City Calls for Volunteers to Serve on Charter Review Committee

Image of Mayor Bell

Mayor Rick Bell

Fruitland Park, Fla. — Fruitland Park commissioners established a charter review committee last week that will look into the city’s governing document, solicit input from residents and recommend changes, if necessary.

Mayor Chris Bell called for volunteers to serve on the committee and said he wants to make sure to alert every household in the city.

“We’ll advertise in the water bills that we have openings, let people come in and actually fill out an application,” Bell said.

At stake are the very basic ways the city governs, taxes and betters itself.

City attorney Scott Gerken told commissioners the committee will have to report its recommendations within six months if amendments are to appear on the ballot next November.

City commissioners will ultimately decide which recommendations to put on the ballot and city voters will choose up or down.

The vote was unanimous, and all five commissioners are expecting a thorough review once the committee is chosen.

Commissioner Sharon Kelly said a charter review is long overdue.

“Several things in our current charter are just outmoded,” Kelly said earlier. “It hasn’t been reviewed in more than a decade and maybe longer, and I know commissioners are seriously considering the value of establishing single-member districts,” she said.

But the key focus will undoubtedly be the thorniest one: dividing the city into single-member districts.

The change is seen as a way to protect the city from massive changes in local government when the Villages of Fruitland Park gets under way, doubling the city’s population in just 12 months.

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