ARTICLES I THROUGH IX OF PROPOSED TOWN CHARTER. Revised on 1-17-2021

Rough AMENDED Changes to the Town of White Springs Town Charter

January 15, 2021

PREAMBLE 1

No Preamble on old Charter

SUGGESTED TEXT FOR PREAMBLE:

PREAMBLE

We the people of the town of White Springs, Florida, under the constitution and laws of the state of Florida in order to secure the benefits of local self-government and to provide for an honest and accountable weak mayor form of government do hereby adopt this charter and confer upon the Town the following powers, subject to the following restrictions, and prescribed by the following procedures and governmental structure. By this action, we secure the benefits of home rule and affirm the values of representative democracy, professional management, strong political leadership, citizen participation, diversity and inclusiveness and regional cooperation.

AND/OR

We the people of White Springs with our geographical and cultural diversity. . . .?

AND/OR

Treasuring the many wonders of our unique environment and realizing that the power and duty to govern and protect this region is inherent in its diverse people, we the citizens of White Springs . . .?

 

Article I. Powers

Section 1.01 Powers.

The Town of White Springs, a Florida Municipal Corporation, shall have the governmental, corporate and proprietary powers to enable it to conduct municipal government, perform municipal functions and render municipal services and may exercise any power for municipal purposes except when expressly prohibited by law.

Section 1.02 Construction.

The specific mention of particular powers in the Charter shall not be construed as limiting in any way the general power stated in this Charter.

Section 1.03 Intergovernmental Relations.

The Town of White Springs may exercise any of its powers jointly or in cooperation, by interlocal agreement, contract or otherwise, with any Federal, State or local government.

Article II. Legislative.

Section 2.01 Compositions, Eligibility, Requirements.

Composition. There shall be a Town Council composed of five (5) members elected at large by the qualified voters of the Town.

Eligibility. In order to be eligible to qualify for the office of Council Member, the individual must meet the following criteria:

Candidates for office shall have been duly registered voters in Hamilton County and must physically reside in the Town of White Springs for twelve (12) months immediately preceding qualifying.

Any person who has been currently deprived of his and her’s civil rights through conviction for committing a crime involving a felony or moral turpitude shall not be qualified to hold office.

Requirement for Filing as Candidate. Candidates for any municipal office in the Town of White Springs shall file with the Town Clerk a petition for this candidacy, signed by at least fifteen qualified electors of the Town. The candidate must also file a sworn affidavit declaring that he is a US citizen and a candidate and stating the following information ;

(a) Name and Address

(b) Age

(c) Sex

(d) Length of residency in the State of Florida; and

(e) Length of residency in the Town of White Springs, Florida.

The petition shall be filed no later than noon on the third Tuesday in March of the calendar year in which the election will be held unless otherwise provided by law.

Any candidate who has filed the petition together with such other documents and fees as may be required shall be entitled to have his and her name printed on the official ballot.

The Town Clerk shall file with the Supervisor of Elections, Hamilton County, Florida, no later than 5:00 PM. on the first Friday after the close of qualifying, the names of all candidates and the offices for which they have filed.

All Petitions must contain all information found on the Petition form, filed by the citizen candidate,including date of filling out the petitions. Petitions not completely filled out not be valid.

Section 2.02 Term of Office.

Term of office.

Two (2) Council members shall be elected on odd-numbered years for a two-year term. Three (3) Council members shall be elected on even-numbered years for a two-year term.

Election of Council Member. The candidate for Council Member during odd-numbered years who polls the highest number of votes for office during the Town election shall be declared the winner thereof.

During the even-numbered years, the three (3) candidates who polled the three (3) highest number of votes for office as the result of the Town election shall be declared as the winners thereof.

In the event of a Special Election to fill two (2) or more vacated Council seats, the persons with the highest vote totals will be awarded the Council seat with the longest available terms.  Members elected thereby will serve out the remaining terms of the seat awarded.(Added from Section V – Town Elections)

Revision per 2019 Election:  Election of Council Member.  The candidate for Council Member who receives a majority of votes cast for a specific seat shall be declared the winner thereof and elected to such seat.  In the event no candidate receives a majority of votes, a run-off election between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes for that seat shall be held as provided for in Section 5.06 (a)

Mayor: The Town Council shall nominate and elect by majority vote a Mayor from among its members. The nomination and election shall take place at the first organizational meeting after the regular April election. The process shall repeat if the Mayor office is vacated permanently. All Council members shall be eligible for this office.

Vice-Mayor: The Town Council shall nominate and elect by majority vote a Vice-Mayor from among its members. The nomination and election shall take place at the first organizational meeting after the regular April election. The process shall repeat if the Vice-Mayor office is vacated permanently. All Council members shall be eligible for this office.

The Vice-Mayor shall act as Mayor during the absence of the Mayor. In the event the Mayor is temporarily disabled, the Vice-Mayor shall assume the full powers and duties as Mayor until the Mayor returns, in which event no vacancy will be deemed to exist.

Section 2.03 Vacancies; Forfeiture of Office; Filling of Vacancies and Extraordinary Vacancies

Vacancies.

A Town Council member shall forfeit his or her’s office if he or she Intentionally misrepresented facts which were used to determine his or her eligibility for election to office. Such acts include and are limited to:

Knowing and Willfully violates any express prohibition of this Charter. Missteps or unintentionally breaking a rule in this Charter is not grounds for forfeiture.

If he or she has been convicted of a crime involving felony or moral turpitude including possession with intent to distribute any drug,.

Fails to attend three (3) Consecutive regular meetings of the council without the Council’s prior approval. Regular meetings include all meetings so declared by the Agendas and may include two or more meetings a month. Emergency meetings or workshops are not considered regular meetings.

Moves his or her residence from the Town of White Springs

For malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office. These charges must be considered thoughtfully and without prejudice by other Council members. The legal definitions of malfeasance, misfeasance and/or nonfeasance shall apply,

When the Town Council determines by majority vote that there is reasonable cause to believe that any Council Member is disabled or violates any portion of this Charter so as to be unable to perform his or her duties, such member may be compelled to submit to medical examination by a physician of his or her choice, who shall render a written evaluation of such member to the Town Council. The physician’s evaluation must indicate, with reasonable medical certainty, whether or not the Council Member will be able to perform his duties for a period in excess of three (3) months. A Council Member evaluated to be unable to perform his or her duties shall be declared to be disabled, and forfeit his or her office as herein provided, without his or her voluntary consent.

The Council, upon majority vote , shall notify the affected Council Member in writing of its intent to declare the seat forfeited for any of the reasons referenced above.

The affected Council Member shall have fourteen (14) days from the receipt of notice to provide the Clerk with a written request for a hearing before the Council for the purpose of providing evidence in opposition to the Council’s intended action. If the evidence presented is legally insufficient to overcome the identified reasons for forfeiture, the Council may declare the seat forfeited and vacant in which case the decision may be appealed to the circuit court of Hamilton County.

Filling of Vacancies. A vacancy on the Town Council shall be filled in the following ways:

If the election is within 45 days, no action will be taken by the Town Council. The vacated seat will not be filled before the regularly scheduled Town Election according to the provisions of Section 2.02 and Article IV of the Town Charter.

If the election is more than 45 days away, the council will nominate qualified Town residents and by majority vote of the remaining Council members choose one of the nominees to serve the remainder of the term of the vacated seat.

Extraordinary Vacancies. In the event that all members of the Town Council are removed by death, disability, or forfeiture of office, the Governor shall appoint an interim Town Council that shall call a special election to fill all Town Council positions. Should two (2) or more vacancies occur simultaneously on the Town Council, the remaining members shall, within fifteen (15) days, request a special meeting to call a special election to fill the vacant Council positions which must be done so that the 45 day rule such is not violated The election shall be held in the manner prescribed by the laws of the State of Florida and the provisions of Article IV of this Charter.

Section 2.04 Investigation.

The Council, by majority vote, and showing good cause, may make investigation into the affairs of the Town and the conduct of any Town Department, Office or Agency and for this purpose may hold hearings, take testimony, and require the production of evidence. Citizen complaints must be answered by this rule. These and all other investigations shall comply with State and Federal Statutes.

Section 2.05 Procedures.

Meetings. The Town Council shall meet at least once each month or as outlined and established by resolution adopted by the Town Council. Special meetings  may be called by the Mayor or any two (2) Council members upon twenty-four (24) hours notice to the other Council members. Emergency meetings may be called by the Mayor or any two (2) Council members for consideration of bona fide emergencies upon notice to the other Council Members.

Organizational Meeting.

On the first Thursday after the election, or any date established by resolution of the Town of White Springs, Florida, the new Council Members shall be sworn into office and an organizational meeting shall be conducted for the purpose of acquainting the new members with procedures and transferring authority from the outgoing members. A Mayor and Vice-Mayor must be chosen at this organization meeting.

Rules and Minutes.

Roberts Rules Of Order shall govern the procedure of meetings. Each regular,  special or emergency Council meeting shall be electronically recorded and minutes of its proceedings filed by the Town Clerk. These tapes and minutes shall be a public record in accordance with Florida Statutes.

Voting.

Except when roll call is requested, voting shall be by the ayes and nays and shall be recorded in the minutes. A majority of the Council shall constitute a quorum, but smaller number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in the manner and subject to the penalties prescribed by the rules of the council. No action of the council, except as otherwise provided in the preceding sentence and in the Sections 2.06 and 2.07, shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of the majority of all members of the Council.

Section 2.06 Powers and Duties of the Mayor, Vice Mayor and Council.

 

(a) Mayor.

Presiding Officer. The Mayor shall be the presiding officer of the Town Council and shall conduct all meetings in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order. The Mayor shall vote on all matters as a regular member of the council. If following Roberts Rules of Order Compliance is questioned by any party, including citizens or member of the audience, the Council will seek the advice of the town’s legal representative for a ruling.

Official Head. The Mayor shall be recognized as the official head of the Town by the courts; by the Governor for the exercise of military law and for all ceremonial services.

 

(b) Vice Mayor

The Vice Mayor must at all times be prepared to be given the title and serve as Acting Mayor, in the event of the mayor’s absence.  These duties and functions include but are not limited to presiding over the Town Council at meetings and workshops in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.  The Vice Mayor shall vote on all matters as a regular member of the council..

As acting Mayor, the Vice Mayor shall be recognized as the official head of the Town in the Mayor’s absence by the courts, by the Governor for the exercise of military law and for all ceremonial service.

 

(b) Council.

Vested Powers. Any powers of the Town shall be vested in the Council, except as otherwise prohibited by law, including but not limited to those set forth in this charter.

Financial Powers. The Council shall authorize the issuance of bonds; authorize borrowing; establish sinking funds, levy taxes for debt payments and undertake any necessary legal financing deemed appropriate for the welfare of the Town; and to fix and regulate salaries of officers and employees of the Town and shall do such by procedures outlined in ordinances.

Restrictive Funds shall include, but are not limited to,  Grants, Bank Lines of Credit or funds restricted by Statute, along with any designated contribution required thereof by the Town. 

These Restricted Funds shall be held in separate designated Restrictive Accounts set up for the sole purpose of separating such funds from the General and Enterprise general ledgers.

Each  Restrictive fund shall be utilized for the sole purpose of the specific compliance of the designated terms entered into by the Town and third parties through such written contracts or agreements or as may be required by Statute.   

The Town may endeavor to borrow necessary funds from such Restrictive Accounts, if approved by a majority vote of the council and if such funds are replaced within four (4) months or by the end of the fiscal year, whichever is first.

 

Property Rights. The Council shall have the power to own, purchase, lease receive and hold real and personal property, both within and beyond the limits of the Town to be used for any public purpose. Council may sell, lease or dispose of such property for the benefit of the Town at negotiated private or public sale the terms of which shall be made public or at Council’s option, by highest and best bid provided any such bid may be rejected; or in any other manner prescribed by law.

Eminent Domain. The Council shall have the power to regulate, improve, alter, sell, close, vacate, discontinue, extend and open streets, lanes, alleys, parks, avenues, waterways; or any other real property in which the Town has an interest; to cause decayed buildings, units and abandoned properties to be removed; to construct and operate wharves, docks, drains, sewers, water supply systems and public parks; to charge reasonable assessment to those parties benefited by invoking these powers; and to exercise the right of eminent domain as prescribed by law.

Regulatory Powers. The Council shall have the power to grade, curb, dredge, or otherwise improve streets, alleys, sidewalks, parks, canals, waterways and other public property or private property the improvement of which would result in a substantial public benefit; as necessary for the safety and in the best interest of the public. To assess the costs for said improvements in the manner prescribed by law, against the property owners who are specially benefited; to clear weeds and underbrush, rubbish, debris, trash, and other unsightly and unsanitary matter from private or public real estate and water ways in the limits of the Town, to impose a lien on private property for the expenses of any and all such maintenance.

Ordinances. The Council shall have the power to create, establish and ordain such ordinances, by-laws and rules of order as they may deem necessary; to prescribe penalties for the violation of the same; to define, prevent or abate nuisances and disorderly conduct to prevent the running at large of animals and to impound animals; and to regulate the speed of all kinds of vehicles and vessels subject to the Town’s jurisdiction under law. Any ordinance not enforced after 180 days will be deemed void.

Utilities. The Council shall have the power to provide for the establishment of and to make contracts for public utilities and services for the Town. To provide for the operation and maintenance of utilities and services; to grant municipal franchises to telegraph, telephone, gas, electric, trash collection, signal transmission cables or any other necessary or desirable public service; to issue occupational licenses to business, occupations and professions operating within the Town limits; to fix the fee on said licenses by ordinance.

Health. The Council shall have the power to create and enforce ordinances establishing quarantine and health regulations for the Town which are consistent with or more restrictive than the rules and regulations of the State of Florida and Hamilton County; to compel property owners, occupants or users to connect to the Town sewers, utilities and services at the property owner’s expense; and to establish and collect impact fees for the purpose of offsetting the impact of new users of public facilities.

Emergency Preparedness. The Council shall have the power to organize and maintain a disaster preparedness, and civil disaster control advisory group compromised of volunteer citizens; to provide qualified consultants for the inspection of all public utilities and projects as necessary; to institute new departments, boards and committees and to do or regulate any other matter or thing to promote the safety, health, welfare, and prosperity of the Town.

Public Property. The Council shall the power to provide for the enclosing, improving and regulating public grounds and of building, roads, sidewalks, alleys, avenues, driveways, landings, bridges, sewers, curbing, trenches, ditches, culverts, canals, streams, waterways, fences and other structures and to fix the grade and width of streets, sidewalks and all thoroughfares in connection with the development or division of all real property within the Town including subdivisions, Planned Unit Development or alteration, amendment or modification thereof, and to license and regulate vehicles for hire for the carriage of persons.

Section 2.07 Ordinances in General.

Form. Every proposed ordinance shall be introduced in writing and in the form required for final adoption . No ordinance shall contain more than one (1) subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title. The enacting clause shall be, “Be it ordained by the Town Council of..White Springs.Any ordinance which repeals or amends an existing ordinance or part of the Town code shall set out in full the ordinance, sections, or subsections to be repealed or amended. The ordinance amendment shall identify the ordinance being amended by reference to its original ordinance number or by reference to its assigned sections and chapter number as set forth in the Code of Ordinance of the Town of White Springs.

Procedure. An ordinance may be introduced at first reading by title only, unless a full reading is required by majority vote of the Council, at any regular or special meeting of the Council. Prior to introduction of an ordinance a copy must  be presented to the Citizens for thier knowledge,

And Ordinance not enforced for 180 consecutive days shall become void by the Charter

The Town Clerk shall distribute a copy to the Town Manager and each Council Member, and shall file a reasonable number of copies in the office of the Town Clerk and such other public places as the Council may designate, and prior to the second reading shall publish the title of the ordinance together with a notice setting out the time and place for a Council public hearing thereon in one or more newspapers of general circulation as defined in Chapter 50 of the Florida Statutes.

The public hearing approving or vacating an ordinance for non enforcement shall follow the publication of notice by at least ten (10) days and may be held separately or in connection with a regular or special Council meeting and may be continued to a time certain. All persons interested shall have an opportunity to be heard. After the public hearings, the Council may adopt or reject the ordinance after a second reading by the title only, with or without amendments. Upon adoption, the Clerk and Mayor shall execute the ordinance and the Clerk shall authenticate and record the ordinance in a properly indexed ordinance book kept at Town Hall. The ordinance may also be printed and inserted into the Town’s Code of Ordinances. Neither recording nor printing and publication shall be prerequisite to the validity or effectiveness of the ordinance.

Effective date. Except as otherwise provided in the Charter, every adopted ordinance shall become effective immediately upon adoption by the Town Council.

Section 2.08 Action Requiring an Ordinance.

In addition to other acts required by law or by specific provision of this Charter to be done by ordinance, the Town Council shall act by ordinance to:

Adopt or amend an administrative code, establish a rule or regulation for violation of which a fine or other penalty is imposed;

Provide for a fine or other penalty or establish a rule or regulation for violation of which a fine or other penalty is imposed;

Grant, rescind, renew or extend a franchise;

Regulate the rate charged by a public utility for its services;

Authorize the borrowing of money including but not limited to the issuance of bonds; Borrowing from restrictive accounts should be strongly discouraged and only done at the concurrence of a majority of the Council members. If funds are borrowed, the funds taten out of such restrictive shall be returned to the Restrictive Account.within four (4) months or by the end of the fiscal year, whichever is first

Control or regulate waterways, docks, seawalls, and any parks or public property within the Town or under the Town’s jurisdiction;

Regulate health and sanitation;

Amend or repeal any ordinance previously adopted, except as provided in Sections 2.07 and 9.01 with respect to repeal of ordinances reconsidered under the provisions of referendum.

Acts other than those referred to in this section may be done either by ordinance or resolution, unless otherwise required by law.

Section 2.09 Emergency Ordinances.

To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, public safety, property or the public peace, the Council may adopt one (1) or more emergency ordinances, but such ordinances may not levy taxes, grant, renew or extend a franchise, regulate the rate charged by any public utility for its services or annex land into the Town. An emergency ordinance shall be introduced in the form and manner prescribed for ordinances generally, except that it shall be plainly designated as an emergency ordinance and shall contain, after the enacting clause, a declaration stating that an emergency exists and describing it in clear and specific terms. An emergency ordinance shall be adopted after one reading by Title only, with or without amendment, or reflected at the meeting at which it is introduced. A majority vote of all members shall be required for adoption. After its adoption the ordinance shall be published and printed as prescribed for other adopted ordinances. It shall become effective upon adopting or at such later time as it may specify. Any emergency ordinance shall be repealed or extended by adoption of an ordinance in the manner prescribed by law within fourteen (14) days after the adoption of the emergency ordinance. Failure to adopt a permanent ordinance, extend the original emergency ordinance, or repeal it, shall terminate the emergency ordinance.

Section 2.10 Codes of Technical Regulations.

The Council may adopt any standard code of technical regulations by reference thereto in an adopting ordinance. The procedure and requirements governing such an adopting ordinance shall be prescribed for ordinance generally except that:

 

The requirements of Section 2.07 for distribution shall be construed to include making copies of the code of technical regulations as well as of the adopting ordinance available for inspection by the public and any Council Member.

 

A copy of each code of technical regulations as well as the adopting ordinance shall be authenticated by the Town Clerk but need not be recorded or published as part of the Town Code of Ordinances.

Section 2.11 Authentication and Recording: Codification; Printing

Codification. Within one (1) year after adoption of this Charter and at least every Ten (10) years, thereafter, the Council shall provide for the preparation of a general codification of all Town ordinances and resolutions having the force and effect of law. The general codification shall be published promptly, together with the Charter and any amendments thereto, provisions of the Constitution, other laws of the State of Florida, Codes of Technical Regulations, and other rules and regulations as the Council may specify. This compilation shall be known and cited officially as the White Springs Town Code.

Copies of this code shall be furnished to Town officers, placed in libraries and public offices for free public reference and made available for purchase by the public. Following publication, and at all times thereafter, the ordinances, resolutions, and Charter amendments shall be printed in substantially the same style as the Code currently in effect and shall be suitable in form for integration therein.

The Council shall make such further arrangements as it deems desirable with respect to reproduction and distribution of any current changes in or additions to the provisions of the Constitution and other laws of the State of Florida, or the Codes of Technical Regulations and other rules and regulations included in the code.

Article III Town Manager

Section 3.01 Appointment; Qualifications; Compensation..

The Town Council by a majority vote of its total membership shall appoint a Town Manager with the Town Manager and Town Council entering into a mutually acceptable written agreement for the services of the proposed Town Manager. This agreement may specify the term, conditions and benefits of the appointment. The Town Manager shall be appointed solely on the basis of executive and administrative qualifications. The proposed manager need not be a resident of the Town or the State of Florida at the time of appointment and may reside outside the Town while in office with the approval of the Council.

Under the Florida Civil Rights Act, the Town may not make inquiries of or impose qualifications on prospective employees based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status unless there is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception (FL Stat.

The Town Council is responsible for interviewing and employment screenings including but not limited to  checking backgrounds and subsequently the consideration of hiring the most qualified, educated and experienced applicant from those who have applied for the Town Manager position. 

The applicant chosen must be willing and able to accept the terms and conditions of such employment including the salary and benefits which may be offered, including the completion of the Town’s employment application and submission to a drug test.  Further the applicant must be willing to enter into a written employment agreement and follow the conditions of the personnel manual of the Town.

Florida Law protects the confidentiality of test results and requires retesting if the test results are used to deny an employment opportunity and review of the decision to deny employment is based on the results of the false analysis

Florida has enacted laws regarding discrimination in employment in the following areas. .Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), sickle Cell trait and Genetic testing.

Furthermore the Town Council members may not hire on the basis of nepotism as defined by statute nor cronyism.

Section 3.02 Powers and Duties of the Town Manager.

Duties

Once selected  to to the position the new town manager will have the following duties:

(a)  The Town Manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the Town, responsible to the Council for the administration of all Town affairs placed in the Manager’s charge by or under this Charter. The Town Manager shall:

(b)  Appoint and, when he deems it necessary for the good of the Town, suspend or remove the Town employees and appointed administrative officers provided for by or under this Charter, except as otherwise provided by law, this Charter or personnel rules adopted pursuant to this Charter.

(c)  He or she may authorize any administrative officers who are subject to his or her direction and supervision to exercise these powers with respect to subordinates in that officer’s department, office or agency.

(d)  Direct and supervise the administration of all departments, offices and agencies of the Town, except otherwise provided by this Charter or by law;

(e)  Attend all Town Council meetings. The Town Manager shall have the right to take part in the discussion but shall not be a voting member of the council

(f)  See that all the laws, provisions of this Charter and acts of the Town Council, subject to enforcement by the Town Manager or by officers subject to the Manager’s direction and supervision, are faithfully executed;

(g)  Prepare and submit the annual budget and capital program to the Town Council;

(h)  Submit to the Town Council and make available to the public a complete report on the finances and administrative activities of the Town as of the end of each fiscal year;

(i)  Make such other reports as the Town Council may require concerning the operation of Town departments, offices, and agencies subject to the Town Manager’s direction and supervision;

(j) Keep the Town Council fully advised as to the financial condition and future needs of the Town by providing a financial and budget progress report at each regular Council Meeting.

(k) Make recommendations to the Town Council concerning the affairs of the Town and all agenda items;

(l)  Provide staff support services for the Mayor and Council members.

(m)  Maintain the highest level of personal moral and corporate behavior.

Shall Be the purchasing agent of the Town, for the purchase of all supplies and equipment in accordance with the approved Town Budget, and shall also conduct all sales of surplus Town owned, seized or forfeited personal property which the Town Council may authorize to be sold as having become unnecessary or unfit to the Town’s use. 

Any competitive solicitation(s) relating to the sale of salvaged property  or contractual services sought shall be made available to all vendors including the time and date for the receipt of bids, proposals or replies and of the public opening and must include all  contractual terms and conditions applicable to the procurement including the criteria to be used in determining acceptability and relative merit of the bid proposal or reply.

These restrictions, limitations or criteria on this authority shall be established by ordinance, including but not limited to bidding requirements. Ethical rules (Florida Statute 112.313) shall apply to all purchasing and surplus sales.

(n) Make such recommendations to the Council as the Manager deems necessary or expedient in the interest of the Town relating to the adoption of ordinances and resolutions. Provided, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the Town Council in the exercise of its legislative functions and powers from calling into consultation the boards or departments and other officers and employees of the Town wherever, in the judgment of the Council, it may be necessary.

(o) Neither the Council nor any Council Member shall interfere with the conduct of any department head, officer or an employee in the discharge of his or her duties. 

Neither the council, nor any of its committees or members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to, or his or her removal from, office by the city manager or any of his or her subordinates. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the council and its members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the manager and neither the council nor any committee or member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the city manager, either publicly or privately: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the council, while in open session, from fully and freely discussing with the city manager anything pertaining to appointments and removals of city officers and employees and city affairs. There will be no violating the city charter by any officer interfering with the responsibilities of the city manager.

(p)  Perform such other duties as are specified in this Charter or may be required by the Town Council.

Section 3.03 Absence or Disability of Town Manager.

By letter filed with the Town Clerk, the Town Manager shall designate a Town officer to exercise the powers and perform the duties of Town Manager during the Manager’s temporary absence or disability. The Town Council may revoke such designation at any time and appoint another officer of the Town to serve until the Town Manager returns. If the Town Manager resigns the Council will meet in Emergency session and appoint a new INTERIM Town Manager, WHETHER OR NOT the Interim Town manager is a current employee.

Section 3.04 Removal .

The Town Manager may be suspended by a resolution approved by the majority of the total membership of the Town Council which shall set forth the reasons for suspension and proposed removal. A copy of such resolution shall be served immediately up on the Town Manager by registered mail. The Town Manager shall have fifteen (15) days after in which to reply thereto in writing, and upon request, shall be afforded a public hearing, which shall be convened by the Town Council not earlier than ten (10) days no later than fifteen (15) days after such hearing is requested. After the public hearing, if one is requested, and after full consideration, the Town Council by a three-fifths vote of its total membership may adopt a final resolution of removal. The Town Manager shall continue to receive full salary until the effective date of a final resolution of removal.

Section 3.05 Supervision of Departments 

Except as otherwise provided in the Charter or by general law, the Town Manger shall be responsible for the supervision and direction of all departments, agencies or officers of the Town. All departments, offices and agencies under the direction and supervision of the Manager shall be administered by an officer appointed by and subject to the direction and supervision of the Manager.

With the consent of the Town Council, the Manager may serve as the head of one (1) or more departments, offices or agencies or may appoint one (1) person as the head of two (2) or more of them.

Section 3.06  Personnel System.

All appointments and promotions of Town officers except those specifically exempted by ordinance shall be made solely on the basis of merit and fitness demonstrated by examination or other evidence of competence and to this end, the Council shall, by resolution, establish personnel procedures and policies. Appointment to any Department head  position is the prerogative of the town Council.

Section 3.07 Administrative Code.

The town Manager shall develop and keep current an Administrative code for purpose of implementing ordinances passed by the Town Council. All Ordinance adoptions and removals shall be conducted according to this Administrative Code.

 

Section IV Administrative

Departments

(Previously Section V)

 

Section 4.01 Administrative Department, Town Clerk.

There shall be an office of the Town Clerk who shall serve on a full time basis. The powers and duties of the Town Clerk shall be:

(a) To give notice of Council meetings to its members and the public;

(b) To attend all Council meetings and keep electronic recordings and  written minutes of the proceedings which shall be public record;

(c) To be the Custodian of all records, documents and papers of the Town; The Custodian shall be the official Public Records’ Custodian for the Town,s Custodian for the town.

(d) To be the Custodian of the official seal of the Town and be authorized to affix the seal to such instruments of writing as is necessary;

(e) To attest all documents, contracts and agreements to which the Town is a party as required by law.

(f) To administer oaths as necessary;

(g) To arrange for and supervise all Town elections;

(h) To prepare the agenda for all Town Council meetings;

(i) To keep properly indexed books of all ordinances and resolutions passed by the Town Council. The Clerk shall also keep the Town Charter updated and enter all Charter amendments;

(j) To be responsible for the records retention program in accordance with State law;

(k) To keep an accurate account of all moneys due to the Town, all receipts and disbursements of the Town, all assets and liabilities and all appropriations made by the Town Council; furnish the Town manager at any time, such report, data and information as may be necessary to fully inform the Town Council as to the financial affairs of the Town. Keep regular books of accounts in which shall be entered all indebtedness of the Town and which shall at all times show the financial condition of the Town;

(l) Be responsible for the supervision of all personnel of the Town Clerk and Accounting Department.

(m) Be responsible for recommending to the Town Manager for approval by the own Council, the establishment of additional full time departments within the Town Clerk’s office to accommodate administrative and/or accounting overload caused by growth, expansion, and/or increased state and federal reporting requirements.

(n) To perform such other duties as may be required by the Town Manager, and Town Council as well as other duties required by ordinances of the Town of White Springs and the laws of the State of Florida

 Section 4.02 Professionals, Independent Contractors and Consultants

 (a)  Town Attorney.  There shall be a Town Attorney, and as many assistants as the Town Council may, from time to time, deem necessary.  The town Attorney and assistants may be part-time or full-time or full-time and shall serve under and at the pleasure of the Town Council.

 

(b) Consultants/ Independent Contractors.  The Town Council may retain independent contractors/ consultants as the Council deems necessary, and as may be required by general law or governmental rule and regulations and when so required in compliance with the Florida Statute 287.055.  Said independent contractors/ consultants shall serve under and at the pleasure of the Town Council.

2017 Florida Statutes Title XIX PUBLIC BUSINESS  Chapter 287 PROCUREMENT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY AND SERVICES  SECTION 055 RELATES TO CONSULTANTS BEING professional architectural, engineering, landscape architectural, or surveying and mapping services; definitions; procedures; contingent fees prohibited; penalties.SHORT TITLE.—This section shall be known as the “Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act.” 

(c) For each proposed project, the Town shall evaluate current statements of qualifications and performance data on file, together with those that may be submitted by other firms regarding the proposed project, and shall conduct discussions with, and may require public presentations by, no fewer than three firms regarding their qualifications, approach to the project, and ability to furnish the required services.  

  

(d) An independent contractor/consultant shall:

  (I)  maintains a separate business with his or her own work facility, truck, equipment, materials, or similar accommodations

 (II)  holds or has applied for a federal employer identification number, unless the independent contractor is a sole proprietor who is not required to obtain a federal employer identification number under state or federal regulations;

(III)  receives compensation for services rendered or work performed and such compensation is paid to a business rather than to an individual;

 (iv) The Town is not responsible for any of the independent contractor’s/ consultant Employment Taxes.  A Self-employed independent contractor / consultant is solely responsible for FICA tax and Social Security retirement benefits for its employees, if any. These taxes are reported on Schedule SE with the Consultant’s income tax returns. Self-employed persons such as Consultants and Independent contractors can deduct the employer-equivalent portion of self-employment tax in figuring their adjusted gross income (AGI).

 

Furthermore, the Town shall secure evidence of the insurance provided the independent Contractor/consultant  including but not limited to, General Liability including Contractual Liability, Professional Liability (if required) and workers compensation insurance by providing the Town of White Springs with a Certificate of Insurance with respect to the project or job entered into by contract or agreement.

 

(V)  holds one or more bank accounts in the name of the business entity for purposes of paying business expenses or other expenses related to services rendered or work performed for compensation

(VI)  performs work or is able to perform work for any entity in addition to or besides the employer at his or her own election without the necessity of completing an employment application or process; or

 

(VII)  receives compensation for work or services rendered on a competitive-bid basis or completion of a task or a set of tasks as defined by a contractual agreement, unless such contractual agreement expressly states that an employment relationship exists

 

(e) If four of the criteria listed above. do not exist, an individual may still be presumed to be an independent contractor and not an employee based on full consideration of the nature of the individual situation with regard to satisfying any of the following conditions: (i.e. a financial or forensic analyst)

 

(I) The independent contractor/consultant performs or agrees to perform specific services or work for a specific amount of money and controls the means of performing the services or work.

 

(II) The independent contractor/ consultant incurs the principal expenses related to the service or work that he or she performs or agrees to perform.

 

(III) The independent contractor/ consultant is responsible for the satisfactory completion of the work or services that he or she performs or agrees to perform.

 

 (IV) The independent contractor/ consultant receives compensation for work or services performed for a commission or on a per-job basis and not on any other basis.

 

(f) Florida’s Right of Control Test shall determine whether an Independent Contractor / Consultant is an Employee or Not:

  • The extent of the right of control by the employer over the details of the work;
  • Whether the person employed is engaged in a distinct occupation or business; 
  • The kind of occupation involved, and whether the work is done under the direction of the employer or by a specialist without supervision;
  • The skill required in the particular occupation; Whether the employer
  • The length of time the person is employed,
  • Whether the work is a part of the regular business of the employer. .

     (e)  An Independent Contractor / consultant shall NOT perform the following duties OR be allowed benefits solely given to employees by the Town of White Springs L

(i) be allowed to act as a supervisor or supervise the employees of the Town nor should the town supervise his or her assistants

(ii) be allowed to handle the finances appertaining to the Town unless with the Town’s directions and under written contract or agreement of the duties to be performed.

(iii)  be allowed to sign checks or other documents consisting of but not limited to applications, finance agreements or grants.

(iv)  be provided employee handbooks or town policy manuals.

(v)   be required to  perform the work based upon the hours the Town may dictate but must establish their or its own working hours

(vii)  be provided or accept ongoing instructions or training on how to accomplish the work or work full time for the Town.

(viii)  be provided a Town e-mail or be given a title with the Town.

(ix)    be provided pay on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.  Independent contractors/consultants must be required to submit invoices and to be paid at the same time as other outside vendors are paid.

(x)  be provided work after the original project is completed unless a new agreement is signed, no provide independent contractors/ consultants with w-2 forms.

 

Section 4.03 Utility Department

There shall be a Utility Department responsible for the maintenance and the upkeep of the Town’s water system, sewer system, and waste removal service, and all other similar utilities and services provided by the Town. The department head shall be responsible for the daily operation of this department, the performance of its employees and the fiscal requirements of the department. The Utility Department shall be an enterprise department and be financially separate from the Town General Fund but be governed under the same provisions as the other Town departments.

Section 4.04 Public Works Department

The Past Two administrations have used “Roads and Streets” rather than “Public Works” in an attempt to cover up the use of Restrictive Local Option Fuel Taxes

There shall be a Public Works Department responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all lands, streets, buildings, walkways, roadways,  equipment, docks, wharves and adjacent waterways within the Town and in those areas designated as parks and/or recreation areas within the Town or operated by the Town outside of the Town limits. The department head shall be responsible for the daily operation of this department, the performance of its employees, the fiscal requirements of the department, and shall provide the Town with clean, well groomed and landscaped streets as well as functional parks and recreational facilities.

 

Section 4.05 Police Department

The Town of White Springs, Florida has the responsibility for providing law enforcement services, whether by and through a White Springs Police Department or by and through an appropriate contractual relationship with a third party law enforcement agency. The Town Council shall have the sole discretion in determining the manner for providing law enforcement services for the safety and well-being of the citizens of White Springs, Florida. Nothing herein shall prevent the White Springs Police Department from assisting or being assisted by neighboring agencies as the need arises.

The Department shall be supervised by the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police shall be a state certified police officer having recent and continuous law enforcement and supervisory experience on a full time basis.

The Police Chief shall ensure that all personnel are properly trained, educated, equipped, and controlled to the highest possible level. The Police Chief shall be responsible for the daily operation of the Police Department, the performance of its employees and the fiscal requirements of the department. The Police Chief shall be responsible to and report to the Town Manager.

The Police Department shall have no more than one full-time officer including the chief of Police and Two Part-time officers in the Department The Town Council shall have the sole hiring and termination authority over the Police Chief.

 

Section 4.06 Fire Department

The Town of White Springs, Florida has the responsibility for providing fire protection services, whether by and through a White Springs Volunteer Fire Department or by and through an appropriate contractual relationship with a third party fire protection agency

 

The Town Council shall have the sole discretion in determining the manner in which fire protection services for the safety and well-being of the citizens of White Springs, Florida is provided. Nothing herein shall prevent the White Springs Volunteer Fire Department from assisting neighboring agencies as the need arises.

The Fire Department shall be supervised by a Fire Chief having substantial fire fighting and supervisory experience.The Fire Chief shall insure that the department is adequately equipped at all times. The Fire Chief shall provide inspections and continuous training and education for the associated personnel. The Fire Chief shall insure that there are adequate quantities of fire hydrants and that they are in proper working order. The Fire Chief shall provide for emergency services and insure that all equipment is serviceable at all times.

 

The Fire Chief shall be responsible to and report to the Town Manager. Hiring or  Removal of the Fire Chief shall be the responsibility of the Town Council with a majority vote. 

 

The Town’s Finance Department  will make certain the Fire Department has adequate funding to pay for its expenses consisting of but not limited to loan repayments, volunteer stipends, insurance costs or maintenance and repairs.  Any such funding donated, received or earned shall be placed in a separate restrictive account for use only by the Fire Department. Such funding shall include, but not be limited, to Grants, Contractual agreements with Hamilton County, donations and fund raisings. 

 

The White Springs Fire Chief shall provide all purchasing or maintenance requests directly to the Town Manager and subsequently brought before the Town Council to be approved by Majority vote of the Council in the event the cost exceeds $2,500 or other considerations are in question.

 

Section 4.07 Building inspection and Code Compliance Department 

There shall be a Building and Compliance Inspection Department responsible for building and construction code compliance for all such projects in the Town. The departments shall be headed by the chief code inspector who shall be qualified under the building code adopted by the Town and knowledgeable in the way of and recommend the revising of Town building codes to remain current with new and improved techniques.The department head shall be responsible for assuring compliance with and coordinating environmental and preservation laws applicable within the Town. The building inspector shall meet the State of Florida licensing requirements. These requirements may be met by interlocal agreement with other agencies and/or contract services. 

There should not be inspections of violations of Municipal Ordinance 98-01 until the Town has a Magistrate to determine if a parcel or land or a structure is in compliance with with the Land Development Regulations. Safety of structures and property enforcement is held in abeyance until a Magistrate is hired or is under contract via an Interlocal Agreement.

Section 4-08 Department Personnel

No member of Town Council or an immediate family member of a Town Council Member may fill a vacancy in any department while the Town Council member is in office. Immediate family member (Relative) as defined by statute and the Town’s personnel manual shall mean: an individual who is related to the public official as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister. 

Section 4.09 Personnel Manual

The Personnel Manual will be updated and maintained under the direction of the Town Manager. All provisions of any personnel ordinance or Administrative regulations adopted by the Town Council, at any time, shall apply to all department heads, the Town Clerk, the Police Chief and Fire Chief, and all other employees. If conflicting guidelines or policies occur between the Personnel Manual and this Charter, then this Charter shall take precedence.

Section 4.10 Revision of Departmental Powers

The Town Council may by ordinance create additional departments or positions or dissolve existing departments or positions by a 4/5 vote where necessary for the efficient operation of the Town.

 

 

Article V. Town Election

Previously Section IV or 4

Section 5.01 Elections.

Regular Town elections shall be held on the fourth Tuesday in April of each year.

Special elections may be called for any purpose by the Town Council provided the election is called for a Tuesday. Such election shall conform to the provisions of the general and special law. Absentee ballots shall be tabulated in the manner provided by law.

 

Section 5.02 Voters.

All citizens whose primary residence is located within the boundaries of the Town of White Springs, who qualify by the laws of the State of Florida and who satisfy the requirements for registration may vote in the Town elections.

Section 5.03 Conduct of Elections.

The provisions of the general election laws of the State of Florida pertaining to municipal elections shall apply. All elections shall be conducted by the election authorities established by law.

(1) A person seeking nomination or election shall file a statement of financial interests together with, and at the same time he or she files, qualifying papers. When a candidate has qualified for office prior to the deadline to file an annual statement of financial interests, the statement of financial interests that is filed with the candidate’s qualifying papers shall be deemed to satisfy the annual disclosure requirement of this section. The qualifying officer deemed the Town Clerk must record that the statement of financial interests was timely filed. However, if a candidate does not qualify until after the annual statement of financial interests has been filed, the candidate may file a copy of his or her statement with the qualifying officer/Town Clerk.

 

(b) Each Town Council Member and certain specified employees shall file a statement of financial interests no later than July 1 of each year. Each Town Council Member, and specified employees shall file a final statement of financial interests within 60 days after leaving his or her public position for the period between January 1 of the year in which the person leaves and the last day of office or employment, unless within the 60-day period the person takes another public position requiring financial disclosure or otherwise is required to file full and public disclosure or a statement of financial interests for the final disclosure period.

 

Each Town Council Member who is appointed and each specified employee who is employed shall file a statement of financial interests within 30 days from the date of appointment or, in the case of a specified employee, from the date on which the employment begins.

 

Section 5.04 Ballot Watcher

A candidate for office shall be entitled, upon written application to election authorities at least ten (10) days prior to election, appoint one (1) person at any given period to represent him or her as a watcher at each polling place. A person so designated shall have all rights and privileges prescribed under the general election laws of the State of Florida.

The watchers may exercise their rights throughout the voting and until the ballots have been counted.

 

Section 5.05 Determination of Special Election Results

In the event of a Special Election to fill two (2) or more vacated Council seats, the persons with the highest vote totals will be awarded the Council seat with the longest available terms.  Members elected thereby will serve out the remaining terms of the seat awarded.

 

Section 5.06 Determination of Election Results

Changed by voters in the 2019 Election

(a)  The candidate receiving a majority number of votes for the declared seat shall be deemed the winner and shall be elected to such office.  In the event no candidate for the declared seat receives a majority of votes there shall be a run-off election between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes for the specified seat.  The run-off election shall be called as a Special Election in accordance with Section 4-01 of the Town Charter.

(b) All elected municipal officials shall take office at 6:30 P.M. on the first Thursday following the election or at any other time designated by resolution of the Council, at which time they shall be sworn into office by the Mayor or Town Clerk or Town Attorney.

a) The candidates receiving the highest vote total for the declared seats shall be deemed the winners. In the event two (2) or more candidates shall receive the same number of votes, and all seats have not yet been filled, said Candidates shall draw lots to determine the winners of the remaining seats.  REPLACED BY 2019 ELECTION
 (b) During odd-numbered years, the two (2) candidates who poll the two (2) highest number of votes for Council Member, during said election shall be declared as the winners thereof.  REPLACED BY 2019 ELECTION

(c) During even-numbered years, the three (3) Candidates for Town Council who poll The three (3) highest number of votes for said offices, as the result of said election shall be declared as the winners thereof.

 

(d) The plurality method of voting shall govern and control all elections for the first office of the Town Council Member in this municipality.

 

(e) All elected municipal officials shall take office at 7:00 PM on the first Thursday following the election or at any other time designated by resolution of the Town Council, at which time they shall be sworn into office by the Mayor or Town Clerk or Town Attorney.

 

Section 5.07 Ordinances or Charter Amendments.

An ordinance or Charter amendment to be voted on by the electors in the Town at a referendum shall be presented by ballot title. The ballot title of a measure may differ from its legal title; shall conform to the limitations for general law on public measures appearing on the ballot; and shall be a clear, concise statement describing the substance of the measure without argument or prejudice.

 

Section 5.08 Voting Devices

.The Town Council may provide for the use of mechanical or other devices, including the use of paper ballots without the use of electronic or electro-mechanical vote tabulation voting system, of voting or counting the vote.

 

Section 5.09 Availability of Voter List.

Qualified organizations, groups, or persons may request a list of qualified voters of the Town from the office of Hamilton County Supervisor of Elections.

 

  

Article VI. Finance and Taxation Section 

 

Section 6.01 Fiscal year

 The fiscal year of the Town of White Springs shall begin on the first day of October and end on the 30th day of September the following year.  The Town Council of White Springs shall be prepared, approved, adopted, and executed as prescribed in this chapter for each fiscal year.  The adopted budget must remain on the Town’s website for at least 45 day.

 

 Section 6.02

 Long Term Capital Projections

 (a) Submission to the Town Council. At least three (3) Months prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, the Town Manager shall, after consulting with the local planning agency, prepare and submit to the Town Council a proposed five (5) year capital program which shall be in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan.

 

 (1) The comprehensive plan shall provide the principles, guidelines, standards, and strategies for the orderly and balanced future economic, social, physical, environmental, and fiscal development of the area that reflects community commitments to implement the plan and its elements.

 

(2) These principles and strategies shall guide future decisions in a consistent manner and shall contain programs and activities to ensure comprehensive plans are implemented. The sections of the comprehensive plan containing the principles and strategies, generally provided as goals, objectives, and policies, shall describe how the local government’s programs, activities, and land development regulations will be initiated, modified, or continued to implement the comprehensive plan in a consistent manner.

 

(3) The plan shall establish meaningful and predictable standards for the use and development of land and provide meaningful guidelines for the content of more detailed land development and use regulations.

 

b) Content. The Program shall include:

 

(1) A clear summary of its contents

 

 (2)  A list of all capital improvements which are proposed to be undertaken during the next five (5) years with appropriate supporting information as to the necessity for and benefits to the public resulting from such improvements

 

The comprehensive plan must include at least two planning periods, one covering at least the first 5-year period occurring after the plan’s adoption and one covering at least a 10-year period. Additional planning periods for specific components, elements, land use amendments, or projects shall be permissible and accepted as part of the planning process.

 

It  may include, as part of its adopted plan, documents adopted by reference but not incorporated verbatim into the plan. The adoption by reference must identify the title and author of the document and indicate clearly what provisions and edition of the document is being adopted.

 

(3) cost estimates, method of financing and recommended time schedules for each such improvement

 

(4) The Estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the the facilities to be constructed or squired.

 

(5)The comprehensive plan shall identify procedures for monitoring, evaluating, and appraising implementation of the plan

 

(6) All mandatory and optional elements of the comprehensive plan and plan amendments shall be based upon relevant and appropriate data and an analysis by the local government that may include, but not be limited to, surveys, studies, community goals and vision, and other data available at the time of adoption of the comprehensive plan or plan amendment. To be based on data means to react to it in an appropriate way and to the extent necessary indicated by the data available on that particular subject at the time of adoption of the plan or plan amendment at issue.

 

(7) The comprehensive plan shall contain a capital improvements element designed to consider the need for and the location of public facilities in order to encourage the efficient use of such facilities and set forth:

 

(a) a component which outlines principles for construction, extension or increase in capacity of public facilities or outlining correcting an existing public facilities’ deficiencies. The components shall cover at least a 5-year period.

 

(6) Cost estimates, method of financing and recommended time schedules for each such improvement.  This shall include the estimated public facility costs, including a delineation of when facilities will be needed, the general location of the facilities, and projected revenue sources to fund the facilities

 

(7) The Estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the fthe facilities to be constructed or squired.

 

(8)Standards to ensure the availability of public facilities must be included and the adequacy of those facilities to meet established acceptable levels of service.

 

(9) Each future land use category must be defined in terms of uses included, and must include standards to be followed in the control and distribution of population densities and building and structure intensities. The proposed distribution, location, and extent of the various categories of land use shall be shown on a land use map or map series which shall be supplemented by goals, policies, and measurable objectives.

 

The future land use plan and plan amendments shall be based upon surveys, studies, and data regarding the area, as applicable, including:

a. The amount of land required to accommodate anticipated growth.

b. The projected permanent and seasonal population of the area.

c. The character of undeveloped land.

d. The availability of water supplies, public facilities, and services.

e. The need for redevelopment, including the renewal of blighted areas and the elimination of nonconforming uses which are inconsistent with the character of the community

 

 

(10)  Capital Program. The capital program shall be revised and extended each year with regard to capital improvements still pending or in process of construction or acquisition.

 

 

 

 

 

Section 6.03 Submission of Budget  

 

Town Budget

 

(1)  The Town Manager shall submit the budget for the ensuing fiscal year in accordance with the Florida Statute..

 

(2)  The Town Council shall adopt a budget each fiscal year. The budget must be adopted by ordinance or resolution.

(3)     A budget shall be prepared, approved, adopted, and executed as prescribed in this chapter for each fiscal year. At a minimum, the budget must show for each fund, as required by law and sound financial practices, budgeted revenues and expenditures by organizational unit which are at least at the level of detail required for the annual financial report under s. 218.32(1).

 

(4)   The budget must conform to the following general directions and requirements:

(a) The budget must be prepared, summarized, and approved by the majority vote of the Town Council of the Town of White Springs..

(b) The budget must be balanced, so that the total of the estimated receipts available from taxation and other sources, including balances brought forward from prior fiscal years, equals the total of appropriations for expenditures and reserves. The budgeted receipts must include 95 percent of all receipts reasonably anticipated from all sources, including taxes to be levied provided the percent anticipated from ad valorem levies is as specified  ,

 

,

 

Section 6.03 Budget Compilation by the Town manager

 

(a) Each section of the budget shall be compiled by a department head in consultation with the Town Manager.

 

(b) The budget, in its entirety, shall provide a complete financial plan for the ensuing fiscal year.

 

(c) Funds allocated for special projects especially including restrictive funds  must be identified by project title in the budget.

 

Section 6.04 Administration of the Budget by the Town manager

 

Budget reports.

 

 It shall be the duty of the Town Manager to review such reports with the department heads and to advise or be advised of any allotment which is in danger of being exceeded. This budget report review must take place at least once each quarter.

 

Payments and obligations

Sufficiency of Funds. No payments shall be made or

obligations incurred unless sufficient funds are or will be

available to cover the obligations when it becomes due.

 

Violations. Authorization of payment or incurring of an

obligation in violation of this subsection, or any payment so

made, is illegal. Such actions shall be good cause for

removal of any official who knowingly authorized or made

payment or incurred such an obligation, and that official

shall be personally liable to the Town for any amount so

paid.

 

 Out of Fiscal Period Payments. Contracts or leases

providing for payments beyond the end of the fiscal year

must be approved by motion, resolution or ordinance

passed by the Town Council.

 

Signatures. All Town checks shall be cosigned by the Town

Manager and the Town Clerk. In the absence of either, the

Mayor or Vice-Mayor shall be cosigners

 

 

 

Section 6.05 Budget Message

 

 

The Town Manager’s message shall explain the proposed budget both in fiscal terms and in terms of capital programs. It shall outline the proposed financial policies of the Town for the ensuing fiscal year, describe the important features of the proposed budget, expenditures, and revenues together with the reasons for such changes, summarize the Town’s debt position and include such other material as the Town Manager deems necessary and proper

 

 

Section 6.06 Tentative Budget

 

(5)   The tentative budget must be posted on the municipality’s official website at least 2 days before the budget hearing, held pursuant to s. 200.065 or other law, to consider such budget and must remain on the website for at least 45 days.

 

 

Section 6.07 Adoption of Budget

 

After public hearing, required by law, the Town Council may adopt the budget with or without amendments. In amending the budget, the Town Council may add or increase programs and may delete or decrease programs, except expenditures required by law or for debt services,

provided no amendment to the budget shall increase the authorized expenditures to an amount greater than the total of estimated income and fund balances. The budget shall be adopted in the manner prescribed by law.

 

(a)  The adopted budget must show for each fund, as required by law and sound financial practices, budgeted revenues and expenditures by organizational unit which are at least at the level of detail required for the annual financial report under s. 218.32(1).

 

(b)  The final adopted budget must be posted on the municipality’s official website within 30 days after adoption and must remain on the website for at least 2 years.

 

(c)   The adopted budget must regulate expenditures of the municipality, and an officer of the Town government may not expend or contract for expenditures in any fiscal year except pursuant to the adopted budget.

 

Section 6.08 Final Budget and Economic Status set to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research.  

 

 

(1)  By each October 15, the Town Manager shall electronically submit the following information regarding the final budget and the Town’s economic status to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research in the format specified by the office:

 

(a) Government spending per resident, including, at a minimum, the spending per resident for the previous 5 fiscal years.

 

(b) Government debt per resident, including, at a minimum, the debt per resident for the previous 5 fiscal years.

 

(c) Average municipal employee salary.

 

(d) Median income within the municipality.

(e) Number of special taxing districts wholly or partially within the municipality.

 

(f) Percent of budget spent on salaries and benefits for municipal employees.

 

(g) Annual municipal expenditures providing for the financing, acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or rehabilitation of housing that is affordable, as that term is defined in s. 420.0004. The reported expenditures must indicate the source of such funds as “federal,” “state,” “local,” or “other,” as applicable. This information must be included in the submission due by October 15, 2020, and each annual submission thereafter.

 

6.09 Amending the Budget   Amendment after adoption of the Final Budget

 

(1)  The Town Council at any time within a fiscal year or within 60 days following the end of the fiscal year may amend a budget for that year as follows:

 

(a) Appropriations for expenditures within a fund may be decreased or increased by motion recorded in the minutes if the total appropriations of the fund is not changed.

 

(b) The Town Council may establish procedures by which the designated budget officer may authorize budget amendments if the total appropriations of the fund is not changed.

 

(c) If a budget amendment is required for a purpose not specifically authorized in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), the budget amendment must be adopted in the same manner as the original budget.

 

(2) If the governing body of a municipality amends the budget pursuant to paragraph (1)(c), the adopted amendment must be posted on the official website of the municipality within 5 days after adoption and must remain on the website for at least 2 years.

 

 

 

Section 6.10 Budget Amendments, Post Adoption

 

(a) Emergency appropriations. To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or public peace, the Town Council may make emergency appropriations. These appropriations may be made by emergency ordinance. If there are no available unappropriated revenues to meet the appropriations, the Town Council may, by emergency ordinance, authorize the issuance of emergency notes. Emergency notes, and any renewal thereof, shall have provision in the succeeding budgets for repayment unless repaid within the current fiscal period.

 

(b) Reduction of appropriations. If at any time during the fiscal year it appears to the Town Manager that revenues appropriated will be insufficient, he shall report to the Council without delay indicating the estimated amount of the deficit. The Town Manager shall suggest remedial action to be taken and recommend to the Town Council such other steps needed to reduce the deficit. The Town Council shall take further action to prevent or minimize a deficit and for that purpose it may, by motion, reduce one (1) or more appropriations.

 

(c) Transfer of appropriation. Should the responsible department head need to transfer part or all of any unrestricted or unencumbered appropriations among line items within that department, he may do so, or one (1) department may transfer appropriation to another department with the Town Manager’s approval. Any surplus funds, other than funds restricted or encumbered, remaining in any account at the end of the year shall be treated as a general fund carryover and shall not be retained in any specific account or departmental fund.

 

 

Section 6.11 Public Records

 

Copies of the capital program and budget as adopted shall be public records and shall be made available to the public at suitable places in the Town and at reasonable times.at no cost to the citizen.

 

 

6.12 Administration of the Budget Quarterly

 

Audit

 

The Town Council shall provide for an annual audit of all Town accounts and may provide for more frequent audits if deemed necessary. A certified public accountant or firm with no personal interest, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the Town shall be selected from competitive negotiations by the Town Council. No audit contract shall be awarded for more than three (3) years. Should the State of Florida conduct a complete audit, the Town Council may accept it to satisfy the requirement of this section.

 

 

Section 6.13 Taxes and Fees

 

The Town may raise, by taxation and licenses authorized by the Constitution or Laws of the State of Florida, or by user fees authorized by ordinance, amounts of money which are necessary for the conduct of municipal government and enforce their receipt and collection in the manner prescribed by ordinance consistent with law.

 

Section 6.14 Regulatory Fees

 

The Town may levy reasonable business, professional and occupational regulatory fees commensurate with the cost of regulatory activity including consumer protection, on such classes of businesses, professions and occupations, the regulation of which has not been preempted by the State or County. Fees are to be reviewed bi-annually by the Town Manager.

 

 

Section 6.15 Building Code Inspection Fees

 

The Town may provide a schedule of reasonable inspection fees in order to defray the costs of inspection and enforcement of the provision of its building code. Fees are to be reviewed bi-annually by the Town Manager and the Building Official.

 

 

Section 6.16 Ad Valorem Taxes

(a) Authorization. The Town of White Springs is hereby authorized to levy such ad valorem taxes on Real Property as it is prescribed by law.

 

(b) Assessment & Collection. Assessment and collection of Town ad valorem taxes shall be performed by the Hamilton County Tax Assessor.

 

 

Section 6.17 Public Service Taxes

The Town may, when necessary, levy additional public services taxes in accordance with general law.

 

The Town of White Springs Florida Since October 10,1995 has imposed a ten percent (10%) tax on each and every purchase of electricity, metered or bottled gas (natural, liquefied petroleum gas, or manufactured gas)  water and telephone service (collectively “utilities) The purpose of the loan in 1995 was to pay off a loan to First Federal in the amount of $100,000 which was paid years ago and the purpose has not been changed to date.
 The Town in 2020 eliminated the 10% sewer charge which had been charged since the original ordinance of 10/10/1995 for which money could not be returned to the citizens of White Springs.

 

 

Section 6.18 Service Fee for Dishonored Checks

 

The Town Council may adopt a service fee for the collection of dishonored checks, drafts, or other orders for the payment of money to the Town or to one of its agents. Such service fees shall be in addition to other penalties allowed or imposed by law. Amounts for such service fees shall be set by resolution of the Town Council.

 

 

 

Article VII. Municipal Borrowing

Section 7.01 Authority to Borrow

The Town through appropriate action by the Town Council shall have the borrowing authority vested in municipalities by the Constitution of the State of Florida and general law or special law to finance the undertaking of any capital or other project and for the purposes permitted by the State Constitution. The Town may pledge such funds, credit, property and taxing powers of the municipality for the payment of such debts and bonds as may be authorized by law.

 

Section 7.02 Issuance of Bonds

The Town Council shall determine the terms and manner of sale and distribution or other disposition of any proposed bonds issues. All general obligation bond proposals shall be submitted to referendum vote. Total general obligation bond indebtedness shall be submitted to voters prior to the issuance of bonds.

Footnotes:
Municipal bonds, sometimes referred to as munis, are issued by various government entities such as states, counties and municipalities. The income from these bond funds is typically exempt from federal taxes and, if issued within your state, the interest will also be free of state income taxes. This means that municipal bond investors don’t need to pay tax on the income from these funds. Frequently, these tax-free bond funds pay higher relative interest payments than comparable corporate and government bonds
Mutual fund investing involves risk; principal loss is possible. There is no guarantee that the Funds’ investment objectives will be achieved. Debt or fixed income securities such as those held by the Fund, are subject to market risk, credit risk, interest rate risk, call risk, tax risk, political and economic risk, and income risk. As interest rates rise, bond prices fall. Credit risk refers to an issuers ability to make interest and principal payments when due. The Fund concentrates in non-investment-grade and unrated bonds with long maturities and durations which carry heightened credit risk, liquidity risk, and potential for default. In addition, the Fund oftentimes engages in a significant amount of portfolio leverage and in doing so, assumes a high level of risk in pursuit of its objectives. Leverage involves the risk that the Fund could lose more than its original investment and also increases the Fund’s exposure to volatility, interest rate risk and credit risk.

 

 

Section 7.03 Establishment of Sinking funds

The Town Council may establish and administer such sinking funds as it deems necessary or convenient for the payment, purchase or redemption of any outstanding bonds or indebtedness of the Town.

Provision may be made for the following reserves:

 

1. A reserve for contingencies may be provided which does not exceed 10 percent of the total appropriations.

 

2. A reserve for cash balance to be carried over may be provided for the purpose of paying expenses from October 1 of the next fiscal year until the revenues for that year are expected to be available. This reserve may not be more than 20 percent of the total appropriations. However, for the bond interest and sinking fund budget, this reserve may not exceed the total maturities of debt, both principal and interest, which will occur during the next fiscal year, plus the sinking fund requirements, computed on a straight-line basis, for any outstanding obligations to be paid from the fund.

 

(d) An appropriation for outstanding indebtedness shall be made to provide for the payment of vouchers that have been incurred in and charged against the budget for the current year or a prior year, but that are expected to be unpaid at the beginning of the next fiscal year. The appropriation for the payment of such vouchers shall be to the same fund in which the expenses were originally incurred.

 

(e) Any surplus arising from an excess of the estimated cash balance over the estimated amount of unpaid obligations to be carried over in a fund at the end of the current fiscal year may be transferred to any of the other funds of the county, and the amount so transferred shall be budgeted as a receipt to such other funds. However, a surplus:

(f). In a fund raised for debt service may not be transferred to another fund until the debt for which the fund was established has been extinguished.

 

(g). In a capital outlay reserve fund may not be transferred to another fund until the projects for which the capital outlay reserve fund was raised have been completed and all obligations paid.

 

Article VIII. Boards, Committees and Land Use Plans

Section 8.00 General

The Town Council is authorized to create and establish boards and committees in compliance with general law of the State of Florida.  Except as otherwise provided in the Charter, the Town Council shall by October 1st of each year nominate qualified persons to serve on boards and committees for the ensuing fiscal year.  The qualified persons do not have to be residents of the Town of White Springs.

If necessary for the Board of Adjustment and Appeals only, established in compliance with the Southern Building Code, the Town Council may by a 4/5 vote of its members nominate qualified non-residents to serve.

The Town Council shall by a majority vote, appoint members and alternates to boards and committees from those nominated.  At their first meeting, each board shall appoint a chairman to preside at each meeting from among its members.  Council members may serve on one (1) or more committees.  All vacancies shall be filled by this same nominating and confirmation process within sixty (60) days of a permanent vacancy.  A member of any board or committee may be removed by a majority vote of the Town Council.

 

Section 8.01 Boards to be Established by Ordinance.

There shall be a Town Planning and Zoning Board consisting of five (5) members and two (2) alternate members appointed by the Town Council for a term of one (1) year. Said appointments will be made from the electors of the Town.

 

The duties of the Town Planning and Zoning Board shall be as follows:

(a) Advisory Capacity. To act in an advisory capacity to the Town Council on questions relating to zoning and on matters of proposals to change zoning regulations, and to report its findings and recommendations on such proposals to the Town Council;

(b) Provide for Growth. To study any existing Town plan, with the view to improving same so as to provide future growth of the Town and from time to time, make recommendations to the Town Council for changes in the existing Town plan so as to incorporate new developments, for the adoption of the new Town plan;

(c) Review Plats & Projects. To investigate and make recommendations on all new plats to be presented to the Town Council; to review all plans for subdivision, condominium projects and any other projects substantially impacting the Town to insure their compliance with the comprehensive plan, zoning, subdivision and other environmental regulations.

(d) To serve as an Annexation Board.1. Seek Logical Annexation. Pursue the logical annexation of contiguous lands.

  1. Program Preparation. Prepare a program to present to property owners the reasons why they should annex to the Town
  2. Timetable & Five Year Plan. Develop an annexation timetable and five (5) year plan.- 27 –

(e) Other Duties. To perform such other duties as may from time to time be assigned to such board by the Town Council.

The Town of White Springs Planning and Zoning Board shall prepare the comprehensive plan or plan amendment after hearings to be held after public notice and shall make recommendations to the governing body regarding the adoption or amendment of a plan. 

The Town Council must be fairly representative of all the governing bodies in the planning area, however:

(a) The responsibilities of the Planning and Zoning Board shall be stipulated in the Town Charter.

 (2)  The Town of White Springs which has created its own local planning Board may designate which local planning functions, powers, and duties will be performed by its local planning department.

 

(3) The Town Council of the Town of White Springs shall appropriate funds for salaries, fees, and expenses necessary in the conduct of the work of and local planning board and shall also establish a schedule of fees to be charged by the department. To accomplish the purposes and activities authorized by the act, the local planning board with the approval of the majority vote of the Town Council and in accord with the fiscal practices thereof, may expend all sums so appropriated and other sums made available for use from fees, gifts, state or federal grants, state or federal loans, and other sources; however, acceptance of loans must be approved by the majority vote of the Town Council.

 

(4) The Town’s Planning and Zoning Board shall have the general responsibility for the conduct of the comprehensive planning program. Specifically, the local planning board shall:

 

(a) Be the Board responsible for the preparation of the comprehensive plan or plan amendment and shall make recommendations to the Town Council regarding the adoption or amendment of such plan. During the preparation of the plan or plan amendment and prior to any recommendation to the Town Council, the local planning agency shall hold at least one public hearing, with public notice, on the proposed plan or plan amendment. The Town Council in cooperation with the local planning agency may designate any agency, committee, department, or person to prepare the comprehensive plan or plan amendment, but final recommendation of the adoption of such plan or plan amendment to the Town Council shall be the responsibility of the local planning board.

(b) Monitor and oversee the effectiveness and status of the comprehensive plan and recommend to the governing body such changes in the comprehensive plan as may from time to time be required, including the periodic evaluation and appraisal of the comprehensive plan required by s. 163.3191.

 

(c) Review proposed land development regulations, land development codes, or amendments thereto, and make recommendations to the governing body as to the consistency of the proposal with the adopted comprehensive plan, or element or portion thereof, when the local planning Board is serving as the land development regulation commission or the Town Council requires review by both the local planning Board and the land development regulation commission.

 

(d) Perform any other functions, duties, and responsibilities assigned to it by the governing body or by general or special law.

 

(5) All meetings of the local planning board shall be public meetings, and board’s records shall be public records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 8.02 Board of Adjustment

(a) General. There shall be a Board of Adjustment and the Board shall provides standards and procedures to hear and determine special exceptions, appeals from administrative decision, petitions for variances in the case of peculiar and unusual circumstances which would prevent the reasonable use of land and such other matters as may be required by the Town Council or by law.

A planning or zoning board or board of adjustment,  has the power to recommend, create, or modify land planning or zoning within the political subdivision, except for citizen advisory committees, technical coordinating committees, and such other groups who only have the power to make recommendations to planning or zoning boards;

 

(b) Membership. The Board of Adjustment shall consist of five (5) members and two (2) alternate members. Each member shall be appointed by nominations from the Town Council with the approval of a majority of the Town Council. The board members shall elect a chairman from among its five members by majority vote.

 

(c) Eligibility. Members of the board shall hold no employment with the Town nor hold any other appointed or elected position within the Town. (d) Appeal of Matters. The Board of Adjustment shall make a recommendation concerning all matters brought before it occurring within the Town Limits of White Springs. Said recommendation shall be submitted to the Town Council for final approval. If the petitioner is dissatisfied with the recommendation rendered by the Board of Adjustment, said petitioner may appeal to the Town Council prior to the Town Council’s decision. The Town Council, by a majority vote, may approve or override the recommendations submitted by the board. The Town Council’s decision shall become final.

 

 

Section 8.03 Comprehensive Land Use Plan Committee

The Town shall prepare a Comprehensive Land Use Plan which shall be in compliance with general law. The Comprehensive Land Use Plan when approved by the Town Council shall serve as the Town’s long term growth and expansion control plan. From time to time to accordance with general law or when deemed necessary, the Town Council shall appoint a five (5) person committee to review and modify the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The Town Manager shall chair the committee. The other four (4) members shall be electors of the Town. This committee may utilize the services of professional land use planners to accomplish these tasks as necessary

(a) Submission to the Town Council. At least three (3) Months prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, the Town Manager shall, after consulting with the local planning agency, prepare and submit to the Town Council a proposed five (5) year capital program which shall be in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan.

 

(1) The comprehensive plan shall provide the principles, guidelines, standards, and strategies for the orderly and balanced future economic, social, physical, environmental, and fiscal development of the area that reflects community commitments to implement the plan and its elements.

 

(2) These principles and strategies shall guide future decisions in a consistent manner and shall contain programs and activities to ensure comprehensive plans are implemented. The sections of the comprehensive plan containing the principles and strategies, generally provided as goals, objectives, and policies, shall describe how the local government’s programs, activities, and land development regulations will be initiated, modified, or continued to implement the comprehensive plan in a consistent manner.

 

(3) The plan shall establish meaningful and predictable standards for the use and development of land and provide meaningful guidelines for the content of more detailed land development and use regulations.

 

(4)  A list of all capital improvements which are proposed to be undertaken during the next five (5) years with appropriate supporting information as to the necessity for and benefits to the public resulting from such improvements

 

The comprehensive plan must include at least two planning periods, one covering at least the first 5-year period occurring after the plan’s adoption and one covering at least a 10-year period. Additional planning periods for specific components, elements, land use amendments, or projects shall be permissible and accepted as part of the planning process.

 

It  may include, as part of its adopted plan, documents adopted by reference but not incorporated verbatim into the plan. The adoption by reference must identify the title and author of the document and indicate clearly what provisions and edition of the document is being adopted.

 

(5) cost estimates, method of financing and recommended time schedules for each such improvement. 

 

(6) The Estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the the facilities to be constructed or squired.

 

(7)The comprehensive plan shall identify procedures for monitoring, evaluating, and appraising implementation of the plan

 

(8) All mandatory and optional elements of the comprehensive plan and plan amendments shall be based upon relevant and appropriate data and an analysis by the local government that may include, but not be limited to, surveys, studies, community goals and vision, and other data available at the time of adoption of the comprehensive plan or plan amendment. To be based on data means to react to it in an appropriate way and to the extent necessary indicated by the data available on that particular subject at the time of adoption of the plan or plan amendment at issue.

 

(9) The comprehensive plan shall contain a capital improvements element designed to consider the need for and the location of public facilities in order to encourage the efficient use of such facilities and set forth:

 

(a) a component which outlines principles for construction, extension or increase in capacity of public facilities or outlining correcting an existing public facilities’ deficiencies. The components shall cover at least a 5-year period.

 

(10) Cost estimates, method of financing and recommended time schedules for each such improvement.  This shall include the estimated public facility costs, including a delineation of when facilities will be needed, the general location of the facilities, and projected revenue sources to fund the facilities

 

(11) The Estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the fthe facilities to be constructed or squired.

 

(12)Standards to ensure the availability of public facilities must be included and the adequacy of those facilities to meet established acceptable levels of service.

 

(13) Each future land use category must be defined in terms of uses included, and must include standards to be followed in the control and distribution of population densities and building and structure intensities. The proposed distribution, location, and extent of the various categories of land use shall be shown on a land use map or map series which shall be supplemented by goals, policies, and measurable objectives.

 

The future land use plan and plan amendments shall be based upon surveys, studies, and data regarding the area, as applicable, including:

a. The amount of land required to accommodate anticipated growth.

b. The projected permanent and seasonal population of the area.

c. The character of undeveloped land.

d. The availability of water supplies, public facilities, and services.

e. The need for redevelopment, including the renewal of blighted areas and the elimination of nonconforming uses which are inconsistent with the character of the community

 

(14)  Capital Program. The capital program shall be revised and extended each year with regard to capital improvements still pending or in process of construction or acquisition.

 

Article IX. Initiative and Referendum

Section 9.01 General Authority

(a) Initiative. The qualified voters of the Town of White Springs shall have power to propose ordinances or changes and repeal of ordinances to the Town Council and, if the Town Council fails to adopt any ordinance so proposed without any change in substance, then the voters shall have the power to adopt or reject it at a referendum, provided that such power shall not extend to the budget, any ordinance relating to appropriation of money, salaries of Town officers or employees, or ordinance which are required to be adopted under general or special law.

Any Ordinance which is not acted upon or adhered to for a period of 180 days shall be automatically removed.