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Committee Recommends Changes to Brooksville Charter

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A couple of tweaks to the City of Brooksville’s Charter will appear on the ballot for the general election. But members of the City Council balked at the potential of raising their own salaries.

That was the outcome of a presentation made at the May 6 meeting, where the Charter Review Committee submitted its recommendations for the changes to the Charter. The seven-member CRC was appointed in January and conducted six meetings, part of a review process required by the Charter every six years.
Three changes were recommended, including adding language stating that all adopted ordinances include a finding by the City Council regarding whether or not the ordinance promotes business development in the city.

“The main item that the committee discussed and was strongly presented to the committee by one of the committee members was the addition of corporations into the City of the Brooksville; the addition of businesses into the City of Brooksville,” CRC chairperson Margaret Bloomquist said. “We feel in order for the city to prosper and to grow, its business development and corporations bringing money into the city, that’s important.”

Another possible change was a clarification of the CRC committee’s role, specifically that it not only offer recommendations but also explains them.

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Both of those changes will be decided by voters in November. A third recommendation, and the one that generated the most discussion from council members, will not. That would be to have a Blue Ribbon Committee meet every four years to evaluate compensation and benefits for the mayor, vice-mayor and council members.

The idea is that it would be less awkward for a committee to perform this duty rather than the council members having to make decisions on their own salaries.

“The committee felt your job’s important enough that you should be compensated,” Bloomquist told the council. “When you look across the state at how it’s done as far as the other cities and Brooksville is not one of the smaller cities in the state of Florida, either. So the committee felt pretty strongly that you work hard and should be compensated appropriately.”

Bloomquist believed council members had not received a salary increase since 1995 and are on the lower end in terms of city council salaries throughout the state. However, the council members bristled at the idea of potential raises, deeming it unnecessary, inappropriate in the current economic climate and unlikely to be well-received by the general public. As a result, they voted against including it on the ballot.

Also, at the council meeting, it was announced that $1.9 million of funding would come out of the agriculture budget to build a new public safety building.

Chris Bernhardt
Chris Bernhardt
A resident of Spring Hill since 1986, Chris graduated from Springstead High in 1999 before moving on to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Central Florida. In summer of 2003 he joined the staff at Hernando Today, working at the paper for 11 years as a sports reporter, the last three as sports coordinator in charge of the paper’s sports coverage. After an initial 3-year stint with Hernando Sun, he spent four years as a staff sports reporter at the Citrus County Chronicle. Follow on X @cpbernhardtjr.
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