What Is the City Charter?
The City Charter is the legal document that defines the political powers of city government. The Charter defines the relationship between the Mayor, the City Council, the various departments of the city and the residents of St. Petersburg. You can read a current copy of the Charter here.
Why Is the City Charter Important to St. Petersburg?It is the Charter that protects our city's waterfront park system and prevents development of waterfront land unless the public votes in support of doing so through a referendum. The City Charter directs the city's strong mayor form of government, and determines how many Council Members we elect and how our Council Districts are divided. The Charter is, in essence, St. Petersburg's version of the U.S. Constitution.
What Is the Charter Review Commission?
The Charter Review Commission (CRC) is a body appointed by the City Council and the Mayor every 10 years. The eight Council Members and the Mayor each appoint one individual to the Commission. The CRC is given the responsibility of reviewing the City Charter and recommending any changes it deems necessary.
How Is the Charter Amended?
The CRC will gather recommendations from the Mayor, Members of City Council, city staff and citizens. The Commission will meet beginning in January, 2011 and will complete its review and submit a report to the citizens of St. Petersburg by July 31, 2011. Any amendments to the City Charter must be approved by voters. In its final report, the Charter Review Commission will provide any proposed amendments to the Charter including the final wording for the ballot.