Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Hillsborough County Mayor Question Continues

In 2006, I questioned if the county mayor petition could pass legal challenges. The answer is a resounding no.

The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an appeal from the group that had sought to ask Hillsborough voters if they'd like to create an elected county mayor.

Lower courts had ruled that the question was flawed in knocking it off this year's ballot. With the Supreme Court's refusal to hear an apeal, backers will have to rewrite the question and proposed charter change and collect signatures from registered voters again if they hope to get it on the 2010 ballot.

The Florida Supreme courts prior ruling dictate that ballot language be clear and precise. WMNF summed up the ballot language confusion.

The ballot question was originally in two parts:

1. Should there be a county mayor.
2. Should the mayor have veto power.

The latter part passed. Former Hillsborough County Commission Jan Platt noted people will be voting to give veto power to a mayor that doesn't exist. Platt's other argument is county officials are an extention of the state. The county mayor will have no power over the sheriff or the property appraiser. Is Mary Ann Stiles going to past those powers to the mayor with another ballot question?

I hate the county mayor idea and I don't see that changing.

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