Charter Amendment

Amendments to the Lake Wales Charter were approved by the City Commission and presented to the voters for approval in an election on Tuesday, April 5, 2011.
Group I Amendments - Correcting or Updating the Charter
Amendment Number
Approval Status
Title
Summary
1 (PDF)
Approved Effective Immediately
Updating Procedures For Filling Vacancies On the Commission
This amendment corrects outdated and complicated procedures to fill a vacancy that occurs because of resignation, illness, or other reasons: A vacancy on the commission will be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members. The interim commissioner will serve until the seat is filled in a regular election by the voters and the next elected commissioner takes office.
2 (PDF)
Approved Effective Immediately
Deleting Procedures For Initiative and Referendum
Procedures included in the charter for initiative and referendum elections will be deleted to streamline the charter. These procedures are included in Florida Statutes and the city’s Election Code and are unnecessary in the charter. 
3 (PDF)
Approved Effective Immediately
Correcting Charter Procedure to Designate an Acting City Manager
This amendment corrects the charter by eliminating an outdated procedure that no longer complies with Florida law and replacing it with language that reflects current practice: The commission is authorized to designate by resolution a city employee who will perform the City Manager’s duties during the City Manager’s temporary absence or disability.
4 (PDF)
Approved Effective Immediately
Correcting Charter Procedure Relating to Setting an Election Date
This is a correction to clean up the charter. Setting the city’s election date will be deleted from the charter. Instead, the charter will just refer to the Lake Wales Municipal Election Code, where the city’s election date will be established by ordinance as authorized by Florida law.
5 (PDF)
Approved Effective Immediately
Deleting Conflict With Florida Law For Canvass Of Election Returns
This amendment is necessary to clean up the charter. Outdated provisions that conflict with the Florida law governing the canvass of election returns will be deleted because Florida law acts to supersede conflicting local rules. 
6 (PDF)
Approved Effective Immediately
Granting Authority to Make Clerical Changes to Charter By Resolution
The city commission will be authorized to pass a resolution to make clerical changes to the charter in order to correct language that has become obsolete or inappropriate or does not conform to commonly accepted usage. This amendment applies only to minor corrections that will not alter the meaning of the charter. It will not apply to policy or other substantive changes which will still require approval by the voters.
Group II Amendments - Changes to Way That City Government Is Conducted
Amendment Number
Approval Status
Title
Summary
7 (PDF)
Approved Effective Immediately
Requiring at Least Three “Yes” Votes to Approve Any Agenda Item 
The “yes” vote of at least three commissioners will be required to approve any item needing a commission vote. Currently, a “yes” vote of at least three commissioners is required to approve an ordinance or resolution, but approval of other items requires only a majority of the commissioners present at the meeting. In other words, if two commissioners are absent from a meeting, an item could currently be approved by a 2-1 vote.
8 (PDF)
Approved Effective Immediately
Requiring at Least Four Votes to Change or Repeal an Ethics Ordinance
Florida law authorizes the city commission to adopt a local ethics ordinance that is more stringent than Florida law. If the commission chooses to adopt such an ordinance, it can only be revised or repealed by a super majority vote of the commission. With a 5-member commission, this means that a minimum of four “yes” votes is required.
9 (PDF)
Approved Effective April 2, 2013
Establishing Residence Requirements For Commission Districts 
Effective with the 2013 election, five commissioners will be elected from four geographical districts as equal as possible in population. Commissioners will fill four district seats and one city-wide “at-large” seat. This means that candidates for four seats must reside within a geographical district, and candidates for one seat may reside anywhere in the city. All candidates will be elected by all voters in the city, and each commissioner will represent all citizens equally. 
10 (PDF)
Approved Effective April 2, 2013
Establishing Seat 1 as the At-Large Seat
Candidates for election to seat one may reside anywhere within the city limits. Candidates for seats two through five will still be elected from geographical districts. All candidates will be elected by all the city’s voters. Even though residing in a given geographic district, all commissioners are charged to represent every citizen equally. (Adoption of this amendment requires voter approval of Amendment Number 9.)
11 (PDF)
Approved Effective April 2, 2013
Mayor Will Be Elected By Voters to at-large Seat For 4-Year Term
Effective with the 2013 election, the mayor will be elected by the entire city to the “at-large” seat for a four-year term as are the other commissioners. Any registered city voter is eligible to run for the position. A sitting commissioner deciding to run for mayor will be subject to the resign to run law, thereby creating a vacancy for that candidate’s unexpired commission term which will be filled as described in the amendment. 
12 (PDF)
Approved Effective April 2, 2013
Mayor Will Be Assigned a Leadership Role With Added Duties 
The mayor’s duties and responsibilities will be increased to include: making appointments to citizen boards with approval of the commission; serving as the liaison between city government and citizens, community organizations, etc.; presenting the annual state of the city message; promoting programs and matters important to the progress and well-being of the community; and other duties of a leadership nature in representing the city. (Adoption of this amendment requires voter approval of Amendment Number 11.) 
13 (PDF)
Not Approved
Mayor’s Salary Will Be Greater Than Other Commissioners
The mayor’s salary will be at least fifty percent higher than the salary of the other commissioners in order to compensate for additional duties and responsibilities. The mayor’s actual salary will be established by ordinance following a public hearing. (Adoption of this amendment requires voter approval of Amendments Number 11 and Number 12.) 
14 (PDF)
Not Approved
Eliminating a Public Hearing For Termination Of a City Manager
The city commission will be able to terminate a City Manager without the need for a public hearing on the matter.