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Council further discusses Charter Review Committee

By Staff | Aug 9, 2017

The City Council agreed to appoint seven members to the Charter Review Committee, as well as having two at large members and two ex officio members.

Councilman Jim Jennings offered an amendment to the resolution establishing a Charter Review Committee after researching what other cities have done. He said anybody that has sued the city in the past should not be recommended to serve on the committee.

“I think this is a good idea. This committee’s job is to look through our regulations and our charter and find out what it’s about and what works. And what is recommended for us to do. I think that’s what the job should be focused on. I think that this idea, that somebody who actually has had a lawsuit in the past, should not serve on this committee. I don’t know if that should be written into the rules, but I found that to be written in the rules at other places.” Jennings said.

Although Councilman Chauncey Goss agreed with Jennings 100 percent, he said he did not think it needs to be written into the rules. He said the council holds the discretion of voting on that matter.

“I just saw that we don’t have a list. I could have one of my best friends who I have known for years do something like that, but did not know,” Jennings said.

Goss said someone will have to do their due diligence at some point.

Councilman Jason Maughan objected the idea because codifying that, utilizing their constitutional rights against the city, should not make them a banned person.

“It would be something in my own mind that I would say I’m not voting for this lad because he came after us,” he said, adding that there may be people who have come forward and were correct with suing the city.

Mayor Kevin Ruane echoed his fellow councilmen saying that they should all use their own discretion.

The amendment failed without a second from the council.

The intent of the resolution discussed by council last Tuesday was to set the number of members that would make up the Charter Review Committee.

Ruane said they had some preliminary discussions of each council member appointing one member to the committee.

“I think we all agree right now seven members, two alternates,” he said.

Maughan offered another amendment to the resolution, which he has brought up at past meetings. The amendment included a third alternate who would be an original “founding father” city council member, who would participate in the discussions as a nonvoting member.

“If three of the members, for some reason stop serving, I don’t want the third alternate to actually have a vote,” Ruane said.

As a reference, City Manager Judie Zimomra said they have used an ex officio as a nonvoting member.

Paul Tritaik, Sanibel resident, said as far as he knows there are two surviving members of the original council, Porter Goss and Charles LeBuff. He recommended the council invites both of them as the ex officio members.

The final motion was to offer the invitation to both of the surviving council members, as well as having seven committee members and two at large.

At the next meeting, Ruane said he would like to have a discussion of how they will get through the selection process, as well as the time frame in which the committee will meet.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 1, the city had received 15 applications for the Charter Review Committee.

Those interested in becoming a committee member have to be a full-time Sanibel resident. Deadline to submit an application is noon on Tuesday, Aug. 25.