Leon County Charter Initiative Leon County Charter 2020 Charter Amendment Process
Right to Initiate (LCC 4.1)
The Electors of Leon County have the right to initiate County ordinances in order to establish new ordinances and to amend or repeal existing ordinances, not in conflict with the Florida Constitution, general law or this Charter.
Petitions must be signed by at least ten percent (10%) of the total number of electors qualified to vote in the County reflecting the last preceding General Election. Within that ten percent (10%) of electors, must contain at least 10% from each of the five (5) commission districts.
Procedure for Petition (LCC 4.2)
- The sponsor of an initiative shall submit the text of a proposed ordinance to the Supervisor of Elections, with the proposed ballot summary and the petition form.
- Any ordinances shall have only one (1) subject and related matter.
- The sponsor must publish notice of such submission within fourteen (14) days in a newspaper of general circulation in the County.
- The sponsor will have one (1) year, after the initial receipt of the ordinance, to collect the necessary amount of petitions.
- The sponsor shall file quarterly reports with the Supervisor of Elections stating the number of petitions procured.
- When a sufficient number of petitions is obtained, the sponsor shall submit the signed and dated petitions to the Supervisor of Elections.
- Upon submission, the sponsor shall pay all fees required by general law.
- The Supervisor of Elections will verify each petition, or specify reason for invalidity, on the petition within sixty (60) days.
If there are is an insufficient amount of valid petitions after the verification process, the sponsor shall have an additional thirty (30) days to submit additional petitions. The Supervisor of Elections will then have thirty (30) days to verify the additional petitions.
If there is still not a sufficient amount of valid petitions after the thirty (30) days, the Supervisor of Elections shall declare the petition null and void. None of the petitions may be carried over onto another identical or similar ordinance.
Consideration (LCC 4.3)
Within sixty (60) days after the requisite number of petitions have been verified by the Supervisor of Elections and reported to the Board of County Commissioners, the Board of County Commissioners shall give notice and hold public hearing(s) as required by general law on the proposed ordinance and vote on it.
If the Board fails to enact the proposed ordinance, it shall, by resolution, call a referendum on the question of the adoption of the proposed ordinance to be held at the next general election occuring at least forty-five (45) days after the adoption of such resolution.
If the question of adoption of the proposed ordinance is approved by a majority of the registered electors voting on the question, the proposed ordinance shall be declared, by resolution of the Board, to be enacted and shall become effective on the date specified in the ordinance, or if not specified, on January 1 of the succeeding year.
The Board shall not amend or repeal an ordinance adopted by initiative prior to the next succeeding general election without the approval of a majority of electors voting at a referendum called for that purpose.
Limitations on Ordinances by Initiative (LCC 4.4)
The power to enact, amend, or repeal an ordinance by initiative shall not include ordinances or provisions related to:
- County Budget
- Debt Obligations
- Capital Improvement Programs
- Salaries of County Officers and Employees
- Assessment or Collection of Taxes
- Zoning of Land
Any registered voter residing within the geographic area affected by your initiative may sign a petition (i.e. only registered voters living within the city limits of the City of Tallahassee).
The address on file with the Supervisor of Elections office will be used for verification, NOT the address listed on the petition form.
Petitions must be signed by at least ten percent (10%) of the total number of electors qualified to vote in the geographic area affected by the initiative reflecting the last preceding General Election.
You must submit a minimum of fifteen percent (15%) over the required amount for the Random Sample Method of verification used by the Supervisor of Elections office of Leon County.
Cost to Verify Petitions
There is a verification fee of 10 cents per petition verified, which must be paid upon the submission of petitions.
Initiative petitions for the City of Tallahassee must utilize the Random Sample Method, and thus must only pay the fee for the first batch of 100 petitions. This fee will be collected at the time of submission. You will receive a fee balance form containing the amount due to the Supervisor of Elections office if verification beyond the first batch is necessary. You may also file an Undue Burden Oath with the Supervisor of Elections office to waive the cost of petition verification.
If sufficient funds remain at the end of the campaign, the entity filing the Undue Burden Oath will be required to pay the amount for petition verification before deposing of remaining funds.
Verification of petitions will occur on a first-come-first-serve basis, so submit all of your petitions early to avoid any last minute backlog. You should collect all petitions that may be in the hands of others for a one time submission of petitions to the Supervisor of Elections office.
Partial submissions will not allow your petitions to be verified; however, if your initial petition submission is not approved, and time still permits, the submission of additional petitions will be permitted. Such supplements will be verified in keeping with office policy.
Deadline for Ballot Placement
The Supervisor of Elections requires any governmental entity wishing to have a referendum placed on the General Election ballot submit its approved language no later than 7 p.m. on the date of the Primary Election.
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