Tracy Woodard, Charter Review Committee Chairman discussed the changes proposed to the existing charter. This discussion of charter changes was advertised in the Jasper news and if Citizens wish to discuss these items prior to all citizens voting for these changes on the ballot, it is suggested that all citizens attend the February meeting. The first reading will be done in February and the 2nd reading in March. It may be too late to do before the election, unless there is a special election. There is no push for a directly elected mayor.
- An election held every year is not only bad for the Town but expensive. Having a four year term as a councilperson with elections every two years was considered a better alternative and it has not been decided if the term referendum would change in 2019 or in 2020 and information was provided to the council on both scenarios.
- It was decided not to vote for an individual to only run for Mayor or Vice Mayor etc. Mrs. Woodard stated it was similar to a Winner in a beauty contest, choosing winners and losers. It manipulates some person out and distorts the political landscape when citizens choose to just give one vote for one person. I know when I ran for council, at the Mid-Folk Festival party at Scott Gay’s, Woody Woodard started to chastise me because I received four voter choosing only me as the official on the ballot. Although I had no idea who the voters were, it certainly seemed as I was being attacked for someone else’s decision. Out of the Five Council members, they will decide who to choose as their chair person. No recommendation was made as to whether the Chair would be chosen yearly (Like in Hamilton County) or if they would remain for the four years.
- It was decided to loosen the procedures on Robert’s Rules of Order due to the fact that even in Ethics classes it is strongly recognized that it’s a legal liability per Walter McKenzie. That is why in other parts of the State, the book is referred to and most individuals are familiar with the rulings; however, in small towns like White Springs, no one really feels they have to study the laws or determine what needs to be done in order to get a council position. And former Attorney Koberlein provided information to the Town relating to the issue that Robert’s Rules of Order should be followed or the Town of White Springs could be subject to liability in his letter to the Town dated February 10th, 2017.
- It is suggested that there be no Charter Review every time there is an annexation or the boarders change.
- The Committee feels that by adding the title “Deputy Clerk” to the current Administrative Assistant position carried by Yvonne, that there would be room for a 2nd signature to Pam Tomlinson’s. This suggestion is not to hire a deputy clerk but to change the current position of Admin. It is something I feel that Yvonne Bryant should be trained for; however, you will recall in the past, Anita Rivers was not allowed to take Clerk Courses and was discriminated against by both Pam Tomlinson and Stacy Tebo.
- Lastly, the Charter will be changed to General Neutral language to coincide with today’s New Age of handling such things. This is done even though 10..06 includes the Masculine and Feminine wording to all.
It was stated by Mrs. Woodard that everyone on the committee gave a lot of thought to the Charter.
Although the Town Attorney will place together an ordinance with the changes, the Voters will have a chance to decide and the people will have their say.
Also since there was a suggestion not only by Councilor Miller but by Mr. Strong, as to how a Mayor elected by the people would change the charter, it was advised that the Mayor is no different than any councilor on the Board. We have a Town Manager/Weak form of Mayor so the Mayor is only responsible for signing papers and and chairing meetings. The Mayor has no special powers.
Walter McKenzie thanked Tracy Woodard and the Charter Committee for their work on the Charter.
Karin for the bog