Key West voters will get to weigh in on the question of whether a City Commission vote, rather than a people's referendum, will determine the purchase of new property by the city, whether to change the mayor's job description, and whether to change when local elections are held.
They will not vote on the elimination of term limits, a recommendation struck down by commissioners Tuesday.
The items will appear on local ballots in November, when voters will be making selections for president, members of Congress and other offices.
"I think it went very well," Mayor Craig Cates said of the proposed city charter amendments voted on at a Tuesday night City Commission meeting. "I was concerned about having so many on the ballot when it is going to be large anyway. But that was the consensus."
Proposals for charter changes came from a citizens committee, which Cates praised for "taking their work very seriously. I think it's unusual to have so many changes brought forward at once. They spent a lot of time definitely working on it."
Commissioners also approved a final redistricting plan, based on the 2010 census, which will now go to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval. The Justice Department must approve district boundaries in communities with a history of voting rights violations, as part of the federal Voting Rights Act.
The commissioners had several options at their disposal, and chose one that keeps most districts intact, but makes some minor changes.
The items Key West voters will decide when they go to the polls Nov. 12 include whether to:
• Schedule city elections to occur in even-numbered years, to coincide with statewide elections;
• Allow changes to the city charter by a vote by five members of the City Commission rather than approval by referendum;
• Allow purchase of real property by the city upon a five-member majority vote of the City Commission, rather than by referendum;
• Allow the City Commission to change the city's comprehensive plan with a majority vote of five members of the commission;
• Allow additions to the city boundaries upon a five-member majority vote of the commission rather than approval by referendum;
• Require that a committee for charter review be created by the City Commission at least once during a 10-year period; and to
• Change the duties of the mayor to include delivery of a "state of the city" address at a City Commission meeting, along with other responsibility changes.
The proposal that term limits be eliminated was voted down, with Commissioners Jimmy Weekley and Billy Wardlow casting the only votes in favor of the measure.
Supporters of term limits maintain that they keep government fresh and inclusive. Opponents said they take away choice from the voters by limiting whom they can elect.
"Unfortunately, I couldn't convince the other people," said Weekley.
"To me there are term limits every two or four years. Suppose there is a district with somebody the people really like?"
One more reading of the ordinances is required before the move to place the proposed changes on the ballot is final.