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October 2004
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Brevard County Charter Amendment 2

OK, now the ballot text on this one simply says:

Shall the Preamble be revised and incorporated into Section 1.1 of the Charter of Brevard County so as to give legal effect to the provisions of the preamble?

Well, OK, obviously there isn’t enough information here to make a decision. However the full text of the existing county charter is here and the full text of the proposed amendment is here. Using those two together we see that they are trying to change this:

PREAMBLE

We, the people of Brevard County, in the belief that governmental decisions affecting the interests of our County should be made locally rather than by the State, in order to establish a government responsive to the needs and wishes of the citizens and to guarantee equal civil and political rights for all; do hereby avail ourselves of the opportunity afforded by the Constitution of Florida to adopt a Home Rule Charter, conceived in the interest of cooperation with the municipalities and other governmental units of the County; and do ordain and establish this Home Rule Charter for Brevard County.

ARTICLE 1

CREATION, POWERS AND ORDINANCES OF HOME RULE CHARTER GOVERNMENT

Section 1.1.   Creation and general powers of home rule charter government

Brevard County shall be a home rule charter county, and, except as may be limited by this Home Rule Charter, shall have all powers of self-government granted now or hereafter by the Constitution and laws of the State of Florida.

to get rid of the preamble entirely and change Article 1 Section 1.1 to:

ARTICLE 1

CREATION, POWERS AND ORDINANCES OF HOME RULE CHARTER GOVERNMENT

Section 1.1.   Creation and general powers of home rule charter government

WE, THE PEOPLE of Brevard County, residing in the constituent state of Florida of the United States of America, grateful for and secure in our protected individual rights, and in affirmation of dedication to the Constitutions and laws of the United States of the State of Florida, do ordain and establish this Home Rule Charter for the execution of our County Government for the most common benefits to all our inhabitants. Brevard County shall be a home rule charter county, and, except as may be limited by this Home Rule Charter, shall have all powers of self-government granted now or hereafter by the Constitution and laws of the State of Florida.

OK. This is supposidly to make the statements in the preamble have force of law since they are in the charter itself rather than in a preamble. However all that is being moved is essentially the statement that Brevard County is in Florida and we are grateful for our rights. This seems pointless, and the original is more verbose, and I like verbosity. And the best statement in favor of this I could find was a Florida Today Editorial that said

a minor alteration that does no harm and strengthens the preamble’s legitimacy

Uh huh. Pointless change, waste of time. Does no harm. Not a good enough argument.

So on this one, my vote is: NO