Proposed Charter Changes: My Thoughts On The May 19, 2015 Flagstaff Special Election
By Elisha Dorfsmith
As information pamphlets for the May 19, 2015 City of Flagstaff special election arrive in mailboxes, I have been contacted by several people asking my thoughts on the 12 proposed amendments to the City Charter.
As I posted a while back on my blog, the City recently created a Charter Review committee to come up with recommendations for possible changes and updates to the city’s occasionally outdated guiding document. The committee came up with dozens of potential amendments and the Flagstaff City Council chose twelve for a special May election. Additional changes are scheduled to appear on a fall ballot.
The May 19th election focuses mainly on common sense updates and adjustments to the Charter that either give the City flexibility to deal with future state laws or bring the City into compliance with existing laws. When mayoral and council terms begin, filling council vacancies and how to appoint the City clerk and treasurer are just a few of the items addressed.
Of the 12 issues on the ballot, I either strongly support them or am neutral. There are none that I am really opposed to. For the most part, these are needed to keep the City running smoothly and legally.
The fall election will be a completely different story and I will have much stronger opinions when that ballot arrives. The City is saving the controversial changes for last and depending on what the council decides to send to the voters, I will probably be checking NO on many of those. Stay tuned as that election gets closer.
After further considering and talking to others about Question 8, I have decided to vote NO. This change would take the vote on a second read of a City ordinance on the same day from unanimous to 3/4. If Council does not have unanimous support for a same day second reading it is probably a controversial issue and the public should have the opportunity for more input.
Flagstaff Deputy City Manager Jerene Watson and Flagstaff City Clerk Liz Burke speak to Flagstaff Liberty Alliance about proposed changes to the City Charter.