoid voter confusion on the matter, the recommended ballot language should be substantially similar to the following: Shall Section 2.2(D) of the Alachua County Charter be amended to explicitly permit the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners to have the authority to provide protections to all classifications of persons? Including ballot language substantially similar to the above example will help voters understand the true intention of the amendment. Further, the passage of such an amendment will bring the Charter into compliance with court decisions and the Equal Protection Clause.
  • 31
    Alachua County Bus Transit System
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Alachua County Bus Transit System
    Name: buddy Blanton
    Phone: 3524444597
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: A proposal for a county public bus transportation service that connects the smaller towns in Alachua county to the Gainesville bus transit system. A very successful model of such a system is used by the Key West Florida transportation department that connects Key West to Marathon Key with stops in between. A transit system that would connect towns such as Archer, Newberry, High Springs, Alachua, etc. could be beneficial in multiple ways. Such a transit system could greatly reduce the carbon footprint of Alachua county by reducing the amount of traffic that occurs daily between these towns and Gainesville as people commute to work.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: A transit system such as this could also stimulate the commerce in all the city/towns serviced by providing economical transportation to encourage people who may otherwise not have the means to freely travel to these locations. The traffic could be greatly reduced which would be welcomed during large public events i.e. game days and normal everyday commuting. As stated in the section above, the carbon footprint could be greatly reduced, and as Floridians we should be very involved in doing our part of controlling climate change because this state will be more affected than most other regions in the US. To encourage the use of the transit system the county could provide a tax break or something similar to the people who regularly utilize the system. Again, as stated above, the Florida Keys have this type of transit, and it has proven to be very effective and beneficial.
  • 32
    County Auditor
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: County Auditor
    Name: James J. Konish
    Phone: 352-871-4747
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: The County needs an independent auditor to examine county expenditures for waste, fraud and abuse.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: The County ignores it's core mission and instead spends large amounts of money on politicized pet projects that benefit political cronies.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: I would pattern this new official after the role of the state of Florida Auditor General ( { 11.45, Fla. Stat)
  • 34
    Electronic Campaign Report Filing
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Electronic Campaign Report Filing
    Name: William Boyett
    Phone: 3523745252
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Alachua County is forced to continue requiring candidates to produce and turn in paper financial reports, despite all data being already sent electronically due to language in the present charter. The State of Florida and most other counties have transitioned to electronic submission only.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: This requirement creates a large amount of unneeded paperwork, places extra burdens on candidates, and produces significant extra work at the Elections Office for minimal benefit.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Electronic Campaign Filing Shall the Alachua County Charter be amended to remove Section 1.6(D)(3) so that Campaign Reports may be filed solely by electronic means instead of requiring a physical copy?
  • 35
    Housing
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Housing
    Name: Michael J Hill
    Phone: 4074892087
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: this amendment states that all urban land and real estate developers must donate 25% of what they create to public housing or wildspaces
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: the city of Gainesville and Alachua County currently has the highest amount of affordable housing and in the state and we need to preserve that by making sure if someone wants to profit off of this community they give back accordingly
  • 36
    Voting Machines
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Voting Machines
    Name: E. S. Richardson
    Phone: 352-792-2846
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Require voting machines to be used in all municipal elections, including run-off elections
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: It will help insure the integrity of the election process, increase voter confidence in the election process, and provide consistency in the way ballots are reconciled in every election, in all municipalities throughout the county
  • 37
    change county name
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: change county name
    Name: Will
    Phone: -
    E-mail: -
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Change the name of Alachua County to Bourgeois County
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: we're the only county in florida filled with snobby liberal snowflakes
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Do you agree to change the name of Alachua County to Bourgeois County in order to more accurately reflect the majority population?
  • 38
    Representation from rural as well as urban parts of our county
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Representation from rural as well as urban parts of our county
    Name: Walt Boyer
    Phone: 3525755707
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: There shall be representation from the rural area of the county which equals the representation from the urban areas of our county for all County Charter reviews in our future.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: To give voice to our residents that live outside of the Gainesville Urban core
  • 39
    Single Member Districts
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Single Member Districts
    Name: Walt Boyer
    Phone: 3525755707
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: To elect our County Commission representatives from within the District they are representing
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: We have a large and diverse county and our BoCC should represent both our Rural population as well as our Urban population
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Shall Alachua County Commissioners be elected from votes coming only from the duly registered voters, registered at addresses located within the district for which Alachua County Commision candidate is running for.
  • 40
    Marijuana policy
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Marijuana policy
    Name: Michael J Hill
    Phone: 4074892087
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: This amendment would decriminalize small amounts of cannbis. possession of under 20 grams is a 50 dollar civil citation. The 2nd offense is a 80 dollar ticket. The third offense is a notice to appear in court.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: With medical marijuana legal in Florida. There are now 11 recreational states, it is time to stop incarcerating people for a substance that has medicinal properties legislation like this has contributed to the prison industrial complex which relies heavily on communities of color. This is more than a societal issue but also a civil rights issue. decriminalization in Tampa Miami and broward county is already in affect. I think it's time to set a example here in north central Florida.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: This amendment would decriminalize the possession of cannabis and cannabis products under 20 grams. The first offense is a 50 dollar civil citation. The second offense is a 80 dollar civil citation while the third offense is a notice to appear. After the third offense the discretion of civil penalty is left up to the judge.
  • 41
    Public Participation in Interlocal Agreements
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Public Participation in Interlocal Agreements
    Name: Karen
    Phone: 352.219.2630
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Change Section 1.5 of the present Charter to include comprehensive notification of the public of every single aspect from the very beginning and throughout the interlocal agreement process. This must include ALL platforms of communication including road signs. There should also be VERY clear language that explains what general or special law means as it relates to this section. Any general or special law should be clearly cited so the public can search them.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: I am concerned that the use of interlocal agreements effectively acts as extra governmental bodies that are not accountable to the public. I am very concerned they have and can become overarching due to the use of such undefined and nebulous words such as "special law" and "general law." What are these and how powerful are they? I would like a robust discussion about this as this definitely effects our ability as local citizens to live in a democratic society. The public has a right to know everything about interlocal agreements.
  • 42
    Increase Distance of Land Use Change Notifications
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Increase Distance of Land Use Change Notifications
    Name: Karen
    Phone: 352.219.2630
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Stipulate that any land use change should include a notification of people of at least 1000 feet. This should be countywide. Now it seems in many places there is only a 400 foot area of notification. Also, if the wrong area has been notified, it is incumbent upon the governing body which puts up the signs to right the wrong and start the process over.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Some current land use notification distances are wholly inadequate and leave many people out of the democratic process to be a part of land use planning process.
  • 43
    Alachua County Charter Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Alachua County Charter Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
    Name: Penny Wheat
    Phone: 352-278-4000
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: To act as an independent watchdog for Alachua County residents, and promote integrity and accountability by investigating allegations of misconduct including fraud, corruption, and abuse and gross mismanagement, by officials and employees of the charter government of Alachua County, its nine municipalities, and all entities and persons who provide goods and services to the County and the municipalities. Can State Constitutional Officers be investigated in this way? (Broward County does not include them.)
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: (See summary above.) It is time for an independent watchdog to respond to public complaints, and to act as a check and balance for local government officials. Question: Should Responsibility for selecting the Inspector General be vested with an Inspector General Selection-Oversight Committee (as in Broward County), or by vote of the public? Either way, the qualifications (Broward County) seem reasonable and appropriate.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: The Broward County, Florida, OIG is the example. Their charter language can be found here: https://library.municode.com/fl/broward_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTICH_ARTXBRCOOFINGE
  • 46
    TERM LIMITS!
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: TERM LIMITS!
    Name: Suzanne
    Phone: 3522147768
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: TERMS LIMITS for a maximum of 2 terms.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Necessary to correct inequalities, counterbalancing incumbent advantages and bias.
  • 47
    Term limits
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Term limits
    Name: Emory Springfield
    Phone: 352 371-9909
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Limit the number of terms a county commissioner can hold a seat to two terms.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: It prevents the concentration of influence/power in any one commissioner and ensures fresh perspectives on county management. By reducing the influence of incumbency it would increase the likelihood of diversity policies the county has for its own hiring at the staff level to be found on the commission.
  • 48
    Honesty in office
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Honesty in office
    Name: Larry Lowenthal
    Phone: 352-372-1906
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Requires all candidates and nominees for public office to be truthful in their public utterances from date of application or nomination through their last day in office.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: We have arrived at a crisis in Alachua, Florida, and the United States wherein far too many people no longer know who or what to believe regarding government, politics, the environment, international relations, health care, immigration, and even our liberties. Let's start addressing this crisis in Alachua by requiring all applicants for elected offices who file within the county to swear to an oath vowing that all of their public utterances from day of registration forward until their final day in office will be truthful and honest. Ditto for officials considered for public office beginning on the day they accept consideration and ending when they depart public service. Penalties will range from public reprimands to fines to suspension to...? By now, it is clear to all citizens that an oath to protect and defend our Constitutions is not sufficient to protect our democracy or the Republic from dissolution.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: All persons who file in Alachua County for candidacy for election to any public office in the United States, along with all persons who agree to be considered for appointment to a public office within Alachua County, must sign the following oath: "I swear that all of my spoken and written statements to the public, my supporters, and the press shall be truthful from this day forward, and in the event I am elected or confirmed to a public position, through and until my last day in office." (sig)
  • 49
    rights of nature
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: rights of nature
    Name: Michael Hill
    Phone: 4074892087
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: this amendment would grant rights to all water bodies nature preserves and wildlife
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: as urbanization and population growth spiral out of control nature preserve are able to be breech with roadways and power lines. given the precedent that is being set in Orlando with split oak forest and the purposed senate bill 1382 we need to act fast otherwise RON will die in 2020.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: All nature preserves, waterways and critical wildlife will be granted rights to exist in alachua county. This purposal would grant the community the right to sue and protect these three kinds of natural phenomenons. The constructing of highways, roadways and any other infrastructure projects that directly affect one of these 3 natural wonders would halt the construction of the project. The next part would grant the infrastructure agency or corporation to develop a avoidance route and mitigation for the impact the project. Infrastructure means in this roadway, pipelines and utility projects. once subverting the preserve waterway of wildlife the easement created for the project would have to add to the preserve as a Eco buffer zone.
  • 50
    utility transfer payment
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: utility transfer payment
    Name: Raymond Sessions
    Phone: 352-363-8868
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Limit the amount of transfer by utilities to local municipalities (direct transfer and cost of shared staff) to a reasonable percentage of total revenue. To calculate that rate use a method like that described by Mantz (a Floridian) in the Journal of American Water Works AssociationVol. 104, No. 10, Utility Operations (October 2012), pp. E530-E539 In the article titled: Utility transfers to the general fund: What is reasonable, fair, and legal?
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Currently, GRU transfers more than 10% of its revenue to the City of Gainesville. While it is reasonable for a municipality owned company to generate a profit for the owner an excessive profit is not reasonable. This excessive transfer represents a tax on those that cannot vote for the city commissioners or have any say in the management of GRU. At present this represents fully 1/3rd of GRU customers. The unicorporated citizens alone were billed $111,602,467 in 2018. It is not fair that they pay for policies and choices they have no say in making.
  • 51
    Charter Review Commission Diversity
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Charter Review Commission Diversity
    Name: Jordan Marlowe
    Phone: 3523394670
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: An amendment shall be created mandating that all future CRC's include membership from the eight smaller Alachua County municipalities surrounding Gainesville, to equal no less than 25% of the make-up of the CRC, but no one of those eight municipalities shall have more than one representative.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: In a County that prides itself on diversity of thought, opinion, and practice, it is in keeping that we should strive to represent the geographical diversity of our County in the creation of our guiding document. It is reasonable and just to ensure that all parts of our County are given equal chance to voice their concerns and considerations, and so that principle isn't forgotten, it should be enshrined in our Charter.
  • 52
    Access to Public Records Online
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Access to Public Records Online
    Name: Matthew Hurst
    Phone: (352) 359-9558
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: This proposed charter amendment will require the county to make public records that are created or obtained in an electronic format available online, and make it the responsibility of the county to separate records the public is entitled to obtain from those that are required to be kept confidential.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Online access to public records is essential to allowing citizens access. Citizens need to be able to search or browse records in order to determine exactly which records contain information of concern to them. Many governmental records cannot be found online, despite already existing in electronic format. A citizen wishing to find these records must make a public records request. In order to make the request, they have to know what they are looking for. If they don't, they are unable to browse through or electronically search a large number of records. For example, county agendas are on the county commission website, but minutes are not. A citizen will not know if an agenda item was actually discussed, if an item not on the agenda was added during the meeting and discussed, or what action the county commission chose to take without viewing the minutes. The county's web accessibility guidelines only require "content that is required by law or determined by an Administrating Official to be critical to government transparency" to be available on the county website. For example, county commission minutes are generally not available online. Plans for road construction or maintenance are not available. See https://alachuacounty.us/Depts/EO/Pages/Website-Accessibility.aspx
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: 1) Public records allowed or required to be made available to the public and that exist in electronic form shall automatically be made available online upon their recreation.
  • 53
    Santa Fe River Bill of Rights
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Santa Fe River Bill of Rights
    Name: David Moritz
    Phone: (352) 332-2385
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Shall the Home Rule Charter of Alachua County, Florida, be amended to recognize the rights of the Santa Fe River? (Y/N)
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: In spite of all that is being done to protect our environment in Florida, the health of the Santa Fe River (as defined in the charter amendment) is deteriorating more with each passing year. To continue to do what we have been doing in the past, but to expect a different outcome is irrational. What we have been doing and continue to do is simply not working. Granting rights to the Santa Fe River is a novel approach to caring for a natural entity which changes the legal environment as a means to fixing the physical environment. There are a number of countries and over 200 communities around the United States which have recognized the rights of nature in a way similar to the amendment I am proposing here: this is not an untried or untested practice. In the communities where this has not only been adopted, but subsequently supported by that community, it has met with success.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Article 5 THE SANTA FE RIVER BILL OF RIGHTS 5.1. Rights of the Santa Fe River The Santa Fe River possesses rights including, but not limited to, the right to naturally exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve; the right to restoration, recovery, and preservation; the right to abundant, pure, clean, unpolluted water; the right to natural groundwater recharge and surface water recharge; the right to a healthy natural environment and natural biodiversity; the right to natural water flow; the right to carry out its natural ecosystem functions; and the right to be free of activities or practices, as well as obstructions, that interfere with or infringe upon these rights. 5.2. Rights of the People The people of Alachua County possess the right to a healthy, flourishing Santa Fe River; the right to pure, clean, unpolluted water, including the right to sustainably access, use, consume, and preserve water drawn from natural water cycles; the right to a healthy natural environment and natural biodiversity; and the right to be free of activities or practices that interfere with or infringe upon these rights. 5.3. Prohibitions It shall be unlawful for any business or government entity to violate any of the provisions of this Article. 5.4. Implementation and Enforcement 5.4.1 Implementation and Enforcement by Alachua County. The government of Alachua County shall take all necessary steps to implement, defend, and enforce the provisions of this Article. 5.4.2 Enforcement by the Santa Fe River. The Santa Fe River may enforce or defend the provisions of this Article through legal action brought in the name of the river as the real party in interest. The Santa Fe River shall also have the right to intervene in any litigation concerning this Article in order to enforce or defend it. 5.4.3 Enforcement by Residents of Alachua County. Any resident of Alachua County may enforce or defend the provisions of this Article through legal action. Any resident shall also have the right to intervene in any litigation concerning this Article in order to enforce or defend it. 5.4.4 Enforcement Actions and Burden of Proof. Where probable violations of the rights secured in this Article are shown to exist, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for denying or postponing enforcement or defense of the provisions of this Article. The burden of proving the absence of a violation of rights shall lie with the proponent(s) of the activity in question, and not with the party or parties enforcing or defending the provisions of this Article. 5.4.5 Penalties. 5.4.5.1 Civil Penalties. Any business or government entity that violates any provision of this Article shall be subject to an appropriate civil penalty as provided for by Alachua County codes and ordinances. 5.4.5.2 Criminal Penalties. Any business or government entity, or individual acting on behalf or for the benefit of such an entity, that willfully and intentionally violates any provision of this Article shall be subject to any appropriate penalty as provided under the Florida Statutes. 5.4.6 Damages. Any business or government entity that violates any provision of this Article shall be liable for any damages caused to the Santa Fe River as a result of the violation. Damages shall be measured by the cost of fully restoring the Santa Fe River to its state before the violation, and shall be paid to Alachua County to be used exclusively for the restoration of the river. 5.4.7 Business or Government Entities. Any business or government entity which violates any provision of this Article shall not be deemed to possess any of the rights, privileges, powers, or protections which would interfere with the enforcement of rights secured within this Article. 5.4.8 The rights of the Santa Fe River secured within this Article shall not be interpreted to confer liabilities, duties, obligations, or responsibilities on the Santa Fe River. 5.5. Definitions “Santa Fe River,” for the purposes of this Article, shall mean the Santa Fe River within Alachua County, including its constituent tributaries, streams, watersheds, Floridan aquifer, springs, springsheds, ecosystems, natural communities, and the native species directly impacted by, or which directly impact, the Santa Fe River within Alachua County. 5.6. Severability If any part of this Article is found to be unconstitutional or unlawful, only that part shall be stricken from the Article and the rest of the Article shall remain in full effect.
  • 54
    Single Member Districts
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Single Member Districts
    Name: Walt Boyer
    Phone: 3523575707
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: The governing body of the county shall be a board of county commissioners composed of five (5) members serving staggered terms of four (4) years. There shall be one (1) commissioner for each of the five (5) county commission districts established pursuant to general law and they shall be elected on a district wide basis by only the electors of each individual district. Each candidate for the office of county commissioner shall reside (and be registered to vote from) within the district from which such candidate seeks election at the time of qualifying to run for that office, and during the term of office, each commissioner shall reside (and be registered to vote from) in the district from which such commissioner ran for office, provided that any commissioner who is removed from any district by redistricting may continue to serve during the balance of the term of office.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Single Member Districts allows for the voice of our diverse County, which includes those voices in our Rural areas as well as our Urban, to be represented on the Dias
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: The governing body of the county shall be a board of county commissioners composed of five (5) members serving staggered terms of four (4) years. There shall be one (1) commissioner for each of the five (5) county commission districts established pursuant to general law and they shall be elected on a district wide basis by only the electors of each individual district. Each candidate for the office of county commissioner shall reside (and be registered to vote from) within the district from which such candidate seeks election at the time of qualifying to run for that office, and during the term of office, each commissioner shall reside (and be registered to vote from) in the district from which such commissioner ran for office, provided that any commissioner who is removed from any district by redistricting may continue to serve during the balance of the term of office.
  • 55
    Residency
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Residency
    Name: Diane V. Bendekovic
    Phone: 954-980-1137
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: The county commission. The governing body of the county shall be a board of county commissioners composed of five (5) members serving staggered terms of four (4) years. There shall be one (1) commissioner for each of the five (5) county commission districts established pursuant to general law and they shall be elected on a countywide basis by the electors of the county. Each candidate for the office of county commissioner shall reside "a minimum of one (1) year prior to the opening of the qualifying period for any general or special election," within the district from which such candidate seeks election at the time of qualifying to run for that office, and during the term of office each commissioner shall reside in the district from which such commissioner ran for office, provided that any commissioner who is removed from a district by redistricting may continue to serve during the balance of the term of office.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: The addition of the language of "a minimum of one (1) year prior to the opening of the qualifying period for any general or special election," would help prevent candidates from relocating from district to district depending on the political climate. The candidate would have a vested in interest in the district for at least for a year.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: The county commission. The governing body of the county shall be a board of county commissioners composed of five (5) members serving staggered terms of four (4) years. There shall be one (1) commissioner for each of the five (5) county commission districts established pursuant to general law and they shall be elected on a countywide basis by the electors of the county. Each candidate for the office of county commissioner shall reside "a minimum of one (1) year prior to the opening of the qualifying period for any general or special election," within the district from which such candidate seeks election at the time of qualifying to run for that office, and during the term of office each commissioner shall reside in the district from which such commissioner ran for office, provided that any commissioner who is removed from a district by redistricting may continue to serve during the balance of the term of office.
  • 56
    Campaign Contributions
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Campaign Contributions
    Name: Diane V. Bendekovic
    Phone: 954-980-1137
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Campaign Contribution Limitations. Candidates shall not accept campaign contributions made by persons as defined in Section 106.011, Florida Statutes, political committees, and committees of continuous existence in an amount exceeding $250.00 per election. This limitation does not apply to contributions from political parties. Revision: The revision should mirror 106.08 Florida Stature106.08 Contributions; limitations on.— (1)(a) Except for political parties or affiliated party committees, no person or political committee may, in any election, make contributions in excess of the following amounts: 1. To a candidate for statewide office or for retention as a justice of the Supreme Court, $3,000. Candidates for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket are considered a single candidate for the purpose of this section. 2. To a candidate for retention as a judge of a district court of appeal; a candidate for legislative office; a candidate for multicounty office; a candidate for countywide office or in any election conducted on less than a countywide basis; or a candidate for county court judge or circuit judge, $1,000. (b) The contribution limits provided in this subsection do not apply to contributions made by a state or county executive committee of a political party or affiliated party committee regulated by chapter 103 or to amounts contributed by a candidate to his or her own campaign. (c) The contribution limits of this subsection apply to each election. For purposes of this subsection, the primary election and general election are separate elections so long as the candidate is not an unopposed candidate as defined in s. 106.011. However, for the purpose of contribution limits with respect to candidates for retention as a justice or judge, there is only one election, which is the general election.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Campaign contributions should be consistent with Florida State Statures 106.08 for equity purposes and to avoid any possibility of misunderstanding.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: 106.08 Florida Stature106.08 Contributions; limitations on.— (1)(a) Except for political parties or affiliated party committees, no person or political committee may, in any election, make contributions in excess of the following amounts: 1. To a candidate for statewide office or for retention as a justice of the Supreme Court, $3,000. Candidates for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket are considered a single candidate for the purpose of this section. 2. To a candidate for retention as a judge of a district court of appeal; a candidate for legislative office; a candidate for multicounty office; a candidate for countywide office or in any election conducted on less than a countywide basis; or a candidate for county court judge or circuit judge, $1,000. (b) The contribution limits provided in this subsection do not apply to contributions made by a state or county executive committee of a political party or affiliated party committee regulated by chapter 103 or to amounts contributed by a candidate to his or her own campaign. (c) The contribution limits of this subsection apply to each election. For purposes of this subsection, the primary election and general election are separate elections so long as the candidate is not an unopposed candidate as defined in s. 106.011. However, for the purpose of contribution limits with respect to candidates for retention as a justice or judge, there is only one election, which is the general election.
  • 57
    County Commission Countywide Electors
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: County Commission Countywide Electors
    Name: Diane V. Bendekovic
    Phone: 954-980-1137
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: The county commission. The governing body of the county shall be a board of county commissioners composed of five (5) members serving staggered terms of four (4) years. There shall be one (1) commissioner for each of the five (5) county commission districts established pursuant to general law and they shall be elected "by the electors within the designated district of the county." Each candidate for the office of county commissioner shall reside "a minimum of one (1) year prior to the opening of the qualifying period for any general or special election," within the district from which such candidate seeks election at the time of qualifying to run for that office, and during the term of office each commissioner shall reside in the district from which such commissioner ran for office, provided that any commissioner who is removed from a district by redistricting may continue to serve during the balance of the term of office.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: The county commissioner should be elected by the voters who reside within their district not countywide. Voters within their district have a vested interest in their district, more insight of the problems which impact their district, candidates/voters are afforded the ability of a personal approach during campaigning and term in office, and campaign expenses could be decreased due coverage area district vs countywide.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: The county commission. The governing body of the county shall be a board of county commissioners composed of five (5) members serving staggered terms of four (4) years. There shall be one (1) commissioner for each of the five (5) county commission districts established pursuant to general law and they shall be elected "by the electors within the designated district of the county." Each candidate for the office of county commissioner shall reside "a minimum of one (1) year prior to the opening of the qualifying period for any general or special election," within the district from which such candidate seeks election at the time of qualifying to run for that office, and during the term of office each commissioner shall reside in the district from which such commissioner ran for office, provided that any commissioner who is removed from a district by redistricting may continue to serve during the balance of the term of office.
  • 58
    County Manager Residency
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: County Manager Residency
    Name: Diane V. Bendekovic
    Phone: 954-980-1137
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: The county manager shall be qualified by administrative and executive experience and ability to serve as the chief administrator of the county. [The] minimum qualifications for the county manager shall be established by county ordinance. The county manager shall be appointed by an affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of the board of county commissioners. The county manager may be removed at any time by an affirmative vote, upon notice, of not less than a majority of the membership of the board, after a hearing if such a hearing is requested by the county manager. The county manager need not be a resident of the county at the time of appointment, but “shall relocate and reside within the county within a period of one year of the county manager appointment.”
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: The present language indicates residency to be within the tenure of county manager office, tenure is too general plus it could be from 1 to whatever years. There needs to be placed a definitive time period of within one year of the county manager appointment to relocate/reside.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: The county manager shall be qualified by administrative and executive experience and ability to serve as the chief administrator of the county. [The] minimum qualifications for the county manager shall be established by county ordinance. The county manager shall be appointed by an affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of the board of county commissioners. The county manager may be removed at any time by an affirmative vote, upon notice, of not less than a majority of the membership of the board, after a hearing if such a hearing is requested by the county manager. The county manager need not be a resident of the county at the time of appointment, but “shall relocate and reside within the county within a period of one year of the county manager appointment.”
  • 59
    Redistricting
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Redistricting
    Name: Diane V. Bendekovic
    Phone: 954-980-1137
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Redistricting. County commission district boundaries shall be changed “after the census shows a substantial increase in permanent residencies to the county or a substantial increase in property appraiser's residential records ” then only by notice and a public hearing as provided by general law.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Data shows statewide a influx of people relocating to the state of Florida now and the future. Likewise Alachua County will be experiencing an increase of either out of state or in state people moving to the County thus impacting districts. The County needs to do its due diligence in reviewing the data periodically to maintain a balance for representation.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Redistricting. County commission district boundaries shall be changed “after the census shows a substantial increase in permanent residencies to the county or a substantial increase in property appraiser's residential records ” then only by notice and a public hearing as provided by gener
  • 60
    Increase number of commissioners and require single member districts
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Increase number of commissioners and require single member districts
    Name: Citizen
    Phone: 999-999-9999
    E-mail: Nope
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Per F.S. 124.011 - The board of county commissioners shall be increased from five commissioners to seven commissioners, with five of the seven commissioners residing one in each of five county commission districts, the districts together covering the entire county and as nearly equal in population as practicable, and each commissioner being nominated and elected only by the qualified electors who reside in the same county commission district as the commissioner, and with two of the seven commissioners being nominated and elected at large.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: I believe statue provides a good middle ground for those people who want single-member districts and those who do not. This will allow everyone to vote for 3 of the commissioners, provide single-member districts and allow for two at large commissioners.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Shall the board of county commissioners of Alachua County, Florida, be increased from five to seven members, with five of the seven members to be elected to office from single-member districts by electors residing in each of those districts only, and with the two remaining members being elected by all electors within the county at large? Yes No
  • 61
    Citizen and county financial partnership
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Citizen and county financial partnership
    Name: Jana K. MIddleton
    Phone: 352 379-5738
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: It would be great if we could establish financial accounts directly with the county. A person could make frequent modest deposits and when property taxes or business license renewals come due, the fees would come out of the account. If there isn't enough in the account, the bill to the citizen would be the difference between the amount due and the amount in the account. The account does not have to be interest bearing, and would not require regular interval, pre-determined deposit amounts. A person who wanted to take a lengthy trip could load the account with enough money to cover anticipated property taxes for maybe two years and not have to worry about payments being made on time. A person who received a one-time payroll bonus could put that money in the account towards eventual tax responsibilities, etc. Keep the rules flexible enough to support our real life.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: This system would benefit the citizen by providing a budget method and would benefit the county by providing funding that could be invested to generate interest and more revenue - real dollars instead of anticipated dollars in th ebudget.
  • 62
    Removal of Unconstitutional Provisions
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Removal of Unconstitutional Provisions
    Name: Flo Turcotte
    Phone: 352-278-7755
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Courts have struck down two separate, unrelated provisions in the current county charter: One requiring county commission candidates to reside in their districts upon date of qualification, and the other prohibiting adoption of ordinances pertaining to sexual orientation, sexual preference or similar classifications. If approved by voters, the proposed charter amendment would remove the unconstitutional language from the county charter.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Over time, courts have ruled charter language unconstitutional for a variety of reasons. The proposed charter amendment would bundle these two unrelated sections of the current charter, and ask voters to remove these sections because they are not enforceable due to these court decisions. By bundling these two sections, it puts the focus of the proposed amendment on removal of language that has been ruled unconstitutional, and therefore in practice is unenforceable.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Shall the Alachua County Charter be amended to remove two unenforceable requirements: for candidates to reside in the district upon the date of qualification and to prohibit adoption of any ordinance based on sexual orientation, sexual preference or similar classifications?
  • 63
    Facial recognition surveillance cameras
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Facial recognition surveillance cameras
    Name: Michael Hill
    Phone: 4074892087
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: This amendment bans the use of all facial recognition software, cameras and scanners in all local municipal governments and the private industry. The ban will also extend to the illegal license scanners in parking lots and public places.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: With the every growing encroachment of the criminal justice system in our society. Our civil liberties are at risk and we must safeguard them by all means possible. Bigger cities in Florida already have facial recognition software. These cities also grant their police the right to scan and license plates in parking lots. This is a huge invasion of privacy and a direct threat to our autonomy as humans we must stop it
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: In regards to Facial recognition, motion recognition facial recognition software and the action of license scanning, this amendment will ban the use of these products and actions in both the public and private sector. Any individual , business or local municipality caught in possession or use of facial recognition software is grounds for fines up to 50,000 dollars or 3 year in prison.
  • 64
    Include Ranked Choice Voting (Instant Run-off) as soon as the State approves the program for the county voting machine
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Include Ranked Choice Voting (Instant Run-off) as soon as the State approves the program for the county voting machine
    Name: Jean Chalmers
    Phone: 352-538-4256
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Some Florida Counties are being proactive and mandating RCV automatically as soon as the Secretary of State approves the program. Alachua County machines are capable of using this counting system.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: RCV takes hate out of politics, eliminates the spoiler effect and gives voters more choice in selecting office holders. Those officials who represent the people of Alachua County would be selected by at least 50% of those whom they serve. RCV avoids a costly run-off where the turn out is extremely low and the cost of mounting a last minute campaign is very high.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: I can provide language used by other counties.
  • 65
    Increase the Commission to 6 members
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Increase the Commission to 6 members
    Name: Chris Rose II
    Phone: 352-258-9778
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: I propose amending Article II, Section 2.2, paragraph A of the Alachua County charter to increase the number of county commissioners from 5 to 6, the sixth one being at-large and the five each representing their respective districts.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Having seen the merits of arguments on either side of the single-member district discussion, I believe this to be an appropriate compromise to satisfy all concerns. This amendment would ensure that all residents of Alachua County have representation.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Article II, Section 2.2, paragraph A: The county commission. The governing body of the county shall be a board of county commissioners composed of six (6) members serving staggered terms of four (4) years. There shall be one (1) commissioner for each of the five (5) county commission districts established pursuant to general law, and one (1) at-large commissioner. District county commissioners shall have and maintain a home residence in the district they represent, and each commissioner shall be nominated and elected only by the qualified electors who reside in the same county commission district as the commissioner, provided that any commissioner who is removed from a district by redistricting may continue to serve during the balance of the term of office. The at-large county commissioner shall have and maintain a home residence in Alachua County, and shall be elected on a countywide basis by the qualified electors of the county.
  • 66
    Decrease the Commission to 1 member
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Decrease the Commission to 1 member
    Name: Jason Derudo
    Phone: 352-867-5309
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: I propose amending Article II, Section 2.2, paragraph A of the Alachua County charter to decrease the number of county commissioners from 5 to 1, the one being at-large.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Having seen the merits of arguments on either side of the single-member district discussion, I believe this to be an appropriate compromise to satisfy all concerns. This amendment would ensure that all residents of Alachua County have representation.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Article II, Section 2.2, paragraph A: The county commission. The governing body of the county shall be a board of county commissioners composed of one (1) member serving staggered terms of four (4) years. There shall be one (1) at-large commissioner. The at-large county commissioner shall have and maintain a home residence in Alachua County, and shall be elected on a countywide basis by the qualified electors of the county.
  • 67
    Recall
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Recall
    Name: Jason Derudo
    Phone: 352-867-5309
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Any member of the Board of County Commissioners may be removed from office by the electors of the county.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: This would provide a mechanism for voters to remove commissioners which commit egregious acts or acts of ill repute.
  • 68
    Government employment of previous elected officials
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Government employment of previous elected officials
    Name: Jason Derudo
    Phone: 352-867-5309
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Citizens of Alachua County who have previously served as an elected official within Alachua County shall be prohibited from seeking employment within Alachua County government until one calendar year has passed from the end date of their most recent term of office.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: .
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: .
  • 69
    Prorate taxes based on cost
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Prorate taxes based on cost
    Name: Jeremy Smith
    Phone: 352-433-9032
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Tax bills should be prorated based on how much it costs for county services to be provided to individual citizens. If a citizen lives an extended distance from urban services or in a less densely populated area, that citizen should pay a higher rate than citizens who cost less due to higher densities and a closer location to service centers.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: This would be a way to fairly tax citizens of Alachua County based on how much they actually cost. Emergency services, road services, and all other services cost far more per resident when given to a rural- low-density area than urban, high density areas. It is time for rural residents to stop being a burden on taxpayers.
  • 70
    racial, economic and gender equity
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: racial, economic and gender equity
    Name: K. Richard Blount,RN
    Phone: 3522190508
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: The Board of County Commissioners has the prerogative and the obligation to examine all existing governmental and managerial policies of all county departments for elements of racial, economic and gender bias in their design or delivery, and they must identify and act to ameliorate the effects and patterns imposed by said biases. The BOCC will subject all future policy formation to tests for similar bias. Elected policy makers shall utilize staff (e.g. Equal Opportunity office, etc.) and citizens to apply/evaluate such tests for bias so that the BOCC will restructure policy proposals accordingly.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Can Alachua County achieve a sea change in culture beyond the symbolic fluff of removing a Confederate statue? I.E., will we recognize that ALL ethnicities and cultures have been FULL partners in the authorship of human society? We're seeing some glimmers of hope: (1) the City Commission has endorsed the principles of the Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE); (2) CRA undertook launching of the Black Heritage Trail; (3) the County is involved in calling for a Truth & Reconciliation process; and (4) the school board has started a full panel of Blk Hx courses at every county high school. Yet behind these ... (1A) where is real action from those GARE words? ("A difference which makes no difference is not a difference."); (2A) We've seen --- so far --- a "Black Heritage Trail OF TEARS" with theft of personal narratives by an alien contractor called from another country to bypass resident genius/talent; (3A) T&R rattled around two years before seeming to get traction; (4A) Schools have launched a faulty narrative with fatal gaps that leave Blk Hx subordinate to the Greco-Roman Origin myth and fails to unify all into a singular human history. So we need to modify the foundations in order to build a new community --- one that can leave the list of "most segregated communities" of like size. The SCOTUS once spoke of the duty of ALL levels of government to eradicate "the badges & emblems of slavery" --- to recognize such AND to act. Here's part of a framework for such.
  • 71
    Alachua County Public County Counsel For Utility Services
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Alachua County Public County Counsel For Utility Services
    Name: Nicole
    Phone: (352) 328-8322
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: To establish the Office of the Public Counsel for utility service to represent the GRU customers in both the incorporated and unincorporated areas in Alachua County who pay GRU surcharges, experience wastewater spills, are involuntarily disconnected from GRU monopolized utility services and who are affected by numerous GRU rates, fees, charges and policies.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: ( See above) GRU customers in the unincorporated area pay Alachua County surcharges and County utility taxes as calculated by GRU, but cannot vote for the Gainesville City Commissioners and Mayor who establish the policies that govern GRU. Moreover, GRU and the City of Gainesville adopt policies that are incentive annexation, which often is not the desired choice, and as well fund a disproportionate portion of the City of Gainesville budget. [This County official should have the duties similar to those outlined §350.011 in Fla. Stat.]
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: [This County official should have the duties similar to those outlined §350.011 in Fla. Stat.]
  • 72
    The county needs to stop buying property
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: The county needs to stop buying property
    Name: Denise Baldwin
    Phone: 3524814105
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: This county needs to stop purchasing property. The county does not pay property tax to itself thusly it puts a greater on the actual property owners.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: I have paid over $70,000 in taxes while living in Hawthorne for 19 years. There is no way I received $70,000 worth of service back. If my house caught on fire it would burn to the ground before the fire department would get here ( it has recently moved closer, but for the majority of the time I have lived here this statement is true). If someone broke into my home, they would have time to take every single thing I own in my three bedroom house before a policeman made it out here. If the county keeps purchasing property the population will leave...we can't afford to support everyone else.
  • 73
    Sell properties you have no business owning.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Sell properties you have no business owning.
    Name: Denise Baldwin
    Phone: 3524814105
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Sell off the properties you have no business owning..Ironwood...the county has no business owning a golf course. That money could be used for much better things than golf...and the property could go back on the taxable properties list. You just did it again, you purchased the Watermelon Pond Wildlife & Environmntal Area in Newberry. That was $1million. Yes, it came from Wild Places whatever...but in reality it came from me, the taxpayer. Not only did the taxpayers pay for the property it will raise our property tax because you have taken more taxable acres off the tax roll.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: To lower my tax bill.
  • 74
    Amend Section 2.2, Paragraph (A) of Alachua County Charter
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Amend Section 2.2, Paragraph (A) of Alachua County Charter
    Name: Nicholas Klein
    Phone: 352-301-0110
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Expand County Commission seven (7) members; Five (5) Districts, with One (1) member in each district, who shall be elected by the electors of their respective districts. Two (2) "at large" members that shall be elected on a countywide basis by the electors of the county. Remove unconstitutional language that requires candidates reside in their district at time of "qualifying" and replace with language that requires candidates to reside in their respective districts at the time of "election".
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Avoids any possible violation of federal Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C, Sec. 1973) now or in the future while also allowing county residents to vote for three (3) members of a seven (7) member county commission. The optimal remedy for such a violation is to require single member district representation, however, federal courts have allowed a "mixed system" to be implemented by referendum or preempted by legislative action. See Chapman v. Meier (1975), Connor v. Finch (1977), Tallahassee Branch of NAACP v. Leon County (1987), and US v. Osceola County (2006)
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Section 2.2, Paragraph (A) The county commission. The governing body of the county shall be a board of county commissioners composed of seven (7) members serving staggered terms of four (4) years. There shall be one (1) commissioner elected for each of the five (5) county commission districts established pursuant to general law and they shall be elected on a countywide basis by the electors of their respective districts. There will be two (2) “at large” members and they shall be elected by the electors of the county. Each candidate for the office of county commissioner shall reside within the district from which such candidate seeks election at the time of election to run for that office, and during the term of office each commissioner shall reside in the district from which such commissioner ran for office, provided that any commissioner who is removed from a district by redistricting may continue to serve during the balance of the term of office. Each candidate for the office of county commissioner “At Large” must reside in the county during the time of election to run for that office, and must reside in the county during their entire term of office.
  • 75
    Term limits for board of county commissioners
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Term limits for board of county commissioners
    Name: Richard Williams
    Phone: 352-318-2182
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Commissioners should be limited to three terms as commissioners.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Without term limits, commissioners tend to narrow their representation to segments of the population that they know will vote to reelect them. The county needs fresh ideas to handle and solve current and future problems
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Limit commissioners to three four-year consecutive terms.
  • 76
    Financial impact of proposed County Charter Amendments.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Financial impact of proposed County Charter Amendments.
    Name: No
    Phone: No
    E-mail: No
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Financial impact of proposed County Charter Amendments. For all elections the County shall prepare, and the County Commission shall place on the ballot, immediately following the ballot question, a separate financial impact statement, not exceeding seventy-five words, estimating the increase or decrease in revenues or costs to the County resulting from approval of any proposed Charter amendment.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Voters should understand the full impact and cost of proposed charter amendments.
  • 77
    57 Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Prorate taxes based on cost
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: 57 Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Prorate taxes based on cost
    Name: Stacey Hectus
    Phone: 4077446048
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: 57 Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Prorate taxes based on cost Name: Jeremy Smith Phone: 352-433-9032 E-mail: jersmith76@aol.com Summary of proposed charter amendment: Tax bills should be prorated based on how much it costs for county services to be provided to individual citizens. If a citizen lives an extended distance from urban services or in a less densely populated area, that citizen should pay a higher rate than citizens who cost less due to higher densities and a closer location to service centers. Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: This would be a way to fairly tax citizens of Alachua County based on how much they actually cost. Emergency services, road services, and all other services cost far more per resident when given to a rural- low-density area than urban, high density areas. It is time for rural residents to stop being a burden on taxpayers.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: This should be eliminated. Many people move to rural areas to pay less taxes for less services. We are a perfect example of that. In Haile our property taxes were ridiculous but our services were many. We needed tax relief so we moved out where our horses were. We knew very well services would be less - on septic, no sewer service and we didn't ask, no water from county and we didn't ask. Fire service send bills for rides in their equipment now and people are required to pay for them. Additionally, we have a rather large fire tax on our Alachua County bills now. We understand we live on NON-County Maintained roads and we didn't ask for them to take them over. We understand our roads are not on the top of lists to be re-paved or even repaired for that matter. Me, along with many of my neighbors understand this and are fine with this. To surtax us for living with less services is ridiculous. Please remove this amendment.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: 57 Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Prorate taxes based on cost Name: Jeremy Smith Phone: 352-433-9032 E-mail: jersmith76@aol.com Summary of proposed charter amendment: Tax bills should be prorated based on how much it costs for county services to be provided to individual citizens. If a citizen lives an extended distance from urban services or in a less densely populated area, that citizen should pay a higher rate than citizens who cost less due to higher densities and a closer location to service centers. Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: This would be a way to fairly tax citizens of Alachua County based on how much they actually cost. Emergency services, road services, and all other services cost far more per resident when given to a rural- low-density area than urban, high density areas. It is time for rural residents to stop being a burden on taxpayers.
  • 78
    57 Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Prorate taxes based on cost
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: 57 Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Prorate taxes based on cost
    Name: Kristin
    Phone: Hughes
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: 57 Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Prorate taxes based on cost Name: Jeremy Smith Phone: 352-433-9032 E-mail: jersmith76@aol.com Summary of proposed charter amendment: Tax bills should be prorated based on how much it costs for county services to be provided to individual citizens. If a citizen lives an extended distance from urban services or in a less densely populated area, that citizen should pay a higher rate than citizens who cost less due to higher densities and a closer location to service centers. Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: This would be a way to fairly tax citizens of Alachua County based on how much they actually cost. Emergency services, road services, and all other services cost far more per resident when given to a rural- low-density area than urban, high density areas. It is time for rural residents to stop being a burden on taxpayers.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Please remove this from consideration. As a "newer" citizen to Alachua County (almost 5 years) I moved out of the hustle and bustle of south Florida after my husband passed away and retired to Alachua County with my horses. I chose the area for many reasons but one was I no longer wanted to be in the "urban" setting that chased horses out of where I came from. I knew EXACTLY what I was getting when I chose rural living over urban living. I don't have a paved road to my property - I maintain the dirt road myself. I knew I would be on septic and a well and never have I once asked the county for their services or even remotely thought I would ever get them. As a widow I live up here and maintain my own place and I pay my taxes. I don't want my taxes to increase because I chose this lifestyle and knew that we would not be getting "urban services". A few years ago I needed an ambulance and they came and took me to the ER. A few weeks later I received a bill from Alachua County Fire Rescue for that ride. I paid it! Alachua County taxes did not. So how rural areas are a burden on taxpayers baffles me. Please remove this from consideration.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: 57 Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Prorate taxes based on cost Name: Jeremy Smith Phone: 352-433-9032 E-mail: jersmith76@aol.com Summary of proposed charter amendment: Tax bills should be prorated based on how much it costs for county services to be provided to individual citizens. If a citizen lives an extended distance from urban services or in a less densely populated area, that citizen should pay a higher rate than citizens who cost less due to higher densities and a closer location to service centers. Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: This would be a way to fairly tax citizens of Alachua County based on how much they actually cost. Emergency services, road services, and all other services cost far more per resident when given to a rural- low-density area than urban, high density areas. It is time for rural residents to stop being a burden on taxpayers.
  • 79
    60% Voter Approval for Charter Amendments
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: 60% Voter Approval for Charter Amendments
    Name: Citizen
    Phone: 999-999-9999
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Increase the threshold to approve charter amendments to 60%.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: The Charter is the foundational document of our county government, and therefore changes to it should require a higher bar than a simple majority.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Should the Charter be amended to require future amendments receive the approval of at least sixty percent (60%) of electors voting in the election prior to the adoption of any charter amendment?
  • 80
    Citizen Standing for Environmental Suits Arising Under County Law
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Citizen Standing for Environmental Suits Arising Under County Law
    Name: Matthew Hurst
    Phone: (352) 359-9558
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: My proposal is intended to give residents of Alachua County and organizations containing residents the ability to enforce provisions of Alachua County laws that are intended to protect our natural environment or natural resources. It is intended as a concrete way of implementing the objectives of the “Rights of Nature” (#37) and “Santa Fe River Bill of Rights” (#41) proposals, and ideally will be discussed in conjunction with these proposals.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Many residents have observed that sometimes Alachua County officials may be reluctant to fully enforce laws intended to protect various aspects of our natural environment or resources. Citizens and citizen groups may lack standing. This proposal is intended to fix that hurdle. This proposal is intended as a first draft, and further refinement may be necessary. Specifically, the following issues may arise. The Charter Review Committee will need to determine if the Alachua County Charter can give citizens standing in state courts for actions that arise under county law. The Committee will also need to decide exactly who gets standing: any resident, or should there be a minimum number of residents? How long should someone have to be a resident of Alachua County to bring a suit? Next, they will have to decide which courts would they have standing in and what types of remedies would be available. Even with standing, citizens groups will still face other hurdles, such as finding attorneys and experts who have the specialized expertise and are willing to represent citizen groups. Citizens would also have to raise extensive funds for litigation, including not only those attorneys and experts, but also other costs like court reporters. This proposal is unlikely to lead to frivolous lawsuits as few citizens would want to spend large sums of money on suits that are unlikely to succeed or where little is at stake. This standing may not be invoked very often, but it seems to me, as a longtime resident of Alachua County, that citizens should still have that option.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Any resident of Alachua County or any organization comprised of at least one Alachua County resident shall have standing to bring a cause of action arising under any provision of the Alachua County Charter or any ordinance of Alachua County intended to protect air, water, significant plant or animal habitat, or tree canopy.
  • 81
    Amend Section 4.2(B)(1) Revising Charter Review Commission Appointment Procedure
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Amend Section 4.2(B)(1) Revising Charter Review Commission Appointment Procedure
    Name: James Stephens
    Phone: County Resident
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Citizens who volunteer to serve on the Charter Review Commission (CRC) must perform a unique task expected from no other volunteer board. The CRC must create a government entity from scratch in an extremely short time frame. No citizens have any experience doing this. By contrast, the County Commission and advisory boards have long standing established rules and procedures, and county employees have written job descriptions and policies. The CRC needs to exist for about six months to get itself organized before it begins to accept charter amendment proposals from the public and consider them. The time constraints of the deadlines to get proposals on the general election ballot mean the only way to accomplish this is to start the CRC process six months earlier. Also, boards generally have an odd number of members, to avoid tie votes. This year the CRC has twelve (12) members. A permanent change to a thirteen (13) member CRC will simplify things for future CRCs. Eleven is too few, fifteen is too many. Also, Section (1) language is simplified to eliminate outdated and unnecessary reference to the year 1990.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Many observed how the organization efforts of the 2020 CRC were quite disorganized. There are many reasons. The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) did not advertise early enough or widely enough for CRC volunteers, although they did manage to attract some knowledgeable and concerned applicants. The current CRC was appointed 14 months before the election and expected to start work immediately, with inadequate support from inexperienced BOCC staff and a part time liaison. It is unrealistic to expect citizen volunteers to have multiple meetings per month during the busy end of the year holiday season. The BOCC advertised for volunteers in August. They need to start at least six months earlier. Future CRCs can easily be spared the experience endured by the current CRC with this simple amendment, allowing for better government.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Amend Section 4.2(B)(1) to read Sec. 4.2. - Home rule charter amendments. (B) Amendments and revisions by charter review commission. (1) A charter review commission consisting of thirteen (13) electors of the county shall be appointed by the board of county commissioners at least eighteen (18) months but not more than twenty four (24) months before the general election occurring in 2030, and every ten (10) years thereafter, to review the home rule charter and propose any amendments or revisions which may be advisable for placement on the general election ballot. No member of the state legislature or the board of county commissioners shall be a member of the charter review commission. Vacancies shall be filled within thirty (30) days in the same manner as the original appointments.
  • 84
    All new development and refurbished county-owned landscapes will be at least 80% Florida native plants; lawns can be no more than 10% of this landscape
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: All new development and refurbished county-owned landscapes will be at least 80% Florida native plants; lawns can be no more than 10% of this landscape
    Name: Jane Morse
    Phone: 352-337-6144
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Concerns about our environment include reduced water quality and quantity, destruction of habitat, loss of pollinators, birds, animals, and insects.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Current development practices destroy the existing habitat. The landscapes which replace these native habitats are mostly lawn and non-native species. This has many detrimental effects. First, the use of non-native species has a direct negative effect on birds and other animals. Native plants support native insects, specifically caterpillars, that are required for birds to raise their young. Without this food source the baby birds starve to death. See research from Doug Tallamy about the need for native plants to support birds. Also, information about the nationwide loss of birds.
  • 85
    All new development proposals must use “Building for Birds Evaluation Tool” developed by UF when designing their development.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: All new development proposals must use “Building for Birds Evaluation Tool” developed by UF when designing their development.
    Name: Jane Morse
    Phone: 352-337-6144
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: For Background see: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw417
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: See above
  • 86
    Noise pollution mitigation
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Noise pollution mitigation
    Name: Jane Morse
    Phone: 352-337-6144
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Recognition that noise is detrimental to our health is the new frontier, with new research confirming its harm to human health and wellbeing. It is also harming wildlife. We can longer just accept noise as a given, but must seek ways to reduce or eliminate it.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: The most direct and obvious effect of noise is to our ears. Loud noises can cause physical damage to the ear, resulting in hearing loss. Other physiological effects of noise include: Increased blood pressure (hypertension), increased heart rate and breathing rate and digestive disturbances. For some people, noise is a trigger for migraine headaches.
  • 87
    Single District Commission Members
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Single District Commission Members
    Name: Terrence Fitzpatrick
    Phone: 352-495-2672
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Alachua County citizens need to be able to vote for a single district County Commission. The citizens of rural areas and smaller towns are not now equally represented on the current Commission. It is well known that the current Commission does and will resist this for apparent reasons. A citizens initiative would probably be the only way fairness on the Commission could be obtained.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: The current Commission is not representative of their supposed districts.
  • 88
    Business Closing
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Business Closing
    Name: Sam M
    Phone: 8437516118
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Fades and Fros of Alachua county remaining open
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: I along with many other essential personnel are required to remain at work during this time with an uncertain end date for operations returning to normal. It is important for those such as myself and those such as nurses, EMS personnel, doctors, grocery store employees, gas station clerks, good workers, and anyone who will sell be in contact with the public while observing social distancing still be presentable. There is no way for many of us to stay groomed without the services of our barbers. I am in agreement with the limited hours and request that it be reviewed for an exception to be made for Fades and Fros to still deliver services to the community during this time. They have taken precautions for sanitization in addition to their standard practices to ensure contact with each persons is limited and the shop is observing the 50% or 50 whichever is less guideline. Along with sanitizer the shop has stations for hand washing with antibacterial soap upon entering and prior to leaving.
  • 89
    Electorate Approval Of Gerrymandered Single Member Districts
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Electorate Approval Of Gerrymandered Single Member Districts
    Name: Citizen Input
    Phone: 000-000-000
    E-mail: None
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Gerrymandering is one of the worst abominations in the American political system, when used by majority groups to rob minority groups of voting rights and political representation. More recently, one minority American political party has become expert at using gerrymandering to retain political power. However nothing prevents a majority group from self imposing extreme gerrymandering upon themselves (via a county wide ballot referendum) to protect the rights of their brethren who are victims simply by choosing to voluntarily be members of a minority group. Creates two new protected minority categories. Placing this amendment on the ballot will allow Alachua County to vote itself into national infamy and legal history.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: In 1990, 1992, 2000, 2010, and 2020 multiple and various charter amendment proposals were submitted to the respective CRCs seeking to have commissioner districts changed to Single Member Districts. None were placed on the ballot. Proponents obviously have a real and continuing need to protect the perceived disenfranchised rights of self declared oppressed victim minorities to be so persistent over a thirty year period. In 2030, they'll be back. Passing this model pro-diversity charter amendment will demonstrate the county will do anything to avoid possible legal challenges under the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1973. Note: this proposal has no chance of being approved by the 2020 CRC. It is entered as part of the historical record, as a template to aid future self declared underrepresented minorities as they submit endless Single Member District proposals to the 2030 CRC, and every decade thereafter, and to remind the public how oppressed and disenfranchised these self declared victims are by the tyranny of the urban Gainesville Democrat majority in Alachua County.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: (The CRC attorney can refine this into more proper legalese language.) “There shall be five equal population county commission districts, with only voters residing in each district able to vote for their single member district commissioner. All commissioners must pledge to practice parochialism and put the needs of their own special interest district ahead of the needs of the entire county in all legislative matters during their term. Cooperation is prohibited. County voters hereby declare that “Republicans” and “Rural Residents” are “protected minority” classes under the Voting Rights Act of 1973, in addition to “African-American” citizens. The County shall engage the services of a skilled political consulting firm, with at least the expertise of the late Thomas Hofeller, to use computers to create the most extreme gerrymandered districts geometrically possible. Districts 1, 2, and 3 must achieve the desired social engineering goals of districts whose residents shall be a minimum of 80% of the targeted protected minority groups. District 1- A Black District composed 80% of citizens of African-American ethnic heritage. District 2- A Republican District composed 80% of registered Republican voters, preferably rich conservative Christian citizens and persons employed in the real estate development and construction industry. The Turkey Creek residential subdivision and golf course shall be included in this district in perpetuity. District 3- A Hayseed District composed 80% of Rural Residents. No part of the Greater Gainesville Urban Area, or GRU customers, shall be in this district. Only rural residents, political conservatives, pickup truck owners, and residents of the smaller municipalities shall be allowed. District 3 people who own cattle are declared Special and shall be allowed to vote twice in future county elections. Districts 4 and 5- Two Left-over Districts composed of the remaining county residents who do not belong to any protected minority group. Including, but not limited to, all Gainesville residents, Democrats, liberals, no party affiliation voters, students, environmentalists, atheists, college professors, persons of a non-hyphenated ethnic heritage, and women. Their needs and rights are hereby declared to be now, thenceforward, and forever secondary to those of African-Americans, Republicans, and Rural Residents."
  • 90
    County wide impact fees
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: County wide impact fees
    Name: Tamara Robbins
    Phone: 3523395386
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Currently Alachua county impact fee ordinances allow for an opt-out by the 9 municipalities. This Charter amendment would require impact fees apply not only in the unincorporated Alachua County, but within municipal boundaries.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Why? The current and expected future demands placed on Alachua County resources will only increase due to the many factors associated with climate change migration and other population impacts. The tax payers should not shoulder the burden of costs associated with this growth; development should. Growth does not pay for itself. Submitted 2020 CRC proposal #1 included a portion addressing county-wide impact fees. This proposal was voted to advance for legal analysis by the CRC during the 1-22-2020 meeting. The attorney moved forward with legal analysis based on this CRC action, which resulted in a draft work product. During the 3-11-2020 CRC meeting, the impact fee portion of proposal #1 was removed from consideration by a vote of the commission. The attorney provided proposed impact fee language to the CRC in an email dated 3-12-2020. The adoption of countywide impact fees is critical to the future financial stability of Alachua County.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: As prepared by CRC attorney: County ordinances imposing impact fees shall apply both within the unincorporated area of Alachua County and within the municipal boundaries of the municipalities lying within Alachua County. County ordinances imposing impact fees may provide for impact fee zones and similar arrangements, consistent with applicable Florida law, but in not event shall county ordinance imposing an impact fee provide for an impact fee rate applicable within a municipality that is more than 25% lower than the highest impact fee rate imposed within the County for that category of impact fee, unless otherwise required by law. No later than October 1, 2021, the board of county commissioners shall complete the appropriate studies required by applicable law to implement such impact fees, and shall adopt ordinances consistent with this section.
  • 91
    Non-interference clause included in Alachua County Charter
    Proposed Charter Amendment Topic: Non-interference clause included in Alachua County Charter
    Name: Tamara Robbins
    Phone: 3523395386
    Summary of proposed charter amendment: Include in the County Charter a non-interference clause.
    Please explain why you believe this proposed amendment should be considered: Alachua county Charter Article II Sec. 2.1 establishes the elected county commission and appointed county manager form of government. This form of government is only effective if the lines of accountability are clear. Currently 16 of the 20 Florida Charter Counties include a non-interference clause in their charter. Most municipalities do as well. Alachua county Ordinance 2019-08 Article II Sec. 21-20 (g)(1) contains language of a Non Interference clause. As the bedrock of commission-manager form of government, a non interference clause should be included in the Charter.
    Proposed Charter Amendment Language: Except for the purposes of inquiry, the board and its members shall deal with the administrative services solely through the county manager, and neither the board nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinates fo the county manager or the county attorney, either publicly or in private.
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