Deerfield-News. com-Deerfield Beach, Fl-As we wind down from national elections, city elections are around the corner. I have been asked by several residents to take a run myself. Now as of today I can not say that my mind is made up, but with some of the shenanigans that go on in this city, I will say I am looking into it. Even at my ripe old age of 58, I would still be the youngest commissioner for “District Three” in a couple of generations.
According to the charter the following is what is required.
Section 3.02. – Qualifications of mayor and commissioners.
Mayor. Any qualified Broward County elector whose principal place of residence is in the City of Deerfield Beach and who has resided continuously in the city for six (6) months immediately prior to qualifying as a candidate for the office shall be eligible to hold the office of mayor. The mayor must continue to live within the city limits during the term of office or forfeit the office.
Commissioner. Any qualified Broward County elector whose principal place of residence is in the City of Deerfield Beach and who has resided continuously in the city for six (6) months immediately prior to qualifying and in the district from which he seeks to qualify prior to qualifying as a candidate for the office shall be eligible to hold the office of city commissioner. During the term of office a commissioner must continue to live within the district from which he or she was elected or forfeit the office.
(Ord. No. 1989/10, § 1, 1-3-89/2-14-89; Ord. No. 1990/54, § 1, 9-5-90/11-6-90)
Section 3.03. – Judge of qualifications.
The commission shall be the judge of the election and qualification of its members and of the grounds for forfeiture of their office. A member charged with conduct constituting grounds for forfeiture of his office shall be entitled to a public hearing on demand, and notice of such hearing shall be published in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the city, at least one week in advance of the hearing.
Section 3.04. – Election and terms.
Regular election. There shall be no primary election. All candidates who qualify for an elective office in the city shall run in the regular election scheduled for the particular seat. When there is only one (1) candidate, the candidate shall be deemed to have voted for himself/herself and the person’s name shall not appear on the ballot. The regular biannual election for the city commission shall be held pursuant to the Laws of Florida and Broward County. Beginning in March 2009 and continuing thereafter, city commission elections shall be held every two (2) years in March of every odd numbered year. It is the intent of the city to have staggered commission terms and elections. In March 2009 all four (4) commission seats and the mayor shall be on the ballot for election. The mayor shall stand for a four (4) year term. At least ninety (90) days prior to that election the city commission shall draw lots to determine the other two (2) commission districts which shall be for a four (4) year term. The two (2) districts chosen shall have a four (4) year term; the two (2) districts not chosen shall have a two (2) year term and consequently shall be up for election in March 2011. Thereafter all terms shall be four (4) years.
The candidate receiving the greatest number of votes for mayor shall be elected as mayor. The candidate receiving the greatest number of votes in the district in which he/she ran shall be elected as the commissioner from that district. The mayor and commissioners shall be chosen for a term of four (4) years (except for the two (2) seats transitioning to staggered terms as noted above for the March 2009 election only) and shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualified or until the office is forfeited or until a person resigns or until a person is removed from office as provided elsewhere.
District representation. At least ninety (90) days prior to the regular city commission election to be held in March 2009 and the city commission election every four (4) years thereafter, the commission shall divide the city into four (4) districts (District 1, 2, 3 and 4) for the purpose of electing one (1) commissioner from each district. The division of the city into four (4) districts shall be as nearly as practicable on an equal population basis by contiguous boundaries. No sitting commissioner shall be disqualified from completing his or her term as a result of redistricting.
No person may appear on the ballot for re-election to the Deerfield Beach City Commission (as defined in Section 3.01) if, by the end of the current term of office the person will have served (or, but for resignation, would have served) as a member of the Deerfield Beach City Commission for eight (8) consecutive years; provided that a commissioner subject to these term limitations by virtue of prior service as a commissioner shall be permitted to run for mayor and may serve as mayor and if elected shall be subject to the same term limit restrictions with regard to mayoral service as set forth above for commission service; provided further that should the person serving as mayor on the date this amendment is approved wish to appear on the ballot for re-election as mayor at the March 2009 election he shall be permitted to do so and may serve only that term and shall be barred from appearing on the ballot for a position on the city commission in the March 2013 election.
(Res. No. C-1988/93, 9-6-88/11-8-88; Res. No. C-1988/94, 9-6-88/11-8-88; Ord. No. 1989/8, § 1, 1-3-89/2-14-89; Ord. No. 1990/55, § 1, 9-5-90/11-6-90; Ord. No. 1993/003, § 1, 1-5-93; Ord. No. 1999/013, § 1, 9-7-99/11-2-99; Ord. No. 2006/018, §§ 2, 3, 6-20-06/11-7-06)
State Law reference— Uniform election, procedure and dates for Broward County City elections, Laws of Fla., chs. 75-350, 76-336, 77-507, 81-349; Florida election code, F.S. chs. 97—106.
Section 3.05. – Oath of office.
Before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, all elected officers shall each take and subscribe substantially to the following oath: “I do solemnly swear or affirm that I am a citizen of the State of Florida and of the United States of America and a registered voter and resident of the City of Deerfield Beach, as shown by the public records of Broward County, Florida. I am being employed as a Commissioner of the City of Deerfield Beach and will be a recipient of public funds. As such Commissioner I further swear or affirm that I will support the Charter of the City of Deerfield Beach, the Constitution of the State of Florida, and the Constitution of the United States, and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of my office upon which I am about to enter.”
(Ord. No. 1990/56, § 1, 9-5-90/11-6-90)
State Law reference— Oath, F.S. § 876.05.
Section 3.06. – Mayor and vice mayor.
Mayor. The mayor shall preside at meetings of the commission and shall be recognized as head of the city government for all ceremonial purposes; by the governor for purposes of military law and civil disaster; for execution of contracts, deeds and other documents except as otherwise provided in article IV; for service of process; and as the city official designated to represent the city in all agreements with other governmental entities or certifications to other governmental entities, but shall have no administrative duties except as required to carry out the responsibilities herein.
Vice mayor. Dependent upon the length of the term to which the commissioners have been elected, pursuant to the provisions of section 3.04(2) of this Charter, and to the extent possible, each commissioner shall serve as vice mayor of the city for a term of one year during his term as commissioner.
At the first meeting following the regularly scheduled election in March the commission shall designate which of its members shall serve which year as vice mayor. The commission shall designate its member with the greatest prior length of service as a commissioner to be immediately installed and to serve as vice mayor for the first year immediately following the election. The commissioner with the next greatest prior length of service as a commissioner shall be designated to serve as vice mayor for the second year immediately following the election. The commissioner with the next greatest prior length of service as a commissioner shall be designated to serve as vice mayor for the third year immediately following the election. If commissioners are serving four-year terms then the commissioner with the least prior length of service shall be designated to serve as vice mayor for the fourth year. In the event of equal lengths of prior service among commissioners then the order of years in which such commissioners, with such equal service, shall serve as vice mayor shall be determined by lot. Each vice mayor’s term shall expire on the date of the first city commission meeting following the three hundred sixty-fifth (365th) day after his installation as vice mayor. Each successive vice mayor shall be installed at the same city commission meeting at which his predecessor’s term expired.
In the event of a vacancy in the office of vice mayor created because the commissioner then serving as vice mayor leaves his office as commissioner, then the then remaining commissioners shall elect one of their members to serve as vice mayor for the remaining term that the absent commissioner would have served had he completed his term as commissioner.
The vice mayor shall act as mayor during the absence or disability of the mayor.
(Ord. No. 1989/9, § 1, 1-3-89/2-14-89)
Section 3.07. – Compensation and expenses.
The commission may determine the annual salary of the commissioners. No ordinance increasing or decreasing such salary shall become effective until the date of the commencement of the term of commissioners elected at the next regular election. Commissioners shall receive their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties of office as provided by law.
Section 3.08. – General powers and duties.
All powers of the city shall be vested in the commission, except as otherwise provided for by law or this Charter, and the commission shall provide for the exercise thereof and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed on the city by law. The city commission may establish by ordinance city departments, offices, agencies and boards and may prescribe their functions and duties subject to this Charter.
Section 3.09. – Prohibitions.
Holding other office. Except where authorized by law, no mayor or commissioner shall hold any other Deerfield Beach city office, Deerfield Beach city employment, or other elected public office during the term for which said person was elected as mayor or to the commission, and no former mayor or commissioner shall hold any compensated appointive Deerfield Beach city office or Deerfield Beach city employment until one year after the expiration of the term for which said person was elected as mayor or to the commission.
Appointments and removals. Neither the commission nor any of its members shall in any manner dictate the appointment or removal of any city administrative officers or employees whom the city manager or any of his subordinates are empowered to appoint, but the commission may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the city manager anything pertaining to appointment and removal of such officers and employees.
Oversight of administration. Except for the purpose of inquiries and investigations, the commission or its members shall deal with city officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the city manager solely through the city manager, and neither the commission nor its members shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately. Nothing in the foregoing is to be construed to prohibit individual members of the commission from examining by question and personal observation all aspects of city government operations so as to obtain independent information to assist the members in the formulation of policies to be considered by the commission and assure the implementation of such policies as have been adopted.
It is the express intent of this provision, however, that such inquiry shall not interfere directly with the regular municipal operations of the city and that recommendations for change or improvement in city government operations be made to and through the city manager.
Section 3.10. – Vacancies, forfeiture of office, filling of vacancies.
Vacancies. A vacancy in the city commission occurs when a commissioner leaves office otherwise than by the normal expiration of his term of office. The office of a commissioner shall become vacant upon his death, resignation, removal from office in any manner authorized by law, or forfeiture of his office, such forfeiture to be declared by the remaining members of the commission.
Forfeiture of office. A commissioner shall forfeit his office if said person, (a) lacks at any time during a term of office any qualification for the office prescribed by this Charter or law, (b) violates any standard of conduct or code of ethics established by law for public officials, (c) is convicted of a felony while in office, or (d) fails to attend four (4) consecutive regular meetings of the commission without being excused by the commission by formal action entered upon the minutes, or (e) has become incapable of performing the duties of commissioner for a period of more than three (3) months. In all circumstances arising under this article the commission shall be the judge of its own membership, and the applicability of its provisions.
Filling of vacancies: Mayor, vice-mayor, commissioner. A vacancy or vacancies in the city commission shall be filled as provided in the following:
Appointment. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of mayor and there are less than nine (9) months remaining before the next regular city election, the vice-mayor shall succeed to the office of mayor until that election. The commissioners shall then elect a vice-mayor from the remaining members.
Whenever there is a vacancy or vacancies in the office of commissioner and there are less than nine (9) months remaining before the next regular city election, the remaining commissioners shall each propose the name of one qualified successor to fill each vacancy, and the remaining commissioners shall then select a qualified successor or successors from among those names to serve until that election. If a majority of the remaining commissioners are unable to fill a vacancy or vacancies after two (2) regular meetings have been held, then such officer or officers shall be chosen from among the same proposed names only, by lot, conducted in public by the city clerk who shall certify the result.
Special elections. If no regular city election is scheduled within nine (9) months, the commission shall schedule a special election to fill the unexpired term of mayor or a commissioner held not sooner than forty-five (45) days, nor more than seventy-five (75) days following the occurrence of the vacancy or vacancies.
In any special election held for the purpose of this section, the provisions for candidates and elections of article VI of this Charter shall apply.
Term. The term of office for vacancies filled by election shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term of the office in which the vacancy exists.
Quorum requirements. Notwithstanding the quorum requirements established by this Charter at section 3.15(7), if at any time the membership of the commission is reduced to less than a quorum, the remaining members may, by majority vote, appoint a qualified elector of the city as an interim, additional commissioner to serve until the next regular city election if less than six (6) months remain until that election. If, however, following the appointment of the interim, additional commissioner in order to have quorum for the conduct of municipal affairs there shall be more than six (6) months remaining before the next regular city election, the commission shall call a special election to elect additional members in order to form a whole commission, including the position occupied by the interim, additional commissioner. In the event that the remaining members of a commission lacking a quorum are unable to agree on the appointment of an interim, additional commissioner after two (2) weeks of deliberation, the governor shall appoint such interim, additional commissioner in order to provide a quorum for the conduct of municipal affairs.
Extraordinary vacancies. In the event that all members of the commission are removed by death, disability or forfeiture of office, the governor shall appoint an interim commission that shall call a special election as provided in [subsection] (b) above and such election shall be conducted to fill the specific vacancies in the manner provided for under the regular election procedures of this city.
[Qualifications to fill vacancy.] A vacancy in the office of commissioner shall be filled by a person having the same qualifications as the commissioner no longer in office. If the vacancy is to be filled by appointment the appointee shall be a person from the same district as the commissioner no longer in office. If the vacancy is to be filled by election, the candidates for election shall reside in and be elected by the qualified electors in the same district from which the commissioner, who is no longer serving, was elected.
(Ord. No. 1989/11, § 1, 1-3-89/2-14-89)