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Committee Studies Brooksville City Charter

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Whether or not the Brooksville City Charter continues as is to serve city residents or is in need of revision is under review by a committee of city residents chosen by the City Council in January.

The seven-member Charter Review Committee (CRC) includes Chair Peg Bloomquist, Vice-Chair Christopher Licata, III, Tom Barnette, Brent Young, Sally Sperling, Joe Quinn and Darren McKethan will take a detailed look at the existing City Charter to determine what changes should be made to the existing Charter if any.

Initially adopted in October 1880, the Brooksville City Charter comes under review every six years. The document spells out everything from the general powers of the municipal government to the roles and election of the City Council, the selection of Mayor and Vice-Mayor and the requirements for the City Council membership.

The last time the Charter came under review was in 2018, when it was recommended that the code be amended to clarify that the requirements for citizen petitions proposing ordinances to the City Council shall be the same as those required for citizen petitions proposing Charter amendments. That change was approved by voters in the November 2018 general election.

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“The committee’s job is to review the Charter and make sure that it is still serving the needs of the community and to make recommendations of making changes to it,” Licata said.

Once chosen, the CRC meets monthly for a period of six months. At the end of its work, the CRC composes a report for the Brooksville City Council. Four of the seven committee members must vote in favor of the changes for them to be included in the committee’s final report.

“The committee could recommend a list of changes for the (city) council to accept as a whole or itemize the changes to be considered separately,” Licata said.

This year, that proposed report must be completed by April 20 and submitted to the City Council during its May 6 meeting. The council must vote on the report and any recommendations it contains during the May 20 regular meeting of the City Council.

After that, the proposed, City Council-approved changes to the Charter will appear on the November 2024 ballot as a voter referendum.

“If the (City) Council votes to change the Charter, those changes must be submitted in June in order to be on the ballot,” Licata said.

Mayor Blake Bell said that the Charter Review process is beneficial, especially now that the area has experienced increased growth and development.

“It gives us a chance to look at the Charter as we grow as a city – our city is not the same as it was in 1920, for example,” he said. “I look forward to seeing what the Review Committee brings to the City Council.”

The next meeting of the CRC is slated for Feb. 26. Meeting dates for March and April will be finalized then.

Members of the City of Brooksville staff and those of the general public are invited to submit proposed changes to the Charter during the citizens’ input portion of each meeting.

To view CRC agenda information, visit https://bit.ly/48sphcs

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