[The following is reprinted via the City of Iowa City Announcements.]
Comments sought on possible amendments to Iowa City’s Charter
The Iowa City Charter Review Commission has been appointed by the City Council to review the Iowa City Charter. Pursuant to the existing Charter, amendments recommended by the Commission must either be adopted by the City Council or placed on a ballot for consideration by Iowa City voters. A community discussion on potential Charter amendments will be held Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, at 6 p.m., in Room A of the Iowa City Public Library (123 S. Linn St.).
In the first part of the meeting the specific issues to be discussed include:
(1) Election of Mayor – The Mayor is currently selected for a two-year term by a majority vote of the City Council members. The Mayor Is the a voting member of the Council, the official representative of the City, presiding officer of the Council, and its policy spokesperson. Assuming the Mayor’s powers and responsibilities remain largely the same, should the Mayor instead be directly elected for a four-year term by a majority vote of the citizens? This would require one of the at-large council positions to be designated as the Mayor’s slot and other possible administrative changes to the Charter.
(2) District Representation – Currently there are three district Council Members and four at-large Council Members. In a primary election selecting District Council candidates, only voters from within that district participate. In the general election for those district seats all Iowa City voters may participate. Should the district Council Members be elected only by the voters within the applicable district?
(3) Initiative/Referendum – requirement for qualified versus eligible. The City Charter allows individuals to submit initiative and referendum petitions to the City Council. When presented to Council those petitions must either be adopted by Council or submitted to the voters for consideration. Currently individuals are required to be “qualified electors” (registered to voter) to sign such petitions. Should the Charter be amended to allow “eligible electors” (persons eligible to register to vote) to sign such petitions?
(4) Council Compensation – Currently the Charter requires that Council set its compensation by ordinance, and the present annual salary for the Mayor is $8,070 and Council Members $7,072. Some have argued that this salary discourages some people from running for City Council. Should the Charter require a higher level of compensation for Council Members and the Mayor to better reflect the time required to serve in those positions?
In the second part of the meeting the public may raise any other issues relevant to the Charter.
The Charter Review Commission invites everyone to be a part of this public discussion. Additional nformation can be found on the City website at www.icgov.org/citycharter.
View this article on the ICGov Web Site: http://www.icgov.org/apps/news/?newsID=10184