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Voters in Wilton Manors have three ballot questions to answer this election cycle. 

Amendments to the city charter must be approved by voters. Commissioners are seeking to repeal articles and sections of the city code while establishing term limits for elected officials. 

Michael Rajner, who chaired the Charter Review Board, recommends a no vote on two of the three questions. The first referendum would eliminate the Civil Service Board, a measure Rajner believes would be harmful to city employees. The Charter Review Board, which included Mayor Scott Newton, recommended keeping the Civil Service Board intact. The ballot measure does not provide any alternative for recourse, said Rajner. 

The five-member board is chaired by Scott McCoy, Interim Deputy Director of LGBTQ Rights & Special Litigation at the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

“That particular city board with final decision-making authority should have more regular training in the event they need to adjudicate a matter,” Rajner said.

Rajner also recommends a no vote on the third question concerning term limits, citing a potential death of qualified candidates. 

“A supermajority of the Charter Review Board did not support strict lifetime term limits and proposed a compromise that ensured the pool of qualified candidates remained as large as possible and any institutional knowledge would not be lost,” Rajner said.

The ballot referendum would limit elected officials to 12 years of service with the mayor capped at six two-year terms and commissioners maxed out at three four-year terms. 

Michael Sansevero, Chair of the Community Affairs Advisory Board, recommends yes votes on all three ballot referendums, including dissolving the Civil Service Board.

“I would eliminate that Board,” Sansevero said. “Its mission could be accomplished elsewhere.” 

The second ballot question deals with vacancies and, if approved, provides a smoother transition of power in the event a mayor or commissioner resigns, is removed or dies in office as was the case when former Mayor Justin Flippen died unexpectedly in February of 2020. 

“Filling vacancy is needed as we found out after Justin’s unfortunate death,” Sansevero said. 

Election day is Nov. 8. Early voting began Oct. 24 and runs through Nov. 6. The Woman’s Club of Wilton Manors, 600 N.E. 21st Court, is the city’s early voting site. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The last day for voters to request a vote-by-mail ballot is Oct. 29.

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