VENICE — The City Council holds its first discussion of the recommendations of the Charter Review Committee Wednesday, to consider which ones, if any, to put to referendum in November.

The ballot could be unusually heavy with Venice items, as four City Council seats will be up for grabs as well.

The first terms of Mayor Ron Feinsod, Vice Mayor Nick Pachota and Council Member Joe Neunder expire this year, while Brian Kelly’s resignation from the Council last month triggered a charter provision requiring the appointment of a replacement to serve until this year’s election.

Neunder is running for a County Commission seat and Pachota announced Tuesday he’s running for mayor. Feinsod hasn’t indicated whether he’ll seek another term.

Rachel Frank, who was picked to replace Kelly, said she plans to run in November, probably to complete the final year of his first term but possibly to seek one of the open seats and get a three-year term of her own.

Among the Committee’s recommendations are provisions that would:

• Formalize a switch to the Council as a whole, rather than the mayor, making all board appointments. Previously, the mayor did with Council consent.

• Require the mayor to preside over meetings in person when a physical quorum is required – generally at regular and special meetings but not workshops.

• Raise Council salaries to 20% of the salary of a County Commissioner — $91,821 today — with the mayor getting an extra $1,200. Currently, it takes a referendum to give the Council a raise.

• Clarify that Council’s prior approval would be needed for the proposed General Fund budget to exceed the previous year’s proposed General Fund budget by more than 3%. The existing language was read to refer to the final approved budget.

• Cover the circumstance of only one candidate being qualified for a city election, and of no candidates qualifying, or there being none remaining when qualifying closes. In the former case, the lone candidate is deemed elected; in the latter, the Council member holding the seat remains in office until the next year’s election.

• Change from 30 to 60 days the amount of time the Council has to appoint someone to fill a vacant seat.

The Council is free to accept, reject or modify each recommendation, as well as to add its own proposed charter changes.

The meeting starts at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers at City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave. The complete agenda, with backup materials, is at under the “Meetings” header.


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