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Article IV

Home Rule Charter Transition, Amendments, Review, Severance, Effective Date

SECTION 4.1 Home Rule Charter Transition.

A. General Provisions. Unless expressly provided otherwise in this Home Rule Charter, the adoption of this Charter shall not affect any existing contracts or obligations of Osceola County; the validity of any of its laws, ordinances, regulations, and resolutions; or the term of office of any elected County officer, whose term shall continue as if this Charter had not been adopted.

B. Initial County Commissioners. The persons comprising the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners on the effective date of this Charter shall become the initial members of the Board of County Commissioners of the Charter Government and shall perform the functions thereof until the normal expiration of their terms or until the election and taking office of their successors as provided by law.

C. Outstanding Bonds. All outstanding bonds, revenue certificates, and other financial obligations of the County outstanding on the effective date of this Charter shall be obligations of the Charter Government. All actions taken by the former government relating to the issuance of such obligations are hereby ratified and confirmed. Payment of such obligations and the interest thereon shall be made solely from and charged solely against funds derived from the same sources from which such payment would have been made had this Charter not taken effect.

D. Employees Continuation. All employees of the former County government shall on the effective date of this Charter become employees of the County Government created by this Charter. All existing wages, benefits, and conditions of employment shall continue, until modified by lawful action of the County Commission or joint agreement of the County Commission and the appropriate bargaining agent when a collective bargaining agreement exists and controls.

E. Plat and Subdivision Approvals. The County Commission may designate another board or agency, such as but not limited to a planning commission, to approve for recording and otherwise regulate subdivisions and plats thereof. Such designation may be plenary or partial. The designation set forth in Laws of Florida Chapter 67-1849, as amended, the Zoning Regulations of Osceola County and the Minimum Land Subdivision Regulations of Osceola County shall remain in full force and effect until repealed or amended by the County Commission.

SECTION 4.2 Home Rule Charter Amendments.

A. Amendments Proposed by Petition.
(1) Amendments to this Home Rule Charter may be proposed by petition signed by a number of electors equal to at least 10% of the number of qualified electors registered to vote in the County at the last preceding general election. Each such proposed amendment shall embrace but one subject and matter directly connected therewith. Each Charter amendment proposed by petition shall be placed on the ballot by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners for a special election called for that purpose occurring in excess of 90 days from the certification by the Supervisor of Elections that the requisite number of signatures has been verified.
(2) The sponsor of a petition amendment shall, prior to obtaining any signatures, submit the text of the proposed amendment to the Supervisor of Elections, with the form on which the signatures will be affixed, and shall obtain the approval of the Supervisor of Elections of such form. The style and requirements of such form shall be specified by ordinance. The beginning date of any petition drive shall commence upon the date of approval by the Supervisor of Elections of the form on which signatures will be affixed, and said drive shall terminate 180 days after the date. In the event sufficient signatures are not acquired during that 180 day period, the petition initiative shall be rendered null and void and none of the signatures may be carried over onto another identical or similar petition. The sponsor shall submit signed and dated forms to the Supervisor of Elections and upon submission pay all fees as required by general law which fees shall be repaid by the County if the amendment is adopted by the voters. The Supervisor of Elections shall within 45 days verify the signatures thereon.
(3) If approved by a majority of those electors voting on the amendment at the special election the amendment shall become effective on the date specified in the amendment or, if not so specified, on January 1 of the succeeding year.

B. Amendments Proposed by the Board of County Commissioners.
(1) Amendments to this Home Rule Charter may be proposed by ordinance adopted by the Board of County Commissioners by an affirmative vote of a majority plus one of the total membership of the Board of County Commissioners. Each proposed amendment shall embrace but one subject and matter directly connected therewith. Each proposed amendment shall only become effective upon approval by a majority of the electors of Osceola County voting in a special election called for that purpose.
(2) If approved by a majority of those electors voting on the amendment at the special election, the amendment shall become effective on the date specified in the amendment or, if not so specified, on January 1 of the succeeding year.

C. Charter Review Advisory Commission.
(1) There shall be a Charter Review Advisory Commission appointed by the County Commission on the first Tuesday in January of 1995 and every four (4) years thereafter.
(2) The Charter Review Advisory Commission shall consist of a number twice that of the County Commission plus an additional member. Each County Commissioner shall nominate two (2) persons residing in the nominating Commissioner’s district. All nominations shall be subject to confirmation by a majority vote of the Commission. The County Commission shall determine how the remaining member of the Charter Review Advisory Commission shall be appointed.
(3) The term of each member shall expire on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in November of the year following the year in which said members were appointed. Any vacancy occurring shall be filled by the County Commission in the same manner as the original appointment was made for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(4) All members of the Charter Review Advisory Commission shall be electors of the County. Except where otherwise prohibited by Article II, Section 5(a) of the Florida Constitution, any elector of the County may serve on the Charter Review Advisory Commission; provided however, that no member of the County Commission, a Constitutional Officer, the County Administrator, nor other Charter officer may serve on the Charter Review Advisory Commission.
(5) All members of the Charter Review Advisory Commission shall be eligible for reappointment.
(6) A majority of the membership of the Charter Review Advisory Commission shall constitute a quorum.
(7) The Charter Review Advisory Commission shall be empowered to conduct a comprehensive study of any or all phases of County government, including those of the Constitutional Officers.
(8) After at least two (2) public hearings and by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the full Charter Review Advisory Commission, the Charter Review Advisory Commission may submit a proposal to amend or revise the Charter to the County Commission. The Charter Review Advisory Commission must submit any proposed Charter amendments or revisions no later than the first Tuesday in June of the year in which the term of the Charter Review Advisory Commission shall expire.
(9) The Charter Review Advisory Commission shall elect from among its membership appropriate officers as it deems necessary and proper for the orderly conduct of its specific duties, including a chairman and vice-chairman. The chairman shall set the time, date, and place of meetings. The Charter Review Advisory Commission may adopt such internal procedures and rules as may be necessary to carry out its functions.
(10) The Charter Review Advisory Commission shall be funded by the County Commission.

SECTION 4.3 Severance.

If any provision of this Charter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Charter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Charter are declared severable.

SECTION 4.4 HOME RULE CHARTER EFFECTIVE DATE.

This Charter shall become effective on October 1, 1992.