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 and put yolur oar in the water!

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City Charter Review Commission

  1. 1. Recommendations for Review Process<br />2011-2012<br />Submitted by Richard Strathern<br />Gresham Citizen at Large<br />Gresham City Charter Review Commission<br />
  2. 2. Contents<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />2<br />Key Facts<br />Council Directives<br />Four Types of Local Government Options<br />Research and Public Policy<br />The Role of the Charter Commission<br />Citizen and Stakeholder Engagement<br />No Form is Perfect<br />Discussions on Form<br />Background Material<br />Hamiltonian Model / Strong Executive<br />Recommended Charter Review Process<br />
  3. 3. Key Facts<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />3<br />Current City Charter was adopted May 2, 1978<br />Charter may be amended, repealed, or replaced <br />60 % of citizens must pass a ballot measure to approve any changes<br />The current charter has been revised nine times<br />The City Council appoints the charter review committee<br />
  4. 4. Council Directives<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />4<br />Goals :<br />Identified City Council concerns and city needs to be addressed by the charter committee resulting in recommendations to City Council for it’s action<br />Hold “open forum” for suggestions from Council members both current and past.<br />Insure that staff has authored a research summary for committee members on alternative forms of city government outlining strength, weaknesses and opportunities of change<br />This information should be shared with general public soliciting their input and recommendations<br />
  5. 5. Four Type of Local Government Options<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />5<br />1. Mayor - Council (Strong Mayor)<br />2. Council - Manager (Weak Mayor)<br />3. Council - Manager ( Traditional)<br />4. Council - Manager (Hybrid)<br />
  6. 6. Research and Public Policy<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />6<br />Key Question:<br />Will a specific form of government by itself address community needs, issues, and concerns?<br />The Charter Committee should start with a discussion on “Form of Government.”<br />The expressed intent of this discussion is to seek consensus and address the needs, concerns and issues of City Council and the citizen community.<br />
  7. 7. The Role of a Charter Commission<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />7<br />(1) the need to identify and respond to the changing environment and<br />(2) the utility of using the “Form of Government” discussion as a starting point to address Council/Citizen needs<br />“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.”<br />Kenneth Verburg – Michigan State University<br />
  8. 8. Citizen and Stakeholder Engagement<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />8<br />Objectives:<br />Within current financial constraints, the committee should seek the opinions and input from Gresham residents and community stakeholders.<br />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<br />
  9. 9. No Form is Perfect<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />9<br />Arguably, issues of abuse and personnel influences of private resources for private gain can and do occur in all forms of government.<br />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<br />Researcher Curtis Wood, University of Kansas (2010) indicates that the best protection against violation of public trust is a strong involved community.<br />
  10. 10. Discussion on Form<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />10<br />Research studies see a definite relationship between form of government and voter turnout in city elections and citizen engagement. Why is this? <br />It may be helpful to focus on two questions, as opposed to deciding upon a governmental type as a single exercise:<br />What type of city do you envision<br />What type of defects or corrections are you addressing, the Form of Government discussion inevitable flow from these critical questions.<br />
  11. 11. Examples of Citizen Objectives<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />11<br />Curb abuse of public funds and resources<br />Create a more effective city that responds to the priorities of the citizenry<br />Plan for a city to attract jobs and other opportunities that current and potential citizens and stakeholders can take full advantage<br />Create opportunities for older as well as younger Gresham citizens<br />
  12. 12. Background Material for Charter Committee<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />12<br />International City/County Management Association (“ICMA”) Model City Charter and statistical survey of 3,864 cities, 2006. It compares Mayor - Council with Council Manager: <br />Main Features<br />% of cities using this form by population<br />Mayoral Powers<br />Council Powers<br />Arguments For<br />Argument Against<br />Examples<br />
  13. 13. Background Material Continued<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />13<br />Current Mayoral Models in Municipalities<br />Appointment Powers Chart:<br />Form of Government<br />Mayor - Council<br />Council – Manager<br />Commission<br />Town Meeting<br />Population size<br />Geographic<br />Metro Status (Central, Suburban, Independent) <br />
  14. 14. Background Material Continued<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />14<br />Beyond Stereotypes: Socio-economic Characteristics of Modern Council-Manager Cities<br />This is a (5) part series of articles by Kevin Carter, Management Fellow (January 31, 2011) ICMA Article<br />Part (1) Structure, Brief History<br />Part (2) Previous Academic Work<br />Part (3) Overview of Theory, Socio-economic Characteristics of Communities by Impact of demographics on Form of Government<br />Part (4) Questions of Research<br />Part (5) Final Findings <br />
  15. 15. A Hamiltonian Model of Municipal Power in Action<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />15<br />Strong Argument for Mayor-Council:<br />A Primer on Governance<br />Unplanned City? Yes and No.<br />Sources of Change in City Government<br />Looking Below the Radar – The Underside of City Governance<br />Storm Clouds: Reasons for Citizen Concern About Local Governance<br />Scorecard<br />Postscript: Three Suggestions for Improving Governance<br />
  16. 16. Strong Executive<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />16<br />Dr. Richard Murray, University of Houston, is the author of “A Hamiltonian Model of Municipal Power in Action.” (See Blog)<br />He quotes Federalist Paper # 70:<br />“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)<br />
  17. 17. Recommended City Charter Review Process – 2011/2012<br />9/19/2011<br />Gresham City Charter Committee 2011<br />17<br />Line by Line Review<br /> Names and Boundaries Powers<br /> Form of Government<br /> City Council<br /> Powers/Duties of Officers<br /> Elections<br /> Vacancies in Office<br /> Ordinances<br /> Public Improvements<br /> Misc Provisions<br /> Ordinances Power, Initiatives, Referendum and Recall<br />Based on history in city archives review rational for pass changes to City Charter<br />Review current “best practices” in city governance<br />Perform a SWOT analysis of current Charter based on citizen, stakeholders and past and present City Councilors and Mayor(s)<br />Perform Decision Analysis and draft recommendations for presentation to City Council<br />Council approves final proposal for citizen approval<br />

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