Source: The Sun Sentinel | Date: October 1, 2020

On Broward charter question 2, local decisions should be kept in local hands | Opinion
By Traci Callari and Greg Harrison

On Nov. 3, Broward County residents will have an opportunity to vote on proposed Broward County Charter Amendment 2. The proposed amendment would give Broward County the power to supersede municipal zoning and regulatory authority for projects on county properties that are funded in whole or in part by funds from the transportation surtax, even if the projects fall within municipal borders.

Essentially, the proposed amendment would allow county ordinances to supersede city ordinances. Every city and every county has a charter, which is effectively its constitution. A charter is a city’s most important legal document; it defines the powers, functions and procedures for that municipality. Our democratic process does not stop at the national, state or county levels; it transcends down to the city level for a reason.

As residents, we are responsible for electing our municipal leaders who have a duty to govern in accordance with their city’s charter. Once that ability is diminished and home rule is threatened, local leaders lose the ability to make and enforce decisions that are tailored for their communities. No two cities are exactly the same, and therefore they each need to maintain their own home rule authority.

Some cities in Broward County are so concerned over the future potential effects Amendment 2 could have, that they jointly filed a lawsuit against Broward County. The lawsuit has one clear request — that Amendment 2 be removed from the ballot because the language of the ballot question is misleading and ignores local ordinances. On Oct. 28, Broward Circuit Court Judge David Haimes will hear the case and hopefully issue a ruling.

Since the ballots have been printed, we urge you to do your research before you cast your vote. Being an informed, educated voter is one of the greatest responsibilities on which our communities depend.

Now is the time to reach out and call or email your local city officials to gain a better understanding of what home rule means and how this proposed amendment could impact the future of your city. Remember, it’s our community, our choice!