Friday, December 6, 2013
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Under the current system, the mayor may break a tie, but that authority would be removed if the change is approved.
• Extending the amount of time petitioners have to introduce ordinances or initiatives and submit petition signatures for such initiatives from 45 days to 90.
• Extending the time for a council action to go into effect. Now when the council votes on an item, the vote goes into effect 10 days after the vote and the mayor has 21 days to veto the action, according to Lachowicz. If the change is approved, the council action would go into effect 21 days after the vote, and the mayor would have 21 days to veto it.
• Creation of an ethics committee that would draft and maintain an ethics ordinance.
“It would be seven people — three-year terms — appointed by the mayor with approval by the council,” Lachowicz said. “It can’t contain any elected officials or their immediate family.”
The charter requires petitioners to submit an entire petition to the city clerk for verification of names, addresses and other information, according to Lachowicz. A proposed change would authorize them to submit the petition, one page at a time, which is more convenient for the clerk, he said.
The 10-member charter commission, of which Peter Lyford was co-chairman with Lachowicz, met regularly this year, from January to August. Seven commission members were elected and three were appointed by the council. Two public hearing were held.
Lachowicz, who is running unopposed for the city’s Ward 2 council seat, said commission members voted unanimously to recommend the proposed charter changes.
“Everything that we did was unanimous, and we established from the beginning that we wanted to operate by consensus, and we did.”
Residents of the city’s seven wards will vote from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 5 at the American Legion Hall on College Avenue.
Dubois said residents also may vote by absentee ballot from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at City Hall. Otherwise, requests for absentee ballots must be received by the close of business Oct. 31. People may call 680-4211 for more information.
Amy Calder — 861-9247