CLEARWATER - The Clearwater City Council appointed 12 citizens to the city's Charter Review Committee during last week's public meeting. In addition, they agreed on a set of issues that the committee should evaluate for potential charter changes.
Appointed to the committee were Bill Blackwood, Frank Dame, Liz Drayer, Candace Gardner, Joseph Harra, Joshua Magdison, Joyce Martin, Kathy Milam, Alex Plisko, Jay Polglaze, Bill Wallace and Howard Warshauer.
The issues that were suggested for review are:
The most controversial issue, however, was a suggestion by Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard that a Strong Mayor form of government be considered. Hibbard not only had proposed it, but also expressed an interest in running for that office.
Hibbard explained his outlook on Strong Mayor to his colleagues during last Thursday's Council meeting; "I still feel that this city needs to move towards a Strong Mayor form of government, but that is not a reflection on Mr. Horne," he said.
"There are pros and cons to both forms of government, and that is something that I want the Charter Review Committee to look at. The reason I think the Strong Mayor has benefits is that there is an elected official administering on a daily basis that's accountable to the citizens."
"Ultimately, I don't decide this," Hibbard said, "it's going to come down to the Charter Review Committee and the citizens of the City of Clearwater, and I have faith in both of those groups."
Clearwater's Charter Review Committee is expected to meet from February through October. Proposed changes to the Charter must first be approved by the City Council before being submitted to the voters during the March 2008 municipal election.
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