City charter review commission


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City charter review commission

  1. 1. Gresham City Charter Review Commission Recommendations for Review Process 2011-2012 Submitted by Richard Strathern Gresham Citizen at Large
  2. 2. Contents  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 Process2 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  3. 3. Key Facts  Current City Charter was adopted May 2, 1978  Charter may be amended, repealed, or replaced  60 % of citizens must pass a ballot measure to approve any changes  The current charter has been revised nine times  The City Council appoints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 committee3 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  4. 4. Council Directives  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 recommendations4 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  5. 5. Four Type of Local Government Options  1. Mayor - Council (Strong Mayor)  2. Council - Manager (Weak Mayor)  3. Council - Manager ( Traditional)  4. Council - Manager (Hybrid)5 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  6. 6. Research and Public Policy  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.6 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  7. 7. The Role of a Charter Commission  (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 University7 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  8. 8. Citizen and Stakeholder Engagement  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 input8 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  9. 9. No Form is Perfect  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.9 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  10. 10. Discussion on Form  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.10 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  11. 11. Examples of Citizen Objectives  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 citizens11 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  12. 12. Background Material for Charter Committee  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  Examples12 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  13. 13. Background Material Continued  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)13 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  14. 14. Background Material Continued  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 Findings14 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  15. 15. A Hamiltonian Model of Municipal Power in Action  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 Governance15 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  16. 16. Strong Executive  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)16 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011
  17. 17. Recommended City Charter Review Process – 2011/2012 Line by Line Review  Based on history in city archives Names and Boundaries Powers review rational for pass changes Form of Government to City Charter  Review current “best practices” City Council in city governance Powers/Duties of Officers  Perform a SWOT analysis of Elections current Charter based on citizen, stakeholders and past Vacancies in Office and present City Councilors and Ordinances Mayor(s) Public Improvements  Perform Decision Analysis and draft recommendations for Misc Provisions presentation to City Council Ordinances Power, Initiatives, Referendum and Recall  Council approves final proposal for citizen approval17 Gresham City Charter Committee 2011 12/31/2011