Daytona moves forward on charter

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH, LEAD STORIES, NEWS

Report makes recommendations on how city operates over next 10 years

BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
DAYTONA TIMES

Former Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey, chairman of the city’s Charter Review Commission (CRC), handed in recommendations for review on Wednesday night, right on schedule.

The CRC determined what changes, if any, should be made to the city charter to make it consistent with current law following a series of meetings held at City Hall and throughout the community.

The CRC also provides recommendations for amendments to the charter that the commission believes could enhance the integrity and performance of city government in its pursuit of the quality of life that citizens desire.

Every 10 years
“We started on Dec. 18 and today is June 18,” reflected Ritchey at the Daytona Beach city commission meeting on Wednesday.

“They did long hard work on behalf of this community,” he added, referencing the board members of the CRC.  “Most importantly, I’d like to thank the citizens of this community offering their thoughts and ideas.”

Daytona Beach’s charter, the governing document that outlines how the city operates, is required to be reviewed every 10 years by a committee made up of residents. City commissioners appointed members and alternates to serve on the CRC.

“Six months of your time, you gave up your time for your city and that does not go unnoticed or unappreciated,” Mayor Derrick Henry responded.

Suggested changes
“Although there were spirited debates over the merits of the many proposals, the remarkable civility and respect given to all participants sends a resounding message about the quality and character of our citizenship in Daytona Beach,” Ritchey added.

Notable suggested changes of the charter include:
Changing the Daytona Beach Planning Board from 11 members to seven members with at least one member from each commission zone.

Requiring the mayor to present an annual “State of the City” address in the month of November.

Prohibiting a member of the city commission from being appointed to city attorney within one year after serving on commission.

Making budget and capital program records available “as required by general law.” (State law requires that the budget be available on the Internet.)

‘Accomplished its goal’
Other recommendations including correcting typographical errors in the charter and deleting obsolete terms as well as using one term for continuity of specific subjects throughout the charter.

“Your commission has accomplished its goal of providing positive charter amendments that will fulfill the goal of continuous improvements in the governance of Daytona Beach while maintaining the flexibility city-elected officials and staff must have to provide for the ongoing needs of our citizens,” Ritchey stated.

Board lauded
“I was totally impressed with every meeting I attended, the comments from each one of them. It shows the dynamics of the City of Daytona. The members that we have, the residents, and it goes to show that Daytona is up and coming and has a very good future,” said a Daytona Beach resident at the Wednesday night meeting.

Following the submission of the report, two public hearings will be established for public input.

The first meeting will be held on July 2 followed by a July 16 meeting at City Hall. Upon approval, a referendum is held where amendments are presented to the electorate for final adoption.

The amendments will be placed on the ballot at the next general election on Nov. 4.

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