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Discussion of Charter Review Commission to continue at later date

By Staff | Aug 8, 2011

Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz’s hopes of creating a perpetual Charter Review Commission got pushed back to a later date, with the councilman planning to work with the city attorney’s office on crafting a resolution for council to vote on when the issue returns in several weeks.

Chulakes-Leetz thinks a Charter Review Commission serving in perpetuity will allow its volunteers to dig deeper into any potential changes to the city’s governing document. They will also be better able to communicate those changes to the citizens, he said.

The most recent incarnation of the Charter Review Commission was not given enough time to do the work, Chulakes-Leetz added, because of the rush to make any potential changes to the charter available for the voters this November.

“We could stop the time constraints and take away what we’ve experienced here in the city these false timelines need to be done away with as fast as possible,” Chulakes-Leetz said.

The councilman is proposing that volunteers for the commission serve four-year terms.

Four to five members would be selected by the current council, with the remaining members to be picked by the new council in November.

As it stands now, a Charter Review Commission must be appointed at least once every six years by City Council.

The new format, if approved, would allow for better interaction between the citizens and the charter review commissioners, according to Chulakes-Leetz.

“It would allow for the citizens of our city to bring items directly to the Charter Review Committee outside of council,” he added.

Councilmember Pete Brandt said previously city committee and commission volunteers have walked away from the process frustrated, citing the most recent members of the Charter Review Committee and those who served on the Public Safety Building Committee as examples.

“I don’t want to see us burn out a lot of our residents,” Brandt said.