At a recent meeting of the Charter Review Commission John Franck offered a major change for the new charter. He wants to add two “commissioners” to the city council. These positions would have no administrative responsibilities. They would in effect be simply legislators. Commissioner Franck said that while he believed in the commission form of government, he believes that the advocates for that last charter change proposal had an argument very much worth consideration. He acknowledged that he agreed that there were people who felt intimidated by the responsibilities of running a department. His idea was to offer people interested in serving on the council a way to participate without the burden of administrative management.
There was some discussion about whether to call them “commissioner” in light of the fact that they would not run a department. Commissioner Franck said he would prefer the title of commissioner but the label was less important than the principle. It was agreed that while there would need to be some support for the new positions the costs would be minimal. It was also suggested that the salary for these positions might be less than the other commissioners.
Based on the response from the other members of the Charter Review Commission and those in the audience it appeared there was strong interest. Still, it was agreed that it was an idea that required a thorough review to explore its full potential implications. The charter commission’s lawyers are exploring whether such a proposal would be allowable under NY State law and will be reporting to the commission at tomorrow’s (Tuesday) meeting.