October 31, 2018
CDD Elections and what you need to know……
What you need to know about CDD elections
If you’re involved with Community Development Districts (CDDs), it’s important to know that CDDs are government entities with specific statutes pertaining to the Board of Supervisors election process.
CDD elections are generally held in November in even-numbered years. The voting for the Board of Supervisors starts out as a landowner election, and then eventually transitions to the general election process. The difference between the two is important for CDD Board Supervisors and residents to understand, as well as the timeline and requirements for transition. Regardless of the type of election, there are always five board seats, and Board Supervisors must be Florida residents and U.S. citizens. All meetings and documents are public record per Florida’s Sunshine Laws, with CDD Board Supervisors subject to state ethics and finance disclosure laws.
Within 90 days from when a CDD is established, the election process starts with a landowner meeting to vote for Board Supervisors. Nominations for the Board Supervisor seats can only be made at the landowner meeting by an individual landowner or by a proxy of the landowner that is present at the meeting. Landowners get one vote per acre or platted lot. At this point, the land is generally owned by the developer, which means they would have all the votes.
During the timeframe of the landowner election process, the Board of Supervisors consists of representatives from the developer, who serve two or four-year terms.
The CDD operates under the landowner election process until two conditions are reached: The community is at least six years old and there are 250 registered voters living there. Then the format begins transitioning to a general election process.
Once a CDD begins to transition to the general election process, homeowners who are Florida residents, U.S. citizens, registered voters and who live in the community as their primary residence can vote.
The CDD publishes a notice of the qualifying period set by the supervisor of elections for each election at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the qualifying period. If a resident meets the qualifications they can contact the supervisor of elections to run for the general election board seats.
In a CDD’s first general election, two board seats are open to residents and the other three remain with the landowner election process. In subsequent elections, landowner seats gradually turn over to general election seats – until, four years after the first general election, residents then control all five seats. Each member serves a four-year term and elections are in even-numbered years.
Board Supervisors assume office on the second Tuesday following their election. If no elector qualifies for a seat to be filled in an election, the board would declare a vacancy in that seat effective on the second Tuesday following the election. Within 90 days, the board shall appoint a qualified elector to fill the vacancy. Until this appointment, the incumbent board member in that seat will remain in office.