In September 1983, Hillsborough adopted Home Rule Charter, but it wasn’t until 1985 that Charter government went into effect. Two years later, the first Charter Review Board was put into place. Last night, Mary Helen Farris, managing attorney to the Charter Review Board, provided an in-depth historical review on the County Charter.
A charter is a constitution for Hillsborough County that allows our county to place in our charter—we can change our structure of government to alter it from what state law has for noncharter counties. And we can basically put in our charter issues of governance and other matters, and tailor it to fit the county.
Farris says that anything within the charter can be changed as long as it is consistent with general law. For instance, Farris says that in the past, hiring an internal performance auditor was proposed and approved by the Charter Review Board. Farris also says that other structures can be changed, for instance the county mayor or even the number of districts throughout the county.
Every five years, each commissioner appoints two people to the Charter Review Board. They have decided to meet twice a month, and under the charter, they can convene for up to a year through February of 2011.
The Charter Review Board will meet again next Monday. Any changes to the Hillsborough County Home Rule Charter would go before voters for approval in either November 2010 or November 2012.
WMNF News - Tampa - Rob Piccirillo