Brevard County Charter Articles 1 and 2

Article 1

Creation, Powers and Ordinances of Home Rule Charter Government

Section 1.1 Creation and General Powers of Home Rule Charter Government

WE, THE PEOPLE of Brevard County, residing in the constituent State of Florida of the United States of America, grateful for and secure in our protected individual rights, and in affirmation of dedication to the Constitutions and laws of the United States and of the State of Florida, do ordain and establish this Home Rule Charter for the execution of our County Government for the most common benefits to all our inhabitants. Brevard County shall be a home rule charter county, and, except as may be limited by this Home Rule Charter, shall have all powers of self-government granted now or hereafter by the Constitution and laws of the State of Florida. (Amd. 11-7-2004)

Section 1.2 Body Corporate, Name and Boundaries

Brevard County shall be a body corporate and politic. The corporate name shall be Brevard County. The county seat and boundaries shall be those designated by the law on the effective date of this Charter.

Section 1.3 Construction

The powers granted by this Home Rule Charter shall be construed liberally in favor of the charter government. The enumeration of certain rights and powers in this charter shall not limit, deny or disparage the right of the people of Brevard County to the fullest measure of home rule authority allowed by the State Constitution to the citizens of charter counties.

Section 1.4 Special Powers and Duties of County

The County, operating under this Charter, shall have all special powers and duties which are not inconsistent with this Charter, heretofore granted by State or Federal law to the Board of County Commissioners, and shall have such additional county and municipal powers as may be required to fulfill the intent of this Charter.

1.4.1 Tax millage

Subject to the reserved powers of the people under Article 5 of this Charter, the County shall have all necessary powers to levy taxes and to accomplish county and municipal purposes. Property situated within municipalities shall not be subject to taxation for services rendered by the County exclusively for the benefit of property or residents not within municipal boundaries, nor shall property situated in the unincorporated area of the county be subject to taxation for the benefit of the property or residents within municipal boundaries. To this end the Board of County Commissioners may by ordinance, subject to the limits set forth in Section 5.4.1. of this Charter, create districts for the purpose of levying ad valorem taxes and special assessments to pay for the furnishing of municipal services, and the tax imposed shall be within the limits of millage set for municipal purposes. Should such services be furnished within a municipality, the total millage levied by the municipality and the county district levy for municipal purposes shall not exceed the maximum millage set by law for municipal purposes. (Amd. 11-3-98)

1.4.2 Transfer of powers

The County shall have the power and authority to assume and perform all functions and obligations now or hereinafter performed by any municipality, special district or agency whenever such municipality, special district or agency shall request the performance or transfer of the function to the County.

Section 1.5 Division of Powers

This Charter hereby establishes the separation between legislative and executive functions of Brevard County government. The establishment and adoption of policy shall be the responsibility of the Board of County Commissioners and the execution of that policy shall be the responsibility of the County Manager.

Section 1.6 Relation to State Law

The provisions of this Charter are not intended, and shall not be construed, to conflict with the Constitution of the State of Florida, general law, or special law approved by vote of the electorate.

Section 1.7 Relation to Municipal Ordinances

Except as otherwise provided by State or Federal law, municipal ordinances shall prevail over County ordinances to the extent of any conflict. To the extent that a County ordinance which is specifically applicable to the incorporated area and a municipal ordinance shall cover the same subject without conflict, then both the municipal ordinance and the County ordinance shall be effective, each being deemed supplemental to the other.

Section 1.8 Charter Amendments Affecting Municipalities

No provision of this Charter adopted after December 1, 2010, which conflicts with, transfers, or limits any function, service, power, or authority of a municipality within Brevard County, shall apply to a municipality affected unless a majority of the voters in the municipality voting in a referendum approve the charter amendment. (Newly adopted 11-2-10)

Article 2

Legislative Branch: Board of County Commissioners

Section 2.1 Composition

The Board of County Commissioners shall be composed of five members. There shall be five (5) County Commission electoral districts. Each district shall elect one (1) Commissioner.

Section 2.2 Redistricting

In the first odd-numbered year after each decennial census, or more frequently where allowed by this section, the Board of County Commissioners shall cause the county to be divided into County Commission districts of contiguous territory as nearly equal in population as practicable. Redistricting shall be the responsibility of a Committee appointed in the same manner as a Charter Review Commission under this Charter. The recommendations of the Committee shall be made directly to the Board of County Commissioners which shall approve or disapprove them without amendment. In its recommendation the Committee shall, to the extent practicable, preserve the several municipalities and geographically cohesive racial or ethnic minority communities from fragmentation. Redistricting more frequently than decennially shall be permitted only where the population of a district has been changed by more than 25% since the last redistricting.

Section 2.3 Qualifications

County Commissioners shall be qualified electors of the County. The five (5) Commissioners shall reside within the districts from which they are elected. Any such Commissioner whose residency is removed from the district shall thereupon become disqualified to represent that district, and the office of any such Commissioner shall be deemed vacant, except that any Commissioner who is removed from a district by redistricting may continue to serve during the balance of the term of office.

Section 2.4 Terms of Office

Each Commissioner shall be elected and serve for four (4) years, beginning on the second Tuesday after election, and continuing after such term until a successor is elected and qualified. The terms shall be staggered as presently provided by general law. No county commissioner shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms. (Amd. 11-3-98; 11-7-00)

Section 2.5 Candidacy and Election

Commissioners shall qualify for election at the same time and in the same manner provided by general law for county commissioners in non-charter counties. No person may qualify as a candidate or appear on the ballot for re-election to the office of county commissioner if, by the end of the current term of office, the person will have served (or, but for resignation, would have served) as a county commissioner for two consecutive terms. (Amd. 11-3-98; 11-7-00)

Section 2.6 Salary and Other Compensation

Salary and other compensation of the County Commissioners shall be the same as that in effect on December 31, 1999. On or before October 1, 2001, and on or before October 1 of every even-numbered year thereafter, the Board of County Commissioners may adopt an ordinance fixing the salaries of Commissioners for the next two years. There shall be no automatic increases in salary or other compensation. An ordinance increasing salary or other compensation shall not become effective until the first day of January in the year following adoption of the ordinance.

The specified salary shall not exceed the average percentage increase in the salaries of county employees for the fiscal year just concluded, or the percentage change of the consumer price index from the previous year, whichever is less. All other compensation must be based on actual expenses incurred in Board directed performance of duties of Commissioners as provided by general law of the State of Florida.

An ordinance providing for an increase in salary or compensation shall be subject to nullification under the provisions for initiative provided in Article 5 of this Charter. Except for such nullification, the salary or other compensation of a Commissioner shall not otherwise be decreased during that Commissioner's term of office. (Amd. 11-7-00)

Section 2.7 Vacancies and Suspensions

A vacancy in the office of County Commissioner arising from the death, resignation or removal of such official shall, if one year or less remains in the term of office, be filled by appointment of the Governor; provided, a vacancy created by recall shall be filled as provided in Section 5.2 of this Charter. Unless otherwise required by the State Constitution or general law, if more than one year remains in the term of office at the time the vacancy occurs, the vacancy shall be filled by a special election. The Board of County Commissioners, after first consulting with the Supervisor of Elections, shall by resolution fix the time period for candidate qualifying, the date of the election, and the date of any runoff election. There shall be a minimum of thirty (30) days between the close of qualifying and the date of the election, and between the election and any runoff election. Such special elections shall otherwise be governed by the applicable provisions of general law.

Section 2.8 Meetings

2.8.1 Organizational meeting

An annual organizational meeting of the Board of County Commissioners shall be held on the third Tuesday after the first Monday in November. At its organizational meeting the Board shall elect a Chair and Vice-Chair by majority vote of those Commissioners present, to serve until the next organizational meeting. The Chair shall not be eligible for consecutive re-election, and the succeeding Chair shall not be a Commissioner from the same district.

2.8.2 Special meetings

Special meetings may be held upon the call of the chairman or two (2) or more Commissioners. Upon a call for a special meeting, the County Manager shall give public notice of the time, place and purpose of the meeting as prescribed by law. Action by the Board of County Commissioners at a special meeting shall be limited to the purpose for which the special meeting was called.

2.8.3 Location of meetings

The Board of County Commissioners shall hold its regular and special meetings at the Viera Government Center except that it may determine, from time to time, another place or places within the County at which the Board of County Commissioners shall meet specially for the purpose of conducting its business. Notice of the time and place shall be published in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the County at least one (1) week prior to the holding of any such meeting outside the Viera Government Center. Such notice shall contain an agenda of all matters to be acted upon.

Section 2.9 Authority and Jurisdiction

The Board of County Commissioners shall have, in addition to other powers and duties provided in this Charter, all jurisdiction and powers which are now and which hereafter may be granted to it by the Constitution and laws of Florida, provided that such powers shall be exercised in a manner consistent with the Charter, shall have the specific powers and duties to:

2.9.1

Appoint and reappoint a County Manager and a County Attorney by a majority vote of the total number of Commissioners, and remove the County Manager or County Attorney during a contract term by a majority vote of the total number of Commissioners.

2.9.2

Adopt such ordinances as may be necessary to carry out both the County and municipal powers and purposes.

2.9.3

Review the budgetary requests, including salaries, and make the final budgetary determinations and appropriations for:

(a) All County Governmental operations including but not limited to County management;

(b) All administrative departments of the government;

(c) Boards and special authorities and tax districts which request a portion of the millage levied for County purposes under the State Constitution;

(d) Boards and special authorities and tax districts which request a portion of such other millage as may be levied by the County for municipal service districts.

2.9.3.1 Limitations on growth in ad valorem tax revenues

(a) Unless otherwise allowed by this subsection 2.9.3.1, the Board of County Commissioners shall not impose any ad valorem tax for county purposes at a millage rate which causes the budgeted revenue there from to the County to increase over the budgeted ad valorem revenue for the previous fiscal year by more than the lesser of: (1) three percent, or (2) the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index from the preceding calendar year, as measured in accordance with Section 193.155(1)(b), Florida Statutes (as that Section exists in 2008 or may thereafter be amended or transferred).

(b) Unless otherwise allowed by this subsection 2.9.3.1, the Board of County Commissioners shall not impose any ad valorem tax for municipal purposes within any municipal services taxing unit, or for district purposes of any district for which the Board has the power to fix or approve the millage rate, at a rate which, for such unit or district, causes the budgeted revenue of the unit or district from ad valorem taxes to increase over the budgeted ad valorem revenue for the previous fiscal year by more than the lesser of (1) three percent, or (2) the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index from the preceding calendar year, as measured in accordance with Section 193.155(1)(b), Florida Statutes (as that Section exists in 2008 or may thereafter be amended or transferred).

(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection, the Board of County Commissioners may impose an ad valorem tax for county, municipal or district purposes at a rate which exceeds the limitations in paragraphs (a) and (b), if a supermajority of the Board concurs in a finding that such an excess is necessary because of emergency or critical need. The finding shall set forth the ultimate facts upon which it is based, and shall be valid for a single budget year.

(d) In calculating the allowable increase in ad valorem revenues over the ad valorem revenues budgeted for the previous year under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection, the Board of County Commissioners shall exclude from the anticipated revenues all revenue changes from the following kinds of property not appearing on the previous year's roll: (1) new construction; (2) additions to or demolitions in whole or in part of existing construction; (3) changes in the value of improvements that have undergone renovation to an extent of not less than 100% increase in assessed value (as measured from the last year of assessment prior to commencement of renovation); and (4) in the case of municipal service taxing units or districts, any properties added since the previous year's roll by reason of boundary changes.

(e) Nothing in this subsection shall authorize imposition of a millage rate which exceeds the rate prohibited by the constitution or general laws of Florida , or prohibit imposition of a millage rate which is required by the constitution or general laws of Florida or by any final order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Nothing in this subsection shall apply to any millage necessary to the payment of general obligation bonds in accordance with all bond covenants, or to any other millage approved by referendum of the electors, whether before or after the effective date of this subsection. (Amd. 11-4-08)

This subsection does not grant the County any power of review of the budget of the School District.

2.9.4

In addition to its internal audits and such State audits as may be required by law, cause an annual independent post-audit by a certified public accountant of any and all government operations of County Government.

2.9.5

Adopt and amend a merit system which shall include a salary schedule for all County personnel in accordance with the provisions of this Charter.

2.9.6

Adopt by a majority vote of the total number of Commissioners such rules of parliamentary procedures as shall be necessary for the orderly transaction of the business of the Board of County Commissioners.

2.9.7

Designate which non-elected officers and employees shall be bonded and fix the amount and approve the form of the bond.

2.9.8

Exercise any power of the County not lodged in any other office by this Charter.

2.9.9

Impose such utility taxes as are authorized by general law only after approval of the electors of the County or the affected portion thereof at a duly called referendum.

2.9.10 Citizens process for advising the County Commission

The Board of County Commissioners shall develop procedures that will provide a mechanism for an individual, or an organized group of individuals to submit a formal written recommendation for the enhancement of the effectiveness and efficiency of County government to the County Commission on an annual basis. The County Commission's procedures shall include the following provisions:

a. An annual filing date;

b. The written recommendations shall be reviewed by the County Commission, and following the review, the County Commission shall vote to either accept the recommendation, accept the recommendation with revisions, or reject the recommendation; and,

c. The County Commission's final vote and consideration of the recommendation shall occur no later than 120 days after receipt of the written recommendation. (Newly adopted 11-2-10)

Section 2.10 Legislative Procedures

2.10.1 Official actions

The Board of County Commissioners may take official action only by the adoption of ordinances, resolutions or motions. For purposes of this section, an ordinance means a legislative action or regulation of a general or permanent nature, enforceable as a local law. A resolution means an expression of a temporary character, or a provision for the disposition of the administrative business of the Board. A majority of the total number of Commissioners shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority of the total number of Commissioners shall be required to adopt, amend or repeal any ordinance. A majority of those present shall be required to adopt, amend or repeal a resolution or motion under the terms of this provision. All Commissioners in attendance, including the chairman or presiding officer, shall vote on all actions, except where abstention of a Commissioner from voting is permitted or required by law.

2.10.2 Code of ordinances; public records

The Board of County Commissioners shall provide for convenient public access, at multiple locations throughout the County, including all public libraries, true copies of the minutes of meetings, ordinances, resolutions and budget documents adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. The Board shall also create and maintain a codification system for all ordinances currently in force. Such codification shall be published and made available for public inspection, copying and subscription on a continuing basis.

Brevard County Home Rule Charter

Adopted by Voters November 8, 1994

Effective Date January 1, 1995

  • Amended March 12, 1996
  • Amended November 3, 1998
  • Amended November 7, 2000
  • Amended November 5, 2002
  • Amended November 7, 2004
  • Amended November 4, 2008
  • Amended November 2, 2010