Voters in Gainesville will have the chance to vote early beginning on Oct. 19. Ballots in Gainesville will feature four city charter amendments and six county charter amendments. (Carolina Ilvento/WUFT)

What’s On Your Ballot? In Gainesville, Four City Charter Amendments

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On Monday, polls will open in Florida and registered voters will have the chance to vote for the next president of the United States, as well as to make choices in several local elections.

In Gainesville, voters will say “yes” or “no” to four amendments to the city charter and six Alachua County charter amendments — one of which led to a lawsuit against the county.

Keep reading for a breakdown of what city amendments will be on your ballot. 

First, what is the Charter Review Commission?

Established by the city of Gainesville in 2019, the Charter Review Commission proposes changes to the city charter.  The review commission holds public meetings for feedback on proposed changes before presenting them to the city commission. Once the city commission approves them, the proposed amendments will appear on a ballot for residents to vote on. 

Here are the four approved for the 2020 ballot:

Changing the Name of the Charter Officer “Clerk of the Commission” to “City Clerk”

  • Ordinance 191051 proposes changing the position title from “clerk of commission” to “city clerk.” The requirements of the job would remain the same — they would keep records along with other duties requested by the commission — just with a new title. 

Eliminating Restrictions on Construction of Paved Surfaces on City-Owned Land

  • This charter amendment asks voters if they want to get rid of the restrictions set forth by section 5.06 of the city charter. Section 5.06 prevents any private or public funds for the construction of paved roads on city-owned conservation land. 

Limiting Commission Authority to Dispose of Certain Utility Systems

  • Ordinance No. 191120 asks voters if they want to restrict the city commission’s ability to dispose of natural gases, telecommunications systems or wastewater without first adopting an ordinance and voting on it. 

Creating a Preamble to the Charter

  • The final city charter amendment asks voters if they want to add a preamble to the city charter. The preamble would appear before Article 1 of the charter. 

Read more of WUFT’s coverage of Florida Votes 2020.

About Alyssa Feliciano

Alyssa is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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