Manatee County has no charter. Anna Maria City, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Palmetto and Longboat Key do have charters.
The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) tried to draft a charter circa 2002-2005. There were many things wrong with it, including giving more power to the BOCC.
The worst part of the charter was BOCC could overwrite/overrule density and land use amendments to the comp plan. The cities had every right to oppose this document. Autonomy is the right to self-government.
Former County Commissioner Joe McClash tried to compromise with the accord. However, the document was much like a resolution (non-binding).
Registered voters can demand a charter. We need 15 percent of the registered voters in Manatee County, which amounts to 35,000 names signed on a petition. I’m hoping the Women League of Voters will spearhead this event.
When BOCC says “no,” we can appoint “County for Charter Committee” and get it in a referendum on the 2018 ballot. Just to name a few items that we can include in the charter: term limits, recall, Cortez and Anna Maria Bridge controversy, Mosaic mining, annexation, include the citizens on comp plan amendments, campaign finance dispersion and dispersion of the 5 percent resort tax (island should be getting 2 percent).
I urge the readers of this letter to research this on your computers. Please call 941-795-2818 with any questions.