HIGH SPRINGS – It will soon be the end of the election trail for the four High Springs City Commission candidates. The candidates will face off on Tuesday for two High Springs City Commission seats. In addition to the election, six amendments to the City charter will also be on the ballot.
Linda Clark Gestrin and Bob Barnas are running against the incumbents, Mayor Larry Travis and Vice Mayor Byran Williams, for their seats.
While it will not affect this election, the commission is putting to vote an ordinance requiring commission candidates to run for specific seats. At this time, High Springs commission candidates run for a general seat. The individual with the most votes receives the seat with the longest term.
Currently, the City Charter prohibits city commissioners from becoming employed by the City until a year after their term expires. An amendment will be on the ballot disqualifying commissioners from working as contractual employees for the same time period.
The city manager’s duties could be further clarified by an amendment to be put to vote, including giving the individual the power to sign contracts for the City.
Also on the ballot is an amendment adding a preamble to the City Charter, expressing the purpose of the municipal government to serve the governed and not the governing. An additional amendment, if passed, will require the city commission to review the City’s Charter every eight years.
This means the charter would have to be reviewed in March 2016. Travis explained at the Aug. 25 commission meeting that under the proposed amendment, the City is still permitted to review the charter at any time.
“The commission is trying to be proactive,” he said, “to do some things with our charter that are more in line with where we are today.”
Also on the ballot will be an amendment allowing citizens to initiate petitions to propose City ordinances. Under the amendment, citizens gathering 50 electors of the city can bring a petition to the commission for consideration.
Citizens can vote on Nov. 8 at the High Springs Civic Center. The poll will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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