By: Sharon Aron Baron
The Charter Review Committee is looking for public input on changes to the Coral Springs City Charter that could affect term limits for both the mayor and commissioners as well as potentially increasing their salaries.
Last March, the city commission appointed 15 residents to the Charter Review Committee, a volunteer post consisting of residents approved by the commission who do not serve any other committees. Their job is to modernize and improve the Charter which is reviewed once every ten years.
One of the committees recommendations would be to take the compensation of the mayor and commissioners out of the Charter. Carlos Verney, Charter Review Committee Vice Chair suggests that the public considers this recommendation. “We felt strongly that compensation should be taken out of the charter. I think we’re [Coral Springs] below average in salary compared to other cities. With the amount of meetings and events they attend, it was decided the salary should be higher.”
Changing the term limits for the mayor is also a consideration that the committee wants the public’s opinion on as well. Currently, the mayor serves only a two year term; the committee is recommending that the mayor serves four years.
“We looked at the mayor as another commissioner, and asked why does the mayor have a two year term and the commissioners have four? The changes allow for more stability,” said Verney.
Here are some of the recommendations to the Charter:
Now: Elected Officials swear or affirm that they will protect and defend the laws of the United States and Coral Springs
Recommendation: Add State of Florida in addition to United States and Coral Springs
Filing Fees/Waiver by Petition
Now: 5% of elected salary ($1,076 for Mayor and $861 for Commissioner) OR 5% of registered voter signatures
Recommendation: Flat fee of $500 OR 2% of registered voter signatures
Now: City Commission shall evaluate need for an Internal Auditor each year
Recommendation: City Commission shall evaluate need for an Internal Auditor annually if no Internal Auditor is in place
Term of Mayor
Now: Two (2) years
Recommendation: Four (4) years – same as Commissioners
Term of City Commissioners
Now: Eight (8) consecutive years
Recommendation: Eight (8) consecutive years if serving as either Mayor or Commissioner only; Twelve (12) consecutive years if serving as either Mayor THEN Commissioner or Commissioner THEN Mayor
Now: The Mayor earns $21,518 and Commissioners earn $17,214 annually. Compensation Amounts in Charter and increased annually based on Consumer Price Index
Additional adjustment through referendum
Recommendation: Remove Compensation Amounts from Charter
Compensation may be adjusted by Commission through Ordinance
May not exceed average of cities with more than 50,000 in Broward
May appoint compensation committee
On Tuesday, September 24, the Committee will present their recommendations to the public at 6 p.m. at the Northwest Regional Library. The public is encouraged to attend and take part in this process.
All recommendations by the Charter Review Committee will be presented to the City Commission in Ordinance form for consideration on October 23 at 5 p.m. in the West Wing Conference Room at City Hall.