Join the charter review process

City to kickoff charter review May 9

Circle the date on your calendar. Set the date on your phone. Heck, tell Alexa to remind you. Zephyrhills City Council announced Monday that May 9 will be the Charter Review Kickoff workshop.

There are plenty of social media rumblings about Zephyrhills city government, so now it’s time to assist in how your local government is run.

The Zephyrhills City Charter has not been amended in 17 years and since the city has significantly grown, it could be time to make changes to the document that regulates how the city is governed, how and when officials are elected and how long they are in office.

The Charter Review Kickoff Workshop will take place immediately following the May 9 City Council meeting. This is the first of many public meetings in the approximate six-month process where residents can make recommendation for charter amendments.

The final charter review recommendations will be presented to city council and they will decide whether the suggestion will be part of a referendum on the ballot next spring.

Council members Monday were looking to have an exclusive Charter Review Committee of city residents, but the final decision was to have a hybrid committee of residents and members of council.

Council members Alan Knight and Jodi Wilkeson appeared to be steering the ship towards a committee made up of just residents. Further discussion resulted in all council members in favor of a hybrid committee.

City Manager Billy Poe explained to the members of city council and the mayor that if council serves as the committee alone, “it will appear to be self-serving.”

Wilkeson told members of council she received suggestions residents regarding expanding the number of members of council and the role of the mayor.

“As our community grows, does it make sense to add to the number of seat on city council?” Wilkeson said.

Poe told members of council that all charter review committee meeting will be open to the public and there will be a public comment period.

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