St. Petersburg voters will decide whether to change the dates on which elected officials take office this November.
It’s one of three city ballot issues up for consideration at the Nov. 5 general election.
Two of the issues ask voters to amend the city charter, including the proposal to move the date when the Mayor and members of the City Council start new terms of office.
The city charter currently calls for each council member to take office on the second day of January following the election. The proposed amendment would move that start date to the first or second Thursday of January, to align with the regular scheduled meeting of the City Council.
It would have no effect on council members taking office or leaving office in 2020, according to a staff report. It would have only a minor impact on the terms of any current council member or mayor that end in 2022 or 2024, increasing the duration of those terms by only four days and two days, respectively, the report said.
The other two ballot issues touch on waterfront property.
Voters will be asked to amend a part of the city charter that deals with when waterfront or park property owned by the city can be sold, donated or leased without holding a citywide vote.
The current provision requiring a citywide vote exists to ensure the use of waterfront or park property is not fundamentally altered, a staff report said. However, there are exceptions to the requirement for utility easements and for grants for recreational and airport property uses. The proposed charter amendment in November would add another exception, allowing the City Council to accept grant funds for environmental conservation or preservation of park property.
Voters also will be asked to approve a new agreement between the city of St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for operation of the St. Petersburg Sailing Center.
The Yacht Club wants to make about $800,000 in improvements at the Sailing Center, and in return is asking for a lease that’s longer than the five-year maximum generally allowed for waterfront property leases. The new lease would allow the Yacht Club to operate the Sailing Center until Dec. 31, 2040.