Tampa voters to decide on four charter amendments at March 7 election

Elections for Tampa’s mayor and six of the seven city council members, as well as four charter amendments referred to the ballot by the city council, will be held on March 7.

The charter amendments would:

*provide that the mayor’s nominations for department heads and other city employees must be approved by four of the seven city council members and allow for interim appointments of existing city employees for a maximum of 180 days;

*provide for a Charter Review Advisory Commission to be established every eight years rather than every 10 years;

*limit members of the Tampa City Council to serving four consecutive four-year terms beginning in 2027; and

*provide that the city council may create standing boards by ordinance without the mayor’s recommendation.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, first elected in 2019, vetoed the proposed charter amendments. Castor said, “Every decision I make as mayor is based on what’s best for Tampa residents today and their children tomorrow, rather than what’s easy or politically expedient. My charter amendment vetoes reflected that, but I was under no illusion that I would convince every council member to change his or her mind.”

The city council overrode Castor’s vetoes. Council Member Lynn Hurtak said, “We have four amendments that will be on the ballot for voters to choose from, and more importantly, there are going to be all of us on the ballot, so the voters not only can vote for the amendments, but they can decide whether or not they liked what we did.”

The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board endorsed a “No” vote on all four amendments.

To vote in the March 7 election, voters needed to be registered to vote by February 6. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on election day. Early voting will take place between February 27 through March 5. Florida requires voters to present photo identification with a signature to vote.

In 2023, Ballotpedia is covering local ballot measures that appear on the ballot for voters within the 100 largest cities in the U.S., such as Tampa, as well as within state capitals and throughout California.

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