By BRYAN BOUKARI
GAINESVILLE – Following a last-minute hearing, a local judge has issued an order postponing a High Springs debt ceiling ordinance that would have immediately gone into effect if approved by voters on Nov. 6.
Judge Stanley Griffis ruled Wednesday that although the measure should remain on the ballot, the amendment will not go in effect until the court further orders.
High Springs resident Ross Ambrose, represented by Attorney Linda Rice Chapman, filed a lawsuit seeking emergency injunctive relief to stop the measure from appearing on the ballot, but Judge Griffis decided the best course of action would be to allow citizens to vote on the measure and determine later whether the measure was improper.
Judge Griffis granted part of the City Commission’s motion to dismiss, saying that although the ordinance was properly noticed to the public, there is an issue as to whether the Commission was required to re-notice the ordinance when they enacted a $2 million dollar increase in the debt ceiling. That increase was double the advertised $1 million limit, to which the commission later turned after the city attorney was notified of the possible violation of Florida law.
Therefore, the City Commission must now file an answer to the complaint, and the issue will go to trial.
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