Home Rule Charter Amendments, Charter Review, Transition, Severance,
Effective Date


Section 4.1: Home Rule Charter Amendments

A. Amendments Proposed by Petition

(1) The electors of Lee County shall have the right to initiate proposed amendments to this Home Rule Charter upon petition of the qualified electors in the County. The number of qualified elector signatures for a valid petition must equal at least seven percent (7%) of the electors qualified to vote in the last preceding general election.

(2) Each such proposed amendment shall embrace but one subject and matter directly connected therewith. Each Charter amendment proposed by petition shall be placed on the ballot by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners for the next general election occurring in excess of ninety (90) days from the certification by the Supervisor of Elections that the requisite number of signatures has been verified.

(3) The sponsor of a petition amendment shall, prior to obtaining any signatures, submit the text of the proposed amendment to the Supervisor of Elections, with the form on which the signatures will be affixed, and shall obtain the approval of the Supervisor of Elections of such form. The style and requirements of such form shall be specified by County ordinance. The beginning date of any petition drive shall commence upon the date of approval by the Supervisor of Elections of the form on which signatures will be affixed, and said drive shall terminate one hundred and eighty (180) days after that date. In the event sufficient signatures are not acquired during that one hundred and eighty (180) day period, the petition initiative shall be rendered null and void and none of the signatures may be carried over onto another identical or similar petition. The sponsor shall submit signed and dated forms to the Supervisor of Elections and upon submission pay all fees as required by general law. The Supervisor of Elections shall within forty-five (45) days verify the signatures thereon.

(4) If approved by a majority of those electors voting on the amendment at the general election; the amendment shall become effective on the date specified in the amendment, or, if not so specified, on January I of the succeeding year.


B. Amendments and Revisions by Charter Review Commission

(1) A Charter Review Commission consisting of fifteen (15) electors of the County shall be appointed by the Board of County Commissioners at least eighteen (18) months prior to the general election held every eight (8) years after the general election occurring in 2008. The Charter Review Commission shall review the Home Rule Charter and propose any amendments or revisions which may be advisable for placement on the general election ballot. No member of the State Legislature, the Board of County Commissioners, any County Constitutional Officer, any elected officer of a municipality nor any Contract employees of the Board of County Commissioners nor persons employed as aides to individual County Commissioners shall be a member of the Charter Review Commission. Vacancies shall be filled within thirty (30) days in the same manner as the original appointments.

(2) The Charter Review Commission shall meet for the purpose of organization within thirty (30) days after the appointments have been made. The Charter Review Commission shall elect a chairman and vice chairman from among its membership. Further meetings of the Charter Review Commission shall be held upon the call of the chairman or a majority of the members of the Charter Review Commission. All meetings shall be open to the public. A majority of the members of the Charter Review Commission shall constitute a quorum. The Charter Review Commission may adopt such other rules for its operations and proceedings as it deems desirable. Members of the Charter Review Commission shall receive no compensation but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses pursuant to general law.

(3) A budget for the Charter Review Commission shall be set by the Board of County Commissioners. Within the budget limits set by the County Commission, the Charter Review Commission may employ a staff, consult with and retain experts, and purchase, lease, or otherwise provide for such supplies, materials, equipment and facilities as it deems necessary and desirable.

(4) The Charter Review Commission shall hold at least three (3) public hearings at intervals of not less than ten (10) days nor more than twenty (20) days on any proposed Charter amendment or revision. Any proposed Charter amendment or revision that receives an affirmative vote of three-fifths (315) approval of the entire membership of the Charter Review Commission shall be submitted to the County Commission for its consideration. Any proposed Charter amendment or revision that receives four-fifths (415) approval of the entire membership of the Charter Review Commission shall be placed directly on to the next general election ballot by the County Commission. If a majority of the electors voting on the proposed amendments or revisions to the Charter placed on the ballot favor adoption, such amendments or revisions shall become effective on January 1 of the succeeding year or such other time as the amendment or revision shall provide.

(5) No later than one hundred and twenty (120) days prior to the general election, the Charter Review Commission shall deliver to the Board of County Commissioners, those revisions or amendments to the Charter approved by the Charter Review Commission by three-fifths (315) vote, if any. The Board of County Commissioners shall promptly review the proposals as approved by the Charter Review Commission. If approved by a majority of the membership of the Commission, the County Commission shall place the proposals on the next general election ballot. If a majority of the electors voting on the amendments or revisions to the Charter favor adoption, such amendments or revisions shall become effective on January 1 of the succeeding year or such other time as the amendment or revision shall provide.

(6) If the Charter Review Commission does not submit any proposed Charter amendments or revisions to the Board of County Commissioners at least one hundred and twenty (120) days prior to the general election or place any amendments or revisions directly onto the ballot, the Charter Review Commission shall be automatically dissolved. Otherwise, upon acceptance or rejection of the proposed amendments or revisions by the County Commission, the Charter Review Commission shall be automatically dissolved. Upon dissolution of the Charter Review Commission, all property of the Charter Review Commission shall thereupon become the property of the County.


C. Amendments Proposed by the Board of County Commissioners

(1) Amendments to this Home Rule Charter may be proposed by ordinance enacted by the Board of County Commissioners by an affirmative vote of a simple majority of the membership of the Board of County Commissioners. Each proposed amendment shall embrace but one subject and matter directly connected therewith. Each proposed amendment shall become effective upon approval by a majority of the electors of Lee County voting in a referendum at a general election. The Board of County Commissioners shall give public-notice of such referendum election as required by general law.

(2) If approved by a majority of those electors voting on amendment at the general election, the amendment shall become effective on the date specified in the amendment, or, if not so specified, on January 1 of the succeeding year.

Section 4.2: Home Rule Charter Transition

A. General Provisions

Unless expressly provided otherwise in this Home Rule Charter, the adoption of this Charter shall not affect any existing contracts or obligations of Lee County; the validity of any of its laws, ordinances, regulations, and resolutions; or the term of office of any elected County officer, whose term shall continue as if this Charter had not been adopted.

B. Initial County Commissioners

The persons comprising the Lee County Board of County Commissioners on the effective date of this Charter shall become the initial members of the Board of County Commissioners of the Charter Government and shall perform the functions thereof until the normal expiration of their terms or until the election and qualification of their successors as provided by law.

C. Outstanding Bonds

All outstanding bonds, revenue certificates, and other financial obligations of the County outstanding on the effective date of this Charter shall be obligations of the Charter Government. All actions taken by the former government relating to the issuance of such obligations are hereby ratified and confirmed. Payment of such obligations and the interest thereon shall be made solely from and charged solely against funds derived from the same sources from which such payment would have been made had this Charter not taken effect.

D. Employee Continuation

All employees of the former county government shall on the effective date on this Charter become employees of the County government created by this Charter. All existing wages, benefits, collective bargaining certifications and agreements, and conditions of employment shall continue uninterrupted, until modified by lawful action of the Board of County Commissioners or joint agreement of the Board and any appropriate bargaining agent, if a collective bargaining agreement exists and controls.

Section 4.3: Severability

If any provision of this Charter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Charter which shall be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Charter are declared severable.​