Home Rule local voices making local choices…a message from your publisher

Reg Buxton Publisher

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 pre-emption 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.

Talk to your local legislator, be it House or the 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

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