Charter Changes, Early Induction Cause Confusion
An ordinance allowing Dunedin's newly elected officials to swear in early was never added to the city charter, and despite some confusion, the city is moving forward with plans for a Nov. 19 special induction meeting.
Not even the mayor was sure when he would officially take his next term.
An ordinance that allows Dunedin's newly elected officials to swear in early during a special meeting was never added to the city charter, according to City Clerk Denise Schlegel, however, officials will go forward with an induction ceremony on Nov. 19.
Mayor Dave Eggers asked Schlegel for answers in an email on Monday.
"Could someone please clarify whether our intention to induct the new Commission on November 19th is being done 'in violation' of our Charter?" he wrote. " ... If there is an issue hopefully we can address it at the [special] Commission meeting on November 15th."
She responded in an email Tuesday:
"Ordinance 11-46 was adopted on December 15, 2011 which identified the date of the election and the change for the induction of the newly elected officials. During that time, the City Commission was also reviewing the other Charter Changes that would require to be codified upon the election results. A member of my staff was confused and thought it was included with the other Charter amendments and did not include it in the last codification request."
The City Charter dictates Dunedin's elected candidates assume their offices on the second meeting after an election, which would have been Dec. 6.
Last week, an official at the City Clerk's office shared with Dunedin Patch a copy of an ordinance passed June 21 that bumped the swearing-in ceremony to the second Monday after the election. As reported in Patch on Monday, Ordinance 12-25 states:
The candidates so elected shall assume their offices at a Special City Commission meeting on the second Monday following the election.
Dunedin's City Charter, which is available publicly on Municode.com, outlines the process for handing over a public seat to an elected official.
The candidates so elected shall assume their offices at the time of the second regular City Commission meeting following the election. (§ 3.04)
Officials are holding a special meeting on Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. to adopt a resolution declaring the certified results of the General Election and induct officials.
Eggers added a post script, indicating confusion over when the next vice mayor would be selected. The next vice mayor will be selected on Nov. 15 to serve through Nov. 21, 2013, according to Thursday's meeting agenda.
"Is that Charter driven as well or can we change to December 6th so that the new Commission can select the new Vice Mayor?"
Eggers' post script question was not acknowledged in Schlegel's email reply.
The special meeting is not found on the city's November calendar. The location is not listed on the city website.