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Commission hears citizens' thoughts on proposed Orange Co. charter changes

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Some big changes could be coming for Orange County voters.
 
On Tuesday commissioners agreed to take a closer look at proposals that would increase the number of voting districts and make it more difficult to petition commissioners.
 
For two hours, in front of a once-again packed Orange County Commission chamber, people spoke out about Commissioner Fred Brummer's second attempt to make a list of changes to the county's charter.
 
"It seems the commission does not have a problem disenfranchising its voters," one resident told commissioners.
 
"This particular amendment encourages responsible self-governance," another resident said.
 
It was the second round of debate about whether to abolish the Orange County Tax Collector's office, force term limits and non-partisan elections for constitutional offices, make it harder to petition changes to county ordinances and add two new district seats.
 
But this time, rather than giving voters one yes or no vote, the issues were broken out into separate amendments.
 
Just like the last time Brummer's amendments were discussed, dozens of people came to the podium to offer up their opinions, each using up thee allotted three minutes of meeting time per speaker.
 
But unlike last time, where those opinions were split, only a handful spoke in favor of Brummer's changes.
 
"I'm willing to support any reasonable measure that will bring our Latino community representation," one resident said.
 
Commissioners will hear more comments May 6.
 
With the exception of the tax collector's position, all of the issues will go before a public hearing and the possibly to a public vote.
 
"I think we get to see the people of Orange County make their choices on this.  That's what matters.  Yes or no, they get to choose," said Brummer.