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Charter Changes Spotlighted

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Jim-DeFede-600x450 Jim DeFede
Jim DeFede joined CBS4 News in January 2006, providing reg...
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MIAMI (CBS4) – To pay them or not to pay them, that is the question. Or at least that is the central question to the first charter amendment that Miami-Dade voters will have an opportunity to decide on May 24.

County commissioners currently receive a token salary of $6,000 a year, but if this question were to pass that salary would jump to more than $92,000.

The measure would also forbid commissioners from having any outside employment, and would establish a term limit of 12 years in office.

Critics say the term limit provision is a joke since none of the current commissioners would be affected until 2024.

Charter Amendment Number 2 would bar county commissioners from lobbying the county for two years after leaving office.

Once again, critics argue the measure doesn’t go far enough. They wanted a five year ban on lobbying.

Charter Amendment 3, would establish that a charter review task force would meet every four years. The task force would suggest future revisions to the charter.

If two-thirds of the task force agrees on an item, then it would automatically be placed on the next ballot for voters to either approve or reject.

Charter Amendment 4 would enshrine the office of the Inspector General in the charter, making it harder for future commissions to do away with the watchdog agency.

Charter Amendment 5 would do away with the county’s strong mayor form of government. Commissioners are hoping to take advantage of the anger and frustration voters felt at former Mayor Carlos Alvarez and do away with his position.

Critics argue this is nothing but a naked power grab by county commissioners

The final charter proposal would do away with the requirement that the folks gathering signatures for petitions and referendums provide sworn affidavits with every petition.

Early voting gets underway Monday.

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