County Information Desk:
Overview and History of the Pinellas County Charter
Current Pinellas Charter
Historically, in Florida, counties have been established as instruments or subdivisions of the state to decentralize decision-making and service delivery responsibilities. Counties essentially were administrative “arms” of the State and functioned to collect taxes, keep records, administer courts, and maintain law and order. In 1968, Florida’s voters amended the state constitution to provide cities and counties with the power to govern themselves. In 1980, the voters of Pinellas County approved our first “home rule” charter. There are 18 other such charter counties in Florida.
Pinellas County’s Charter is reviewed every six years. The Board of County Commissioners appoints 13 members to serve on the Charter Review Commission (CRC) for the purpose of reviewing and proposing amendments to Pinellas County’s electorate for consideration. The CRC is comprised of one member from the legislative delegation, one constitutional officer, one elected city official, one county commissioner and nine members from the public at large. The CRC is an independent t body that sets its own agenda, looking to the future to improve the life of all citizens of Pinellas County by making county government more efficient and effective.
Normally the CRC meets for six months. However, among the many proposals the CRC brought to the voters at the end of its 2004 session, was a provision that the CRC be allowed to reconstitute for a two-year period of time to thoroughly examine the current charter and work with our citizens, our municipalities and our elected officials to make our charter better serve the wants and needs of 21st century Pinellas County.
In addition to its reconstitution, the CRC proposed in its 2004 Final Report four additional amendments; in total four were adopted. In June 2006 the CRC adopted 2006 Final Report proposed seven amendments to the charter. Two of the three adopted amendments were the subject of a legal challenge; a Settlement Agreement was reached in May 2007.
Latest update - View 2010 Final Report