City Charter Referendum: Commission Recommends Three Questions
Final Hearing Is June 1st Before Going To Common Council
A five-member charter commission is recommending three questions to amend the city’s governing document to be put before voters in November. The public will be able to comment on the May 26th Draft Report at a final hearing this week before they are sent to the Common Council.
The public hearing will be held at 6 p.m., Room 201, City Hall, 27 West Main St on Wednesday June 1st.
Questions recommended for the November ballot are:
- Share the term of office of the Mayor be changed from a two-year to a four-year term commencing in the election of 2017?
- Shall the term of office of the Tax Collector be changed from a two-year term to a four-year term commencing in the election of 2017?
- Shall the remainder of the changes to the Charter as recommended by the Charter Revision Commission be approved?
Rejected by the commission were changing the method of electing the common council to a minority representation system, a compensation plan for Mayor and non-union positions and the establishment of a separate golf authority to oversee Stanley Municipal Golf Course. Changing the current ward and at-large system of electing the council drew strong opposition from both Democrats and Republicans. Conversely, the idea of a four-year mayoral term won broad support in public testimony. The commission indicated the charter was not appropriate for changing the compensation of the Mayor and other City Hall officials.
The Common Council will take up the commission report with the option of accepting the proposed questions or adding others to the ballot.
Council Expected To Rubber Stamp Stewart Budget At June 2nd Meeting
3% Tax Hike, 5.6% Spending Increase In Plan For New Fiscal Year
The Common Council will hold a special meeting to adopt the 2016-17 budget on Thursday June 2nd at 6:30 p.m. The Common Council is expected to rubber stamp the administration’s budget that was revised from the FY 17 Budget proposed by the Board of Finance earlier in the year.
The Administration’s $239 million plan for the year that begins on July 1 is a 5.6 increase in spending over this year and would hike the property tax rate from 49 to 50.5 mills or 3 percent.
Tax relief this coming year will come in the form of reduced automobile property taxes as the result of the Democrats in the Legislature reducing the property levy on cars that hits urban residents the hardest. A portion of sales tax revenues will be used to bring tax relief after Republican efforts to kill relief from regressive tax on cars failed.