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City Charter Review Commission
 

City Charter Review Commission

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As engaged citizen leaders I thought you might be interested in this proposed process for the City of Gresham Charter Review Committee. You might eveb decide to attend their committee review sessions ...

As engaged citizen leaders I thought you might be interested in this proposed process for the City of Gresham Charter Review Committee. You might eveb decide to attend their committee review sessions and put yolur oar in the water!

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    City Charter Review Commission City Charter Review Commission Presentation Transcript

    • Recommendations for Review Process
      2011-2012
      Submitted by Richard Strathern
      Gresham Citizen at Large
      Gresham City Charter Review Commission
    • Contents
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      2
      Key Facts
      Council Directives
      Four Types of Local Government Options
      Research and Public Policy
      The Role of the Charter Commission
      Citizen and Stakeholder Engagement
      No Form is Perfect
      Discussions on Form
      Background Material
      Hamiltonian Model / Strong Executive
      Recommended Charter Review Process
    • Key Facts
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      3
      Current City Charter was adopted May 2, 1978
      Charter may be amended, repealed, or replaced
      60 % of citizens must pass a ballot measure to approve any changes
      The current charter has been revised nine times
      The City Council appoints the charter review committee
    • Council Directives
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      4
      Goals :
      Identified City Council concerns and city needs to be addressed by the charter committee resulting in recommendations to City Council for it’s action
      Hold “open forum” for suggestions from Council members both current and past.
      Insure that staff has authored a research summary for committee members on alternative forms of city government outlining strength, weaknesses and opportunities of change
      This information should be shared with general public soliciting their input and recommendations
    • Four Type of Local Government Options
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      5
      1. Mayor - Council (Strong Mayor)
      2. Council - Manager (Weak Mayor)
      3. Council - Manager ( Traditional)
      4. Council - Manager (Hybrid)
    • Research and Public Policy
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      6
      Key Question:
      Will a specific form of government by itself address community needs, issues, and concerns?
      The Charter Committee should start with a discussion on “Form of Government.”
      The expressed intent of this discussion is to seek consensus and address the needs, concerns and issues of City Council and the citizen community.
    • The Role of a Charter Commission
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      7
      (1) the need to identify and respond to the changing environment and
      (2) the utility of using the “Form of Government” discussion as a starting point to address Council/Citizen needs
      “Over time, communities change. Issues change. Needs change. As a consequence, our charter needs to be revised, depending upon the kind of issues that surface in your voting community. It is the committee’s job to gather the ideas and information from people in our community, and put a charter together and to present it to the citizen for a vote.”
      Kenneth Verburg – Michigan State University
    • Citizen and Stakeholder Engagement
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      8
      Objectives:
      Within current financial constraints, the committee should seek the opinions and input from Gresham residents and community stakeholders.
      Outreach activity should include a wide range of citizens, community organizations, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, religious, organized labor, past and current government leaders, including special public services announcements and appeals from current Mayor and former Mayors to encourage citizen and stakeholder input
    • No Form is Perfect
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      9
      Arguably, issues of abuse and personnel influences of private resources for private gain can and do occur in all forms of government.
      The selection of a government structure in of itself does not enhance or reduce or create a barrier to prevent individual or machine based influenced, citizen abuse or inappropriate use of private resources to advance the interests of private people
      Researcher Curtis Wood, University of Kansas (2010) indicates that the best protection against violation of public trust is a strong involved community.
    • Discussion on Form
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      10
      Research studies see a definite relationship between form of government and voter turnout in city elections and citizen engagement. Why is this?
      It may be helpful to focus on two questions, as opposed to deciding upon a governmental type as a single exercise:
      What type of city do you envision
      What type of defects or corrections are you addressing, the Form of Government discussion inevitable flow from these critical questions.
    • Examples of Citizen Objectives
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      11
      Curb abuse of public funds and resources
      Create a more effective city that responds to the priorities of the citizenry
      Plan for a city to attract jobs and other opportunities that current and potential citizens and stakeholders can take full advantage
      Create opportunities for older as well as younger Gresham citizens
    • Background Material for Charter Committee
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      12
      International City/County Management Association (“ICMA”) Model City Charter and statistical survey of 3,864 cities, 2006. It compares Mayor - Council with Council Manager:
      Main Features
      % of cities using this form by population
      Mayoral Powers
      Council Powers
      Arguments For
      Argument Against
      Examples
    • Background Material Continued
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      13
      Current Mayoral Models in Municipalities
      Appointment Powers Chart:
      Form of Government
      Mayor - Council
      Council – Manager
      Commission
      Town Meeting
      Population size
      Geographic
      Metro Status (Central, Suburban, Independent)
    • Background Material Continued
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      14
      Beyond Stereotypes: Socio-economic Characteristics of Modern Council-Manager Cities
      This is a (5) part series of articles by Kevin Carter, Management Fellow (January 31, 2011) ICMA Article
      Part (1) Structure, Brief History
      Part (2) Previous Academic Work
      Part (3) Overview of Theory, Socio-economic Characteristics of Communities by Impact of demographics on Form of Government
      Part (4) Questions of Research
      Part (5) Final Findings
    • A Hamiltonian Model of Municipal Power in Action
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      15
      Strong Argument for Mayor-Council:
      A Primer on Governance
      Unplanned City? Yes and No.
      Sources of Change in City Government
      Looking Below the Radar – The Underside of City Governance
      Storm Clouds: Reasons for Citizen Concern About Local Governance
      Scorecard
      Postscript: Three Suggestions for Improving Governance
    • Strong Executive
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      16
      Dr. Richard Murray, University of Houston, is the author of “A Hamiltonian Model of Municipal Power in Action.” (See Blog)
      He quotes Federalist Paper # 70:
      “Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government… A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever it may be in theory, must be in practice, a bad government…The ingredients which constitute energy in the executive are unity; duration; an adequate provision for its support; and competent powers” (Alexander Hamilton)
    • Recommended City Charter Review Process – 2011/2012
      9/19/2011
      Gresham City Charter Committee 2011
      17
      Line by Line Review
      Names and Boundaries Powers
      Form of Government
      City Council
      Powers/Duties of Officers
      Elections
      Vacancies in Office
      Ordinances
      Public Improvements
      Misc Provisions
      Ordinances Power, Initiatives, Referendum and Recall
      Based on history in city archives review rational for pass changes to City Charter
      Review current “best practices” in city governance
      Perform a SWOT analysis of current Charter based on citizen, stakeholders and past and present City Councilors and Mayor(s)
      Perform Decision Analysis and draft recommendations for presentation to City Council
      Council approves final proposal for citizen approval