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City hopes for 25 percent turnout

Two amendments would change the charter's language about the city manager's duties.

By BRIDGET HALL GRUMET

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 12, 2001


INVERNESS -- With just one race and two charter amendments on Tuesday's ballot, city officials expect about a quarter of the 4,645 Inverness voters to make it to the polls at City Hall.

"We had a 25 percent turnout last time," Inverness City Clerk Marilyn Jordan said. "We're certainly hoping for at least that much or better."

The only contested race Tuesday is for Seat 2, where former council member Richard "Dick" Kaufman is running to regain his seat against Kenneth Chadwick.

Council member Jacquie Hepfer's term also expired this year, but because she is unopposed, she will sail through to her second term.

In addition, the ballot contains two charter amendments aimed at resolving contradictory language about the city manager's duties.

The first would change Section 5 of the charter to read that "the preparation of the annual budget shall be done at the direction of the City Manager."

Budget preparation already falls under the city manager's duties, as described in Section 3 of the charter. But the current language in Section 5 states that the budget will be "collected and compiled by the finance director for the city manager."

The first amendment would make it clear that the responsibility for the budget ultimately rests with the city manager, Jordan said.

The second amendment addresses a different part of Section 5, which currently states that the city manager may reorganize all departments except the city clerk, the city attorney and the police department.

The amendment would take "police department" out of that sentence, allowing the city manager to reorganize that department if the need arose. That change would make the section consistent with the city manager's duties described in Section 3, where the city manager is charged with supervising all departments except for the city clerk, Jordan said.

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