LISTEN: Gardens Councilman Talks Potential Charter Changes

posted by Joel Malkin - 

New information about a recent charter review in Palm Beach Gardens. 

A committee, chosen by the city council, has made a few recommendations on changes, including an increase in term limits that would have city council members serving a maximum of 3 consecutive 3 year terms.  Right now, they can serve 2 terms. 

City Council member Carl Woods would be in favor of that change.

"I do not like the idea of a council flip-flopping every three to four to six years.  I don't think it's good for the citizens.  I don't think it's the way a city should be run."

Woods says last week's meeting was not a vote in any way.

"It wasn't a first reading.  It wasn't a vote.  It was just so 5 of us could direct the city attorney to put these issues into legal writing so we can then see it.  Then it will go to first reading."

The committee also recommended allowing a term-limited council member to run four a fourth term, if he or she sits out for three years.

"Where the 3 year "sit-out" came from, I don't know but I'll continue to have conversations on that also.  As many conversations that I've had last week, prior to the council (meeting) and they flat out say that they want 3-3 terms (three terms at three years each) and after that, they don't want to see me again."

Woods says he would be on board with the three terms and going to a plurality rule when it comes to calling races...majority wins, rather than the current 50 percent, plus one vote that's currently in the charter.  That was another recommendation made by the committee.

Carl was elected last year.  We asked him if he plans to run for a second term.

"I want to make sure that the community feels that I did my job in the first term.  And if the voters feel that we (the town council) have a 90 percent approval rate, I want to make sure that my constituents are happy with what I've done."

The council hopes to bring the charter changes to a first reading by November, and later decide whether to put them to the voters within the city next March.

Photo: City of Palm Beach Gardens

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