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Citizens' Initiative Process -- Pinellas Countywide Referendum

A switch to a mix of single-member and at-large districts brought about this measure to update the county charter.

By EDIE GROSS

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 1, 2000


All the numbers in this ballot question make it a bit confusing to read, but it's basically just a housecleaning item brought on by the County Commission's expansion from five to seven members.

When residents collect signatures to have a county-related question placed on the ballot, it's known as a citizens' initiative.

When there were only five at-large commission districts, the county charter required that no more than 30 percent of the signatures on the petition drive come from any one district. That way, there would be countywide input.

Changing the commission districts to four single-member ones and three at-large ones requires a change in that formula.

Now, it is mathematically impossible to have no more than 30 percent of a petition drive come from any one at-large district because there are only three of them (30 percent multiplied by three at-large districts is only 90 percent).

So the amendment proposes the following:

No more than 40 percent of the petitioners can come from any one at-large district. And no more than 30 percent of them can come from any one single-member district.

ON THE BALLOT

County voters will vote yes or no on this referendum:

Pinellas County charter amendment modifying restrictions on citizens' initiative process

Shall "Charter Initiative" Section be amended to change current restriction that no more than 30% of petitioners shall reside in any one commission district to a restriction that no more than 40% of petitioners shall reside in any one at-large district and no more than 30% of petitioners shall reside in any one single-member district, thus creating consistency with the new three at-large/four single-member district plan?

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