City Commissioners Discuss City Charter Amendment Process, Salary Increase

City Commissioners Discuss City Charter Amendment Process, Salary Increase

The City Commissioners discussed implementing a city charter amendment process at their February 12 meeting. Currently, the City of Tallahassee Charter does not have a set process for charter amendment or periodic review.

Also during the discussion, the issue of city commissioner salaries was addressed. A majority of city commissioners voted to look at increasing their salaries to the level of county commissioners, which would be an increase from approximately $39,000 to $80,000.

Commissioner Jeremy Matlow made the motion to request an agenda item outlining the process of bringing City salaries in line with County salaries.

The motion passed 3-2, with Mayor Dailey and Commissioner Curtis Richardson in dissent.

Charter Process

“There is not a required process, but there are a variety of means available,” said City Treasurer-Clerk James Cooke.

If the City implements an amendment process, it would need to comply with guidelines in the Florida Statutes.

“Municipal charter amendments are addressed in Sections 166.021 and 166.031 of the Florida Statutes,” staff reports. “By law, charter amendments can be initiated either by a petition signed by 10% of registered voters or by City Commission action via an ordinance.”

In Tallahassee, the most recent change to the Charter, which did not require voter approval, was the Commission’s 2019 decision to implement gender-neutral language in the City’s Charter and ordinances.

The last change to require voter approval was adding new ethics provisions in November 2014.

The meeting agenda lists a proposed timeline for Charter review during 2021 and 2022. Scheduled items include appointing a Charter Review committee, drafting the amendment, and putting the amendment on the ballot for the citizens of Tallahassee to vote on.

Mayor John Dailey expressed support for a Charter review and the creation of a Charter review committee. He noted that the last full charter review was ten years ago.

However, Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox said she does not support moving forward with a full charter review. She said the City is “busier doing the work that the community really, really needs.”

“I don’t think now is the time for us to open it up and go forward with it and be able to do a really good job,” she said.

No action was taken on the city charter amendment process.

19 Responses to "City Commissioners Discuss City Charter Amendment Process, Salary Increase"

  1. ABOUT THE PAY RAISE: Asking for such a HUGE Raise at once, you seem to think you will be doing this Job as a Career. Try this, ALL Newly Elected City Commissioners start at $40,000 and Every Year that City Employee’s receive a “Cost Of Living” Raise, YOU get one TOO. The Catch is, TERM LIMITS. At most, Two Terms Only, and you are out, then the New Commissioner starts at $40,000.

  2. You were having the County Pay for one of the Community Centers because you couldn’t afford it and when the Contract ran out and the County chose NOT to renew it, you all got angry talking about maybe having to close it down be cause you didn’t have the Funds to keep it open and yet, you have Money for a HUGE Pay Raise that is not deserving? WTH

  3. $39,000 to $80,000.

    Wow… that is quite a substantive change. I give them an A+ for having the stones to admit their desire to try it, and an F- for the lack of awareness of economic realities. I wonder what the Commission’s reaction would be to a request to double the salaries of all City employees, or the Mayor’s for that matter?

    And tread carefully and watch closely with respect to a proposal by any elected municipal or county body that seeks to change a City or County Charter. Citizens must pay very close attention to the wording of any proposed changes. Most elected officials will seek to minimize citizen control and input, whenever given a chance to do so. As a rule-of-thumb, citizens should demand a public referendum for any and all major decisions/changes made to the governance structure of their city or county… the operative word being “their”, as in “our”… as in “of, by, and for”

  4. So this is a $41K increase x 5 = $205K increase performance year; coincidentally Cynthia Barber’s salary (unadjusted). So now we know how to find this. Oh – and why is this coming to light now; is it because kickback Governance and Company can’t pay these folks anymore?

  5. $39,000 to $80,000….oh geeez, here we go again! Should we go ahead and just have the FBI set up a permanent office at the City Hall?

  6. The subject matter of this article is annoying to Snidley.
    It’s properly written and profesionally presented by Lexie and Steve. So thank you for that.
    So lets just have fun ragging on the photo!!! That will make me feel better!!!!
    Hey theres Curtis on the left flashing that happy smile of a man who enjoys getting paid for the sweet flavor of Rocky’s butt and his other job of looking out for clouds over the commission!!!
    What else do we notice here???
    OMG there it is…someone photo shopped fatty leftist Mayor Daily by stretching his image to make his kneck and head about 4 feet tall in a vain and lame attempt to make Daily look thinner.
    HA HA…too funny!!!
    There now…thank you…I feel a lot better!!!!

  7. The Commission’s 2019 decision to implement gender-neutral language in the City’s Charter and ordinances ………………….. How is that even possible to do?

  8. If you are going to appoint a Charter Review committee, try appointing people that are already on Staff. I work for the State and that’s what happens here. If a Department has a special Project, they form a Sub Committee from the people in that Department to work on it. They still get their regular work done as well as the special project and no extra money is spent. The best part is, they already know what is needed for the special project and are already up to speed ready to work on it instead of handing it off to people that will have to start from ground zero.

  9. Excellent article!

    Perhaps they should create six new positions in law enforcement at a starting pay of what they are suggesting their salary increase should be.

    Also, consider the search for a new City manager at a lower starting salary who is more qualified through education and experience?

    Start charging The Usual Suspects for their advertising at the airport. .

    Discuss with the county consolidating Animal Control and the excessive pandering in the roadways.

    1. Hope, if Yordan & Pittman are not getting charged for those airport ads, that would be a huge story.
      And any commissar that votes to more than double their own salary should be the subject of a recall campaign. I’d support an annual raise pegged to the national COLA (about 1-2% the last few years), but nothing more.

      1. If you set Term Limits to just TWO Terms, you wont need to worry about the Pay Raise. They do one or two Terms KNOWING what the Pay is and they are gone. Demand Term Limits.

  10. Throwing tax payers money on unfertile seat warmers! Absolutely NOT! Crumb snatchers at taxpayers expense! Self servicing Tammany Hall cronies! Vote of NO CONFIDENCE!

  11. Bringing City Commisar pay up to County Commisar pay….
    Amend City Charter….
    Say NO to Consolidation. No need to spread COT cancer over the whole County.
    In the 3 elections on this issue since the 70’s Im aware of, citizens voted it down every time.
    So, we are handed a policy of ‘Functional Consolidation’. Citizens don’t want it, so it gets forced. City/County Building Departments together now in same building. Emergency Dispatch ( hows that working out for you? often don’t answer the phone) Those of us on Talquin Electric don’t want your hidden tax of COT Utilites. Think it’s an accident the former Chief of Police is now Sheriff, or former County Commisar is now Mayor?
    Say NO to Consolidation!

    1. My bad, its FOUR votes since 1971 that the citizens have EVERY time declined.
      Not satisfied with your pie? Why are you going to take my slice?

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