Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

January 22, 2014

Lakeland City Council considers revisions to city charter

LAKELAND — Lakeland City Council debated revisions to the city's charter Tuesday during a special called meeting.

With a draft of the new charter in front of them, council members discussed making changes to the draft before voting on the new charter Monday.

While the charter has required at least three members of City Council be present to officially hold a meeting, it would only require two be present if the charter changes are approved.

To meet a quorum, three City Council members would have to be present, along with either the mayor or mayor pro-tem. Currently, four city council members are needed to hold a quorum with no requirement for having the mayor or mayor pro-tem present.

The mayor retains the power of veto, with the council able to bring vetoed issues back at the following meeting.

While the new draft would have given power to the mayor over firing and hiring for five city positions, the council decided to leave hiring and firing to the discretion of the council, as it is in the original charter.

The draft also would have taken the ability to set fines away from the council and placed it with the municipal court, but the council decided to keep that decision with the council.

The council debated at length changing its ordinance rules from requiring two public readings of new city ordinances to only requiring one reading, with a public notice two weeks prior, but decided to keep the present ordinance rules in place.

The council also debated changing the current rules for mayor electoral races from requiring the winner to have 51 percent of the vote to the winner simply needing the most votes, but ultimately decided to keep the 51 percent rule.

Lakeland City Council will

officially vote on accepting

the charter revisions, 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, Lakeland

City Hall.

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