Wakulla County: A Charter County?

By: Blaine Tolison Email
By: Blaine Tolison Email

Wakulla County residents will have the option to alter their local government. Wakulla is currently a non-charter county, but that could change if residents vote to enact one in November.

At the Wakulla County commission meeting Monday evening, commissioners voted three to two--allowing the option for a charter to be on the November ticket. However, some commissioners and residents have mixed feelings about what a charter could do.

Ed Brimner, a Wakulla County Commissioner said, "A non charter county basically looks to the legislator and asks, 'Have you allowed me to do this?' And if they've allowed you to do it, then you can do it. A charter county on the other hand says, 'Have you said something that I couldn't do it?' And if they say, no we've not passed a statute that says you can't do it, well, then we can do it then."

Commissioner Howard Kessler says a charter will give the county the ability to approve community reconstruction projects it currently does not control. "When we have a chartered government, if we do move to that, then any new CRA in the community will have to be a joint agreement between the county commission the municipality." said Kessler.

Attorney Herb Thiele says not too much has changed since Leon County became a charter in 2002, but what has changed has been for the better. "I don't think you'll see any change in your day to day lifestyle, but your general power of self government now gets closer to home. You have the ability to have your own little constitution and from that standpoint you now have control." said Thiele.

Wakulla County commissioners passed the first hurdle by getting the charter on the ballot. Their next challenge will be informing voters about the charter before the November election. Stay logged on to Eyewitness News for the latest updates on the Wakulla County charter.

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