|Joplin citizens are invited to comment on items under consideration by the Charter Review Commission in upcoming public hearings. The first public meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, in the City Council Chambers of Joplin City Hall, 602 S. Main St. It will focus on these questions regarding the mayor:
- Should the charter be amended to provide for the direct election of the mayor by the public?
- Should the charter be amended to allow the mayor to vote only in the event of a tie or in the event that a super majority of the council is required by law?
Additional public hearings to discuss the remaining topics involving the council and city staff will be held in the near future. Questions regarding the council include:
- Should the charter be amended to remove zone council seats and convert all seats to general council seats?
- Should the charter be amended to change the current qualifications to run for a city council seat by amending the residency requirement from four years to two years?
- Should the charter be amended to change the qualifications to run for a city council seat by amending limiting the number of terms that any person may serve on the council? Specifically should a person be limited to three four-year terms?
- Should the charter be amended to change the pay of the city council from $5.00 per meeting (not to exceed $120.00 per year) to $100.00 per month?
Questions presented for the city staff include:
- Should the charter be amended to place the city clerk under the authority of the city manager instead of the city council?
- Should the charter be amended to place the police chief under the authority of the city council instead of the city manager in light of the recently passed House Bill 307 that provides that the police chief now may have due process rights and may only be removed by the city council?
- Should the charter be amended to remove the requirement that the public works director be a professional engineer registered in the state of Missouri?
Although the public hearings will be divided by topics of the proposed charter changes, testimony on any of the questions may be given at any of the meetings.
“We want to ensure that as many people will come to testify as they can,” Chairman Ron Richard said. If bringing written comments to the hearings, citizens should provide 12 copies for the commission and attending staff members.
Richard asked the commission members to review their calendars and note possible dates for these meetings in order to move forward in a timely fashion because of the significance of the work put forth to the group. In addition to Richard, members of the Charter Review Commission include Co-Chairman Chuck Brown; former mayors Darieus Adams, Jack Belden, Don Goetz, Richard Russell, and citizens at large, Keenan Cortez, Randy Evans and Doug Hunt.
“The Charter is a living, breathing document,” Richard said. “It’s designed to be a road map for the city to follow.”
Upon hearing the commission's recommendations, council members will be asked to decide whether to place the proposed changes on a ballot for voters.