Under Florida’s Constitution, municipalities are corporations vested with broad governmental and proprietary powers. Each city has a charter pointing out its scope of services and detailing its elections.
The details of this are found in policies, administrative codes and ordinances. Florida since 1968 has recognized the need for cities to have Home Rule powers. This is included in the constitution (Article VIII, Section 2 (b) and ratified in 1973. This gives each city the flexibility to make its laws specifically to its own needs. This right means the city can adopt its laws so long as the law doesn’t conflict with state or federal law.
Cities in Florida are not “of ” the State, but “in” the State: an important distinction between municipal authority and other local governments. Cities were created for services and self-determination. Self-determination is the ability to make local decisions locally. Cities are citizen driven representative democracies with citizen engagement, citizen input and citizen leadership.
Florida’s Legislature has been active on the preemption front. Some critics, including this writer, say that many of the preemption efforts place financial gain above community and are driven by corporate efforts. Where you plant or can plant a tree will fall under this type of scrutiny. Such areas include vacation rentals, developers, writing rules for taking down trees, eliminate local CRAs and how local governments can spend their tax dollars. Everyone needs to make themselves aware of the battle going on between Cities and the State legislature.
The above was written and ran in our February 2022 issue. What if anything has changed?
Today, April 20, 2023, Home Rule continues to be endangered. You must act now or forever lose your rights to self-govern. We now have a minimum of 10 new bills working their way through the current legislature all concerning taking Home Rule away from our Cities and Counties.
All these bills will take our right to govern ourselves away and give them to the State. Call your local representatives and senators and tell them to vote NO!!! They have always voted for taking Home Rule away from us. Call now before you wake up one day and find you have no control over how your City or County is governed.
Talk to your local legislator, be it House or Senate.
Now is the time to express your feelings and perspective.
Representative Bob Rommel : 239.417.6200
Representative Lauren Melo : 239.417.6270
Senator Kathleen Passidomo : 239.417.6205