TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa’s City Council voted to make changes to the City Charter on Thursday.
The last major overhaul of the City Charter happened in 1975. The changes approved by council members on Thursday will not be as expansive as the changes in 1975 but if they are approved by voters they will change the way some things are done.
Among the changes approved are term limits for city council members.
The change approved by the council would limit the ability of council members to serve a total of more than four consecutive full terms.
Another change is the way department heads are hired.
The change would require department heads in the city to be approved by the city council.
The change comes in the wake of the controversial hiring of Mary O’Connor who was forced to resign after less than a year on the job as the city’s top cop.
“This prevents that from happening again. The public is demanding to be a part of the next police chief choice,” said council member Lynn Hurtak.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has said she is strongly opposed to any change in the city charter, but several council members said today the changes are needed.
“I don’t see this, as I’ve been explained this, as I understand it, as going up against a strong Mayor government, I don’t,” said council member Luis Viera.
A spokesperson for Castor says she will now carefully review the proposals and discuss them with each council member.
Tampa City Council member Bill Carlson pushed for the changes and says he doesn’t believe Castor will veto them.
“They were unanimously approved by council, so I can’t imagine that the mayor would veto it. Carlson said. “She should just give the public a chance to vote on it.”