Your Voice Matters: Clay County voters to decide on eliminating term limits for elected officials, raise for commission

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County voters will decide on some critical issues next month that involve changing the county charter.

They include removing term limits for elected county officials and giving the county commission a raise.

Eliminating term limits would be a change for offices like sheriff, tax collector and clerk of court. Right now, they are term limited to three consecutive four-year terms.

News4JAX spoke with voters like Timothy Robinson who wonder if it’s the best thing for Clay County.

“Having limitless terms of service does myself and other taxpayers an injustice, I believe,” Robinson said.

Another change to the county charter involves giving a raise to the Clay County Board of County Commissioners. It’s a cost of living raise, which is now $37,000.

“Cost of living’s going up for everybody,” Clay County resident Steve Opsahl. “I don’t have a problem with it.”

Cost of living has gone up — for everything from a trip to Walmart to new tires to getting gas.

The salary for commissioners was set in 2009 and is lower than what’s allowed by Florida state statute.

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The county commission approved putting this on the ballot, but that was only because a separate board, the Charter Review Commission, is recommending it. And one commissioner did express hesitation about doing that.

“We had no abilities to change those or reject those or anything else,” said Commissioner Mike Cella. “I know we’ll take some heat from those folks on Facebook in regards to you’re voting on your own raise. That was the Charter Review Commission’s responsibility.”

There will be another thing Clay County voters will vote on, and it regards the Charter Review Commission. It oversaw the process of getting these issues on the ballot. Voters will decide if they can increase their appointments on the board from four years to eight years.

About the Author:

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.