Friday, March 30, 2007

Is Home-Rule Charter Good for Republic?

Voters in Republic will decide on Tuesday if they want to make their city a "home-rule charter city."

Supporters say that would give citizens the power to petition an initiative, referendum and recall elected officials. But opponents say it would increase the power of the Mayor and decrease the size of the alderman board.

For example -- Springfield residents recently voted on the minors in bars issue. It was placed on the ballot because the people thought it was important enough to vote on it. If Republic wanted to do something like that-- right now, it could not, according to Home Rule Charter advocates.

"If the city council would pass a law that they're not in favor of, they can collect names on a petition, put it on the ballot and resend the law or vice versa. They can also collect names, put an issue on the ballot and get a law passed without city interference in it," said Tom Cunningham, Home Rule Charter Commissioner.

Opponents say home-rule charter is not needed to petition or set a referendum. Alderman Chad Cole argues home-rule charter would leave citizens with less representation.

That's because one portion of the charter plan would reduce the number of alderman on the board to 8. He said the other main problem with the proposal is that the council may pass an ordinance over a veto by a 2/3 vote of the entire council. But if an ordinance or resolution is not signed nor returned to the Mayor within 10 days, "the same shall be deemed approved by the Mayor as if the Mayor had signed it."

"The mayor doesn't act as a tie breaking vote anymore. He or she may veto any proposed ordinance, notably it can pass with 2/3 vote of the "ENTIRE COUNCIL," at the next council
meeting," Cole said.


Tom Cunningham said...

Alderman Cole apparently has not read the Charter and is not familiar with Board proceedings or Missouri State Statutes. As a fourth class city, citizens cannot recall an elected official, or petition initiative or referendum. Currently the Board of Alderman can override a Mayor's veto with a 2/3 vote the same as in the Charter. In Article IV Section 4.4 Subsection (a) "the Mayor shall have the right to vote only in the case of a tie" the same as it is now, in subsection (c) "if any ordinance or resolution be neither signed nor returned by the Mayor within 10 days of receipt by the Mayor, the same shall be deemed approved by the Mayor" this prevents a 'pocket veto' by the Mayor. The Charter DOES NOT give the Mayor any more power than he already has, it just more clearly defines the duties of Mayor. The Board was expanded to 10 members when Republic and Brookline consolidated and the plan was to always go back to 8 at some point. It would seem to me that Alderman Cole is afraid of the Charter because it GIVES more power to the people.

Ron Davis said...

David: It's Shelia Wright, not Sheila. You're too good a reporter to keep making such a mistake.

David Catanese said...

Whoops. Thanks for being my spell check Ron. My sincere apologies to Ms. Wright and the rest . . .

Steven Reed said...

Home Page and Letter to the Citizens of Springfield

Breaking News

Lawlessness in Springfield Missouri!

Where is Matt Dillon when we need him?

People should boycott the Springfield Election Tuesday. State law requires the city to allow write in candidates. So people should not participate in an illegal activity---election. If you do go vote please write in Steven Reed next to the Mayor!

State law allows for another election in June!

Just Do Not Vote Tuesday!

Please click below to see two Motions that were recently filed in Federal Court concerning this case.

Motion #1 Motion #2

To the People of Springfield I have enjoyed meeting so many of you and hearing about what is important to you and your hopes and dreams.

I hope you go vote Tuesday. We hope to get word any minute from saying that all the votes will count! Yes you can call the media and others and tell them we need more Democracy! Please print flyers and help spread the Word!

THANKS Steven Reed

Chad Cole said...

Section 4.4 (c) Gives the Mayor Veto Power. Point Blank! Also I might want to ask the question if you double the size geographically of Republic with the consolidation of Brookline and you reduce the number aldermen by 2 . How is that more representation for the people?