Pinellas County Charter Review FAQs

What is a County Charter?

While the Florida state constitution provides counties with the power to govern themselves, counties can enhance their authority by adopting a charter.

Charters are formal documents that grant a county additional powers and responsibilities that might otherwise belong to the state legislature and statutes. Charter counties, like Pinellas County, have more local control over their government structure, policies, procedures and initiatives than non-charter counties do.

View the Pinellas County Charter.

What is the purpose of the Charter Review Commission?

The Charter Review Commission is an independent body that is appointed every eight years to review the operation of our county government on behalf of the citizens of Pinellas County and recommend amendments to the Charter.

When will the county Charter be reviewed next?

A Charter Review Commission is established every eight years to review the Charter. The next review will be in 2023.

How are the Charter Review Commission members selected?

The 13 Charter Review Commission (CRC) members are selected by the Board of County Commissioners as follows:

  • One member from the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation residing in Pinellas County.
  • One constitutional officer.
  • One member from the elected city officials.
  • One member from the Board.
  • Nine members from the public at large, none of whom can be an elected official.

We begin soliciting applications from citizens in years the CRC is set to meet. From the applicants, the Board looks for citizens who have:

  • An interest in, and familiarity with, Pinellas County.
  • A willingness to commit the time and energy needed.
  • An ability to maintain fairness and objectivity.
  • An ability to assess and evaluate issues relating to the future well-being of Pinellas County.
  • An ability to engage in constructive discussion and debate.

How can we change the Charter?

There are three different ways to amend the Charter.

  1. The Board of County Commissioners can pass an ordinance to propose an amendment.
  2. Registered voters can propose an amendment by submitting a signed petition.
  3. The Charter Review Commission (CRC), which is appointed once every 8 years, can propose an amendment.

How does an amendment actually become part of the Charter?

After an amendment passes through the required reviews, it becomes a referendum item and is placed on the ballot of the next public election. A majority of voters must approve the amendment in order for it to become part of the Charter.

When does an approved Charter amendment become effective?

If the effective date is not specified in the amendment, then it goes into effect on January 1 of the following year.

How is the Charter Review Commission affiliated with Pinellas County?

Although the members of the Charter Review Commission (CRC) are selected from a pool of applicants by the Board of County Commissioners, the CRC works as an independent commission and is separate from the Board.