After months of stalling on charter reform, commissioners created a charter review task force in March — and agreed to put any proposal supported by two-thirds of the task force members directly onto the ballot.
Four of the task force’s 16 recommendations met that threshold, including a controversial proposal to remove almost all commission input into the creation of new cities, and raising commissioners’ salaries to the county’s median income beginning in 2016.
But commissioners were not legally bound to accept even those recommendations — and on Tuesday, they made clear that they consider some of them flawed.
“At the end of the day, the buck stops with us,” said Bell, one of several commissioners who has filed revisions. “There are some very damaging items here.”
Other commissioners, however, said the board should not back away from its pledge to approve questions with strong task-force support.
“I don’t think it serves us well now to start poking holes into all the recommendations,” Bovo said. “It just lends itself to the same argument of the past — that the commission either stonewalled it, rejected it, tried to block it.”
Commissioners voted 7-6 to delay the vote. Commissioners Bell, Diaz, Edmonson, Martinez, Moss, Souto and Suarez voted in favor of the delay; Commissioners Barreiro, Bovo, Heyman, Jordan, Monestime and Sosa voted against.
They scheduled a special meeting for Aug. 23 to discuss all 16 recommendations, including those that did not receive approval from 14 of the 20 task force members. Those questions range from eliminating the requirement to notarize petition forms but requiring that recall petitions specify a reason for the recall, to restricting the mayor’s authority to veto decisions resolving collective bargaining impasses.
An amendment limiting commissioners to two four-year terms is already on the November ballot.