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TOWN & DISTRICT MERGER Town of Loxahatchee Groves.

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Presentation on theme: "TOWN & DISTRICT MERGER Town of Loxahatchee Groves."— Presentation transcript:

1 TOWN & DISTRICT MERGER Town of Loxahatchee Groves

2 It’s a Long Complicated Process District Services Will Continue to be Needed Dependent District vs. Contracted Independent District Must be Dissolved Steps Needed 1.Decide 2.Define 3.Set a Completion Date 4.Write a Local Bill 5.Florida Legislature 6.Governor Signs 7.Town Ordinance Creates Dependent District Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves The Basics

3 The first step in the merger process is to make the decision to proceed. Will the District become a dependent district or will its services be contracted? Requires a unanimous decision by the District board of directors. Should include a likewise unanimous decision by the Town Council. Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves Decide

4 If passed, allows the Town to override a no vote by the District and force the dissolution process by ordinance. Still requires State Legislature action Approval by the voters. By our Charter, if the Town Council will not approve a dissolution ordinance, it can be forced by a residents initiative. Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves HB-107 & SB-192

5 What Services, properties, liabilities, and other obligations are associated with the District. This must be a complete list - everything must be defined and detailed. This includes taxes (assessments) and any special taxing districts. Who Who and how each “what” will be handled must be defined. When Define when the transfer of each item will be completed. A completion date is needed prior to writing a local bill. Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves Define

6 Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves Disposition

7 First  Decision to merge  All items defined  Completion date set Then  Define the dissolution  How, where, & when the existing functions will be transferred (merged)  The effective date  Reference the dependent district creation ordinance Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves Local Bill

8 A status statement referencing the special district’s dependent status. Recommendation: Include a brief statement explaining why the special district is dependent as set forth in Section (2), Florida Statutes. Its purpose, powers, functions, duties, geographic boundary limitations, & authority. A statement explaining why the special district is the best alternative. The membership, organization, compensation, and administrative duties of the governing board. The applicable financial disclosure, noticing, and reporting requirements. The methods for financing the special district. A declaration that the creation of the special district is consistent with the approved local government comprehensive plans. Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves Dependent District Ordinance

9 The proposed bill first goes to our Legislative Delegation for approval and presentation to the State Legislature. This normally occurs in the fourth quarter (Oct-Dec) each year. State Legislature The bill is then presented to the State Legislature for hearings and approval. This normally occurs in the first quarter (Jan-Mar) of each year. Governor Once approved by the Legislature, the bill must be signed by the Governor. This normally occurs in the second quarter (Apr-Jun) of each year. Merge Complete The dissolution and merger is complete when all District functions have been transferred and any required ordinances have been passed as defined in the bill. This can be any time after the Governor approves but must occur by the date specified in the bill. Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves Legislature

10 Local bill must be ready by 4 th quarter If accepted, it will be considered the following year. If you start today, there is barely enough time to have a bill ready for the 2013 Legislative session. It will probably take several meetings to determine whether or not to proceed with a merger. An optimistic date for the proceed decision is second quarter 2012 leaving only about three months (90 days) to understand what is needed. It is possible to have a bill ready in 2012 but unlikely. A realistic date for being ready to present a bill to the Legislative Delegation is fourth quarter 2013 for consideration in Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves Time Line

11 Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves

12 Pros One attorney - not 2 5 directors - not 10 Office staff may be reduced "One-stop" permits Centralized road service & improvements New services can be easily provided Lower membership & association fees Residents have a stronger voting voice - * Property size does not bias vote & no proxies - * Cons It is a long and complicated process How to handle current & future employees & contractors. Residents have a stronger voting voice -* Property size does not bias vote.& no proxies - * * - These are included as both pros & cons depending on your viewpoint. Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves Pros & Cons

13 Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves One Acre-One Vote  Landowner votes one vote for every acre & fraction over 1/2 they own.  Unconstitutional for several reasons for public elections  Allowed for independent districts (basically corporations) Qualified Elector  Must be a landowner or landowner’s spouse  One vote  Registered voter  Resident in the District  Current assessments (taxes) paid Elector – Public Elections  One vote  Registered voter  Resident in the Town Voting Methods

14 Prepared by Friends of Loxahatchee Groves Friends of Loxahatchee Groves is a registered political action committee in the Town of Loxahatchee Groves with a charter of: Fair & Ethical Decisions by the Town and District We are a nonpartisan committee and do not support any specific agenda. Friends of Loxahatchee Groves PO Box 1541 Loxahatchee Groves, FL Friends of Loxahatchee Groves


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