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Thanking Voters For Approving The County Charter

Parwez Alam, County Administrator, November 2002

I want to express my sincere thanks and congratulations to the citizens of Leon County for approving the county charter on November 5th. The voter-approved Leon County charter marks a milestone in the history of our county. The passage of the charter is the fulfillment of the first step on a new road to better, more responsive county government.

Legislators have scoffed for years that real reform in county government never becomes law because the public is just not interested. If they were, the logic goes, they would adopt a home rule county charter and do it themselves. Well, the voters of Leon County have done just that, and I commend you for it.

The recommendations of many citizens were included in the development of the county charter. However, much of what is in the charter is a reflection of the current structure of county government and mirrors state law. Like most newly approved county charters, it is a "simple charter". The excellence of this charter will be is its ability to serve county citizens as an enduring instrument in place to adapt to the future wants and needs of citizens and the changing environment in which we all live.

The November 7th, Tallahassee Democrat Editorial entitled, County's Challenge: Make Charter Work, was right. However, "making the charter work" is not merely a challenge for the

County, it’s now a responsibility of us all. I hope that all of the people of this community, both the people who voted for the charter and those who voted against the charter, will embrace that responsibility.

I am inspired by the voters of this community and I look forward to working to ensure that the charter benefits all who are served by county government.