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Ordinance Allows Elected Candidates to Swear In Early

Dunedin's newly elected candidates will swear in on Nov. 19, weeks earlier than the City Charter dictates, because of an ordinance passed in June to accomodate a scheduling conflict.

While City Charter dictates Dunedin's elected candidates assume office the second meeting after an election, a recently passed ordinance swears them in sooner.

The City Charter dictates Dunedin's elected candidates assume their offices on the second meeting after an election. An ordinance city commissioners passed in June, however, overrides that. It bumps the swearing-in ceremony to the second Monday after the election.

Dunedin's City Charter, which is kept up-to-date on Municode.com, outlines the process for handing over a public seat to an elected official. 

It states:

The candidates so elected shall assume their offices at the time of the second regular City Commission meeting following the election. (§ 3.04)

According to the Charter language, Dunedin's freshly elected candidates — Mayor Dave Eggers, Commissioner-elect Heather Gracy, both winners in Tuesday's General Election, and Commissioner Julie Scales, who automatically retains her seat because she was unopposed — would be sworn in, each for four-year terms, on Dec. 6.

However, during the summer, city officials foresaw a schedule conflict. An important city workshop was scheduled between the first and second meeting following the election.

According to City Clerk Denise Schlegel, the Charter was changed without going to referendum, which was permissible through an ordinance. She said the new ordinance was not sent to Municode, because her staffers felt the next updates would not be approved on Municode until after the election.

So officials passed an ordinance on June 21 with language specific to the Nov. 6, 2012, election. It outlined that winners to be sworn in on the second Monday after the election so the new commission could field the regularly scheduled city workshop.

The ordinance on file states:

The candidates so elected shall assume their offices at a Special City Commission meeting on the second Monday following the election. (Ord. 12-25)

Officials are holding a special meeting at City Hall on Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. to adopt a resolution declaring the certified results of the General Election and swear in elected officials Eggers, Gracy and Scales.

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