LARGO – One member of Largo’s Charter Review Committee has presented a very thoughtful idea as the group’s work goes to the City Commission next week for final tinkering.
Fred Smith thinks it might be a good idea that any changes proposed in the city charter are not rushed to referendum.
Smith outlined his views in a memo to the committee chairman, Arnold Johnson, and his fellow members. While undoubtedly a part of the record of the committee’s proceedings, Johnson has never mentioned or made the memo public.
The committee’s 14 weeks of work will go to the City Commission which can do one of several things.
Now any referendum is scheduled for next March’s election.
Holding off eight months would give time, Smith wrote, to present arguments for and against suggested proposals.
He also suggests that changes in the Charter should be phrased to avoid an “all or nothing” verdict.
On the premise that the committee’s work will eventually reach the referendum stage, Smith says in his memo, “In order to make certain that the necessary changes will be incorporated into the charter we need to phrase and present them so that they are non-controversial.”
Then he adds, “the changes that are controversial need to be presented to the commission and the electorate in a fashion that allows them to make a choice.”
Smith’s memo is the only manifestation of thoughtful thinking to emanate from the committee which has been dominated so far by a couple of voices (Smith’s voice not among them) that contribute very little.
Smith said that when any changes reach the referendum stage their language and effect should be clearly spelled out.
He is clearly in favor for a considerable length of time for the suggested changes to be publicly debated in order that the voters be fully informed.
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