§ 1.01. Powers  


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  • A. The Board of County Commissioners shall be the legislative and the governing body of the county. The County shall have the power to carry on a central metropolitan government. The Board's powers shall include but shall not be restricted to the powers to:

    1. Provide and regulate arterial, toll, and other roads, bridges, tunnels, and related facilities; eliminate grade crossings; provide and regulate parking facilities; and develop and enforce master plans for the control of traffic and parking.

    2. Provide and operate air, water, rail, and bus terminals, port facilities, and public transportation systems.

    3. License and regulate taxis, jitneys, limousines for hire, rental cars, and other passenger vehicles for hire operating in the county.

    4. Provide central records, training, and communications for fire and police protection; provide traffic control and central crime investigation; provide fire stations, jails, and related facilities; and subject to Section 1.01A(18) provide a uniform system for fire and police protection.

    5. Prepare and enforce comprehensive plans for the development of the county.

    6. Provide hospitals and uniform health and welfare programs.

    7. Provide parks, preserves, playgrounds, recreation areas, libraries, museums, and other recreational and cultural facilities and programs.

    8. Establish housing, slum clearance, urban renewal, conservation, flood and beach erosion control, air pollution control, and drainage programs and cooperate with governmental agencies and private enterprises in the development and operation of these programs.

    9. Provide and regulate or permit municipalities to provide and regulate waste and sewage collection and disposal and water supply and conservation programs.

    10. Levy and collect taxes and special assessments, borrow and expend money and issue bonds, revenue certificates, and other obligations of indebtedness in such manner, and subject to such limitations, as may be provided by law.

    11. By ordinance, establish, merge, and abolish special purpose districts within which may be provided police and fire protection, beach erosion control, recreation facilities, water, streets, sidewalks, street lighting, waste and sewage collection and disposal, drainage, and other essential facilities and services. All county funds for such districts shall be provided by service charges, special assessments, or general tax levies within such districts only. The Board of County Commissioners shall be the governing body of all such districts and when acting as such governing body shall have the same jurisdiction and powers as when acting as the Board; provided, however, that the governing board of the Children's Trust shall not be the Board of County Commissioners, but shall have membership as provided in state law for children's service councils serving home rule charter counties. The Children's Trust shall have the authority to fund improvements to children's health, development and safety; promote parental and community responsibility for children; levy an annual ad valorem tax not to exceed one-half (½) mill to supplement current county expenditures for children services and require voter renewal in 2008.

    Note: By special election called pursuant to Resolution No. R-534-08, and held on August 26, 2008, the voters renewed The Children's Trust's ability to continue to levy an annual ad valorem tax.

    12. Establish, coordinate, and enforce zoning and such business regulations as are necessary for the protection of the public.

    13. Adopt and enforce uniform building and related technical codes and regulations for both the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county; provide for examinations for contractors and all parties engaged in the building trades and for the issuance of certificates of competency and their revocation after hearing. Such certificates shall be recognized and required for the issuance of a license in all municipalities in the county. No municipality shall be entitled to require examinations or any additional certificate of competency or impose any other conditions for the issuance of a municipal license except the payment of the customary fee. The municipality may issue building permits and conduct the necessary inspections in accordance with the uniform codes and charge fees therefor.

    14. Regulate, control, take over, and grant franchises to, or itself operate gas, light, power, telephone, and other utilities, sanitary and sewage collection and disposal systems, water supply, treatment, and service systems, and public transportation systems, provided, however, that:

    (a) Franchises under this subsection may only be granted by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Board present and approved by a majority vote of those qualified electors voting at either a special or general election.

    (b) The county shall not operate a light, power, or telephone utility to serve any territory in the county which is being supplied with similar service except by a majority vote of those qualified electors voting in an election held not less than six months after the Board has passed an ordinance to that effect by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Board present. Such ordinance shall contain information on cost, method of financing, agency to regulate rates, agency to operate, location, and other information necessary to inform the general public of the feasibility and practicability of the proposed operation.

    15. Use public funds for the purposes of promoting the development of the county, including advertising of the area's advantages.

    16. Establish and enforce regulations for the sale of alcoholic beverages in the unincorporated areas and approve municipal regulations on hours of sale of alcoholic beverages.

    17. Enter into contracts with other governmental units within or outside the boundaries of the county for joint performance or performance by one unit in behalf of the other of any authorized function.

    18. Set reasonable minimum standards for all governmental units in the county for the performance of any service or function. The standards shall not be discriminatory as between similar areas. If a governmental unit fails to comply with such standards, and does not correct such failure after reasonable notice by the Board, then the Board may take over and perform, regulate, or grant franchises to operate any such service. The Board may also take over and operate, or grant franchises to operate any municipal service if:

    (a) In an election called by the Board of County Commissioners within the municipality a majority of those voting vote in favor of turning the service over to the county; or

    (b) The governing body of the municipality requests the county to take over the service by a two-thirds vote of its members, or by referendum.

    19. By ordinance, abolish or consolidate the office of constables, or any county office created by the Legislature, or provide for the consolidation and transfer of any of the functions of such officers, provided, however, that there shall be no power to abolish the Superintendent of Public Instruction, or to abolish or impair the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court or to abolish any other Court, provided by the Constitution or by general law, or the judges or clerks thereof.

    20. Make investigations of county affairs, inquire into the conduct, accounts, records, and transactions of any department or office of the county, and for these purposes require reports from all county officers and employees, subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and require the production of records.

    21. Exercise all powers and privileges granted to municipalities, counties, and county officers by the Constitution and laws of the state, and all powers not prohibited by the Constitution or by this Charter.

    22. Adopt such ordinances and resolutions as may be required in the exercise of its powers, and prescribe fines and penalties for the violation of ordinances.

    23. Perform any other acts consistent with law which are required by this Charter or which are in the common interest of the people of the county.

    24. Supersede, nullify, or amend any special law applying to this county, or any general law applying only to this county, or any general law where specifically authorized by the Constitution.

    B. No enumeration of powers in this Charter shall be deemed exclusive or restrictive and the foregoing powers shall be deemed to include all implied powers necessary and proper to carrying out such powers. All of these powers may be exercised in the incorporated and unincorporated areas, subject to the procedures herein provided in certain cases relating to municipalities.

    C. The Board shall have the power of eminent domain and the right to condemn property for public purposes. The Board shall make fair and just compensation for any properties acquired in the exercise of its powers, duties, or functions. The Board shall also provide for the acquisition or transfer of property, the payment, assumption, or other satisfaction of the debts, and the protection of pension rights of affected employees of any governmental unit which is merged, consolidated, or abolished or whose boundaries are changed or functions or powers transferred.

    D. The Board shall be entitled to levy in the unincorporated areas all taxes authorized to be levied by municipalities and to receive from the state any revenues collected in the unincorporated areas on the same basis as municipalities.