Everyone knows the United States has a set of rules it has to follow called the Constitution, the supreme law of the land that outlines the structure and the powers of our government, as well as our rights as citizens.
City governments have similar documents called charters. The city charter sets out basic rules like how your local elected officials get elected, how long they serve, and what powers the government has.
Like the U.S. Constitution, a city charter can be amended. In Doral, the City Council appoints a five-person citizen commission every five years to review the charter and suggest changes. These proposed amendments have to go to the city’s voters, who have the final say.
For the second time in the city’s 10-year history, Doral will consider changing its governing document this summer. This year’s Charter Review Commission has proposed 10 amendments. Voters will be able to vote yes or no on each amendment during the Aug. 26 primary.
To cast a vote in this election, you must register by July 28.
We’ll review five of the amendments here and the other five in July.“Create independent city office of charter enforcement.” “Revised process for hiring and removing charter officials.
If this amendment is approved, a search committee made up of residents would be required to recommend two to four names for any charter official vacancy. The amendment also sets minimum education and experience requirements for each position.
For the city manager job — Doral is on its fourth manager in two years — the candidate would have to be 30 years old or older, have a minimum of a combination of a bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration or other related fields and three years’ public administration experience or 10 years’ experience as a city manager or assistant city manager.
A new procedure would also be established for removing a charter official. In order for a council member to propose removing a charter official, he or she would have to put the proposal on a meeting agenda and provide documents with reasons for the proposal that would help the rest of the council make their decision.“Allowing group of council member candidates on ballot for multiple seats; eliminate runoff elections; setting terms.”
If approved, the city would no longer hold runoff elections. All candidates would be placed on one group on the ballot. In Doral, two council seats are up for election every two years. Voters would be able to pick any two candidates for City Council. The candidates with the highest number of votes and the second-highest number of votes would be elected. A random drawing would break any ties.
In a year with a mayoral race, the mayoral candidate with the most votes wins.
Currently, the City Council has to elect a vice mayor at the first council meeting after each regular election. If this amendment is approved, the vice mayor title would rotate among council members.