Recently I have been struck by the number of thoughtful friends who, having supported the city manager charter proposal in 2017, dismiss support for the current proposal to update the charter out of hand. They decline to engage in a conversation about the actual specifics due to their fundamental opposition to the commission form of government.
I find this odd and troubling. Both Mayor Meg Kelly and Public Safety Commissioner Peter Martin supported the city manager form. Yet the Mayor created this charter commission and Peter Martin was an active participant.
Voting for amending the current charter is not an endorsement of the commission form over the city manager form. It is simply an acknowledgement that there are changes to the charter that will improve the city’s operation. Both Commissioner Martin and Mayor Kelly support these changes.
The proponents of the city manager form have made it quite clear that they intend to hold another vote for their proposal as soon as possible. They understandably are hopeful that they will overcome the ten vote deficit they lost by last year.The reality is, however, that they may not succeed. To Kelly’s and Martin’s credit they acknowledge the commission form of government is the form we currently have and may continue to have and that the city will benefit from having a charter that makes that government as effective and efficient as possible .
If you are not familiar with the specifics of the proposed changes, I encourage you to visit the city website where they are detailed and explained.