Commissioners approve election changes

Commissioners approve election changes
Holmes Beach commissioners consider ballot questions recommended by the city’s Charter Review Commission during a June 11 meeting. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – City commissioners had a full agenda when they met June 11.

The first thing commissioners tackled was the second and final reading of an ordinance altering the city’s election procedures. They voted unanimously to pass the ordinance which changes how candidates are validated to run for office. Now, rather than applying with the city clerk’s office and turning in paperwork to City Clerk Stacey Johnston, candidates will have to submit their candidate paperwork to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office. While Johnston will still serve as the Holmes Beach election official, she will no longer qualify candidates.

Commissioners also took a first vote on the ballot questions recommended by members of the city’s elected Charter Review Commission. The questions passed their first reading with a unanimous vote. Commissioners said they were considering either a workshop for residents to help them better understand the ballot language or sending out a letter explaining the ballot questions in more detail.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to approve the extension of two moratoriums currently in place.

A moratorium preventing permit-to-permit construction on non-FEMA compliant homes, those built below the base flood elevation and including ground-level homes, will now end on Sept. 11.

While the moratorium doesn’t prevent applying for a permit to improve a structure, it does require homeowners to adhere to the FEMA 50 percent rule which allows for improvements up to 50 percent of the property’s assessed value. Once the 50 percent is reached, homeowners must wait to apply for another permit. City officials are considering a one year waiting period from receipt of a certificate of completion. The moratorium does not apply to involuntary damage to a home that needs to be repaired, such as damage from a storm.

The second moratorium extension approved applies to the alternative transportation share moratorium which prevents business owners from coming to the city and setting up bicycle, scooter and other docked and dockless sharing services. The mobility services moratorium is now set to expire on Sept. 30. Commissioners are considering implementing a carefully controlled pilot program with a single docked bicycle share service with the docks placed on private property.

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