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Question and Answer – Wetlands Ordinance Modification

Question and Answer – Wetlands Ordinance Modification

I received the following question from a citizen seeking clarification of the proposed ordinance.  I welcome the opportunity to share the truth!

Question: If the ordinance is adopted and causes law suits to be brought against the County, I was told it could be changed with a unanimous vote of all 5 Commissioners.  Is this true?

Answer: That is a great question, unfortunately, it is not completely true, because it does not tell the whole truth.  That statement was included on the petitions that were signed to place the ordinance on the ballot.  It also appears in the resolution that placed the referendum on the ballot, as follows:

“Sec. 32.016. Ordinance Modification or Repeal. This chapter may only be modified or repealed by a referendum of the voters in Wakulla County, as provided for in the Wakulla County Charter, or by a unanimous vote of all five Wakulla County Commissioners at a legally called Wakulla County Commission meeting.”

 Here’s the problem.  The Wakulla County Charter 6.1.2 states, “The Board of County Commissioners shall not amend or repeal an ordinance adopted by initiative prior to the next succeeding general election, without the approval of a majority of the electors voting at a referendum called for that purpose.”

Therefore, if the ordinance needs to be changed for any reason, the Board of County Commissioner will have no authority to change it for 2 years, until the 2016 General Election.  Prior to this date, it can only be changed by a special referendum by the voters of Wakulla County.  

The Wakulla County Charter, section 6.1 also states, The electors of Wakulla County shall have the right to initiate county ordinances in order to establish new legislation that is not in conflict with the State Constitution, general law or this Charter…”

So, language in the proposed ordinance will be in conflict with the County Charter.  This is yet another reason why the proposed ordinance is bad for Wakulla County.  It will bring risk and financial liability to our tax payers and our hands will be tied to correct it.  The best way to avoid this risk is to vote NO and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

The risk I have described above does not currently exist in Wakulla County.  We eliminated this risk when we repealed the Wakulla Wetlands Ordinance.  A yes vote on Referendum A will return this risk to Wakulla County Tax Payers.  If a Wakulla Wetlands Ordinance is adopted, it can only be changed by a unanimous vote of all County Commissions, after 2 years, or by another referendum of Wakulla County Voters.

A NO vote on Referendum A will eliminate this risk!

You now know the truth. Your friends and family deserve to know the truth also. Please share with everyone you know, by Facebook, email, and personal conversations. Also leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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2 Responses to “Question and Answer – Wetlands Ordinance Modification”

  1. HELEN CLEAVELAND says:

    We own a lot (7) in the Sanctuary at She’ll Point. It faces a man made pond that is brackish, but not tidal. If the referendum should pass, would this already platted lot be affected by the setbacks in the referendum? Would I be likely to get a waiver if I wanted to build? Is it possible that the lot could become useless?

    • ralph says:

      Ms. Cleaveland,

      I will look into this and see how the proposed ordinance will affect your lot and follow up with you. Thank you for checking. It’s important that we know the consequences before we cast a vote.

      Ralph

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