Volusia County Amendment 10 Challenge Falls Through

By on March 12, 2019 in WNDB News

DeLand, FL – The county’s challenge against a charter amendment falls through again in another circuit court.

And according to Volusia County Council Chairman Ed Kelley, he’s planning to propose making another appeal, this time to the Florida Supreme Court.

“I think we deserve the right to hear from the Supreme Court on what they meant by ‘would it be effective or not,'” said Kelley to Marc Bernier.

The county council has tried multiple times to appeal Amendment 10 to multiple courts throughout the State.

Kelley pointed out that it passed statewide by the necessary margin, but it did not pass in Volusia County, saying that it only got 53% of the vote, not the 60% that was needed.

“It was passed by the other counties, it wasn’t passed by Volusia County,” said Kelley. “I don’t like that it was decided by other counties, telling Volusia County how it’s charter should be run.”

Kelley went on to comment saying that even though they have challenged Amendment 10, the county is already planning on going forward.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, who has been an avid supporter of Amendment 10, says this denial shows that the message to the county is clear.

“The county, on three separate occasions, has tried to block Amendment 10,” said Sheriff Chitwood. “All three times they have failed.”

Sheriff Chitwood went on to say that 66 out of the 67 counties in the State of Florida already operate the way Amendment 10 is written and that “none of those counties have slid into the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.”

According to Sheriff Chitwood, it’s becoming less and less about what the voters want and more about what the council wants, more importantly what Ed Kelley and Dan Eckert, the county’s attorney.

“This is not about good government, this isn’t about streamlining government, it’s about the will of the people,” said the Sheriff. “I’ve said it before, in Volusia County, your vote doesn’t count.”

Volusia County has until 2021 to make the changes to the charter to reflect the new law. Both Sheriff Chitwood and Ed Kelley were asked what they believe will happen in that time frame.

Sheriff Chitwood said that the “better angels” in him want to say that the county will eventually accept defeat and go forward with fully implementing Amendment 10.

But, Chitwood says he doesn’t see Kelley or Eckert being magnanimous in defeat, saying he believes they’ll continue to fight it.

Ed Kelley, on the other hand, said that if they do not prevail with any of their challenges by 2021, the county will move forward with implementing Amendment 10, saying “all of it will have to happen.”

The proposal to appeal to the state Supreme Court will be brought up at the county’s next council meeting, set for March 19th. If approved by the council, they’ll move forward with the new appeal.

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