After a new census is completed every ten years, the City of Key West convenes a Charter Review Committee to ensure the City's charter is still the will of the people. That committee then makes recommendations, which the citizens must vote on. No changes can be made to the City Charter without the approval of the electorate.
The primary ballot contains five of the committee's recommendations for the public to vote on.
- Allow the acquisition of real property by a supermajority vote of the City Commission. Currently, citizens must vote upon property acquisition via a referendum. The annexation of any real property will remain by referendum only.
- Amend to impose a one-year residency requirement to be eligible to run for Mayor or City Commission seats. There currently is no time limit associated with these elected positions.
- The third and fourth items on the ballot update the charter's language to further protect against discrimination. The sixth item on the ballot would remove gender-specific language from the charter, replacing those terms with gender-neutral terms.
In addition to the above recommendations, the City Commission voted to bring the next referendum to the voters:
- Authorizing the City to lease the property of the Botanical Garden on College Rd. for up to 99 years. This would allow the property to be exclusively a botanical garden with public access for up to 99 years.
"It's important to be aware that these items are on the primary ballot," said City Manager Patti McLauchlin. "Every resident should turn out and vote and have a say in the future of our community."