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Milton City Council supports changes to charter
by Nicole Dow
February 21, 2013 11:27 AM | 1322 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Milton city councilmembers and Mayor Joe Lockwood are supporting adjustments to the city’s charter. They voted unanimously Wednesday — with the exception of Councilman Burt Hewitt, who was absent from the meeting — to sign off on a resolution asking state legislators to approve five changes to the charter.

The amendments were recommended by the charter commission and require voting by the General Assembly, said City Manager Chris Lagerbloom.

The resolution suggested revising language in the charter so property tax rates could be changed if a majority of voters participating in the election vote for it instead of the majority of all “eligible voters” in the city. Lagerbloom said it is ambiguous what is implied with the term “eligible voters.”

Another one of the resolution’s recommendations was consolidating Milton’s six districts into three. Two councilmembers would represent each district with staggered terms so both councilmembers from a certain district would not be up for election at the same time, Lagerbloom said.

The resolution also suggested clarifying the mayor’s veto. Lagerbloom explained the mayor’s veto practically does not exist because the same majority of councilmembers taking action on an issue can override the mayor’s veto.

The mayor and councilmembers also support local legislation that would give elected officials term limits of three consecutive terms as opposed to two. The remaining amendement to the charter involves allowing councilmembers to vote annually, instead of every four years, on who will serve as mayor pro tem.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, Lockwood and councilmembers unanimously voted on a resolution in opposition of House Bill 176, which would limit the city’s regulation of cell towers and give that power to the state.

Lagerbloom said the resolution would send the message to state leaders that the city desires to maintain control.

What’s next?:
Milton City Manager Chris Lagerbloom will deliver the resolutions to local delegates for consideration.
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