Tomorrow is the deadline set by Hillsborough Supverisor of Election Buddy Johnson for Taking Back Hillsborough County to turn in enough signatures to get their measure for an elected County Mayor on this fall’s ballot. Johnson sought clarification from Attorney General Charlie Crist’s office on the applicability of the state’s deadline for initiative petitions.
The state law set the deadline for amendments to the Constitution as February first. The Attorney General’s office declined to comment, because it pertains to a change to the county charter – and thus not within the AG’s purview.
With that decision, Johnson announced that the county charter allows him to follow a different state law that requires signatures to be approved 90 days before the general election. There is some dispute here, as Taking Back leader Mary Ann Stiles believes they have until August to submit the 37,000+ signatures; they have already turned in 30,000.
At this point, depite the difference of opinion on the deadline, it appears that this issue will be on the ballot come November.
All I can do is point to my earlier post on this issue, and suggest that the voters reject this proposal. Perhaps Taking Back can come back again in 2008 with a properly drafted amendment.
(See also the St. Pete Times article on this issue.)