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Longboat Key Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2010 7 years ago

Siekmann wants charter changes, commission pay

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Commissioner Robert Siekmann wants a charter review committee to evaluate commissioner compensation, terms and term limits.

At the Town Commission’s Thursday, April 15 regular workshop, Siekmann told his fellow commissioners that the Legislature is discussing a 12-year term limit for all state, county and municipal elected officials.

“If we watch what’s going on in Tallahassee, legislators might make a ruling that has an impact on us,” Siekmann said. “Let’s adapt to what the state is doing and consider the length of a term.”

Siekmann suggested that running for a commission term every two years is counterproductive.

“A commissioner on this Key should run for a three-year or four-year term,” said Siekmann, who noted that the commission appoints people to serve three-year terms on its boards.

“We are appointing people who last longer than we do,” Siekmann said.

The commissioner also said commissioner pay needs to be addressed.

“We are one of only three towns in this state that doesn’t pay its commissioners,” Siekmann said. “That’s an issue that needs to be addressed again.”

Siekmann also urged for a clear statement in the town charter that mandates that a balanced budget be brought forward to the commission each year.

The rest of the commission, however, agreed not to move forward with a charter review committee until the Legislature makes a decision that might impact term limits for the town.

In October 2007, the commission ignored a charter review committee’s recommendation that would have altered term limits and considered commissioner compensation.

That committee, which included Hal Lenobel (prior to his current election to the commission), made a recommendation to amend the terms of office from two years to three years and to retain term limits of three consecutive terms, allowing for nine consecutive years in office.

Commissioners currently can only hold office for six consecutive years.

The commission also ignored a wording change in 2007 that would have allowed commissioners to consider commissioner compensation.

The majority of the commission Thursday still did not seem in favor of the changes.

“I’m completely opposed to the suggestions offered,” Mayor George Spoll said.

Contact Kurt Schulteis at [email protected].

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