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A Better South Walton is pleased to announce the next stage of incorporation has begun with the submission of the completed charter to the Florida State Legislature. Multiple charter workshops were held in recent months to gather feedback from the community and incorporate key ideas into the draft charter for inclusion in the full version. Several key components of the charter were updated to include residents’ ideas for improvement, such as:

  • Creating term limits for council members of two consecutive terms
  • Modifying the vice mayor’s term from four to two years
  • Defining the replacement process for council members who move out of their district prior to their term’s end
  • Modifying the required Council vote needed to levy a municipal ad valorem tax to require a supermajority vote to levy or increase an ad valorem tax rather than to levy or change an ad valorem tax
  • Limiting maximum municipal ad valorem taxes to 2.5 mills
  • Requiring a run-off election if no council candidate receives a majority vote for a particular seat during regular elections
  • Allowing council members to increase their salaries, but restricting these changes to take effect two years after the next council election

The updated Charter Summary and the full Charter document can be viewed via the buttons above.

 

The Process of Incorporation

When a new municipality is being proposed, Florida Statutes require a feasibility study and proposed Charter be submitted to the Florida State Legislature for consideration along with the associated local bill. The study validated that incorporation would be feasible and includes projections and plans to show what could be done based on the study’s findings. The full charter determines the financial, operational and municipal framework for the proposed new government of the Town of South Walton, outlining the town’s plan and potential tax impact of the projected government. These two pivotal documents are now completed and have been submitted to South Walton’s State Representative for review. He will decide whether the bill that would allow our citizens to vote on whether we want to incorporate as a municipality will be presented to the Florida State Legislature. Residents of South Walton have an important role to play throughout this process and can make their voice heard by signing an online petition supporting the right to vote on incorporation.

Click here to read the Florida State Statute 165.041 list of requirements for a Feasibility Study.