Okay, so this is a bit of slightly old news. However, I wanted to post some quick analysis.
It would seem that both Supervisor of Election Buddy Johnson and a local circuit court judge have determined that Johnson’s deadline of July 10th is valid. I would have to agree with the reasoning.
Consider that the charter amendment needs to be certified 90-days before the election. This is the deadline that Mary Ann Stiles and the Taking Back Hillsborough County group thought would be the time for submitting signatures. However, Johnson can and did add 30 day to that deadline. This period is necessary because his staff needs to certify the signatures as being valid, Hillsborough County voters.
When you consider that early voting for the September 5th primary starts in August, the 90-day deadline would be right up against the training and preparation for that voting. The Elections office does not have the staff to both prepare for an election and certify thousands of signatures; thus, Johnson determined he needed the 30-day deadline.
Ultimately, though, it does not appear that Taking Back really has anything to worry about. They submitted 10,000 more signatures than required. The Elections office is certifying names at the rate of 95% — which means Taking Back has enough total signatures. The only issue could be that signatures are required to be taken from across the county in a specific proporition. But they should meet that requirement as well.
All of this means that we will get to vote on a measure that seems to have been rushed. I have posted before why I think the current version of this concept needs to be redone. It’s not that I think imposing an elected chief executive is a bad idea, but this amendment has some significant flaws. Taking Back should take it back to the drawing board and come back in 2008 with a more developed proposal.