2 Comments on "Notice of Charter Amendment"

  1. John Moreno | Oct 1, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Reply

    It’s time to vote NO.

    For the past four elections, regular and municipal, we have been asked to amend our eight-year-old Home Rule Municipal Charter for a variety of reasons. The recommendations for these amendments have come from two sources, the City Council and the Charter Review and Compliance Commission (CRCC). Let’s look at the recommendations from these two entities.

    CRCC : A little history is in order here. When we convened the Charter Convention of 2008 the citizens added a new commission to serve several functions. First, to meet State Constitutional requirements for home rule cities to have an ethics commission in place or use the States Ethics Commission to resolve ethics issues. Next, to provided for the on going review of our Municipal Charter to resolve any ambiguities, inconsistencies or conflicts between the Charter and the US Constitution, State Constitution, prevailing State Statutes and within the Charter itself and to advise the City Council regarding Charter issues and proposed amendments. Finally, the CRCC was given quasi-judicial power to resolve any complaints of non-compliance with or willful violation of the Charter by elected or appointed municipal officials as per State Constitutional requirements.
    From the beginning the elected and appointed officials focused solely on the compliance function of the CRCC and they hated the checks and balances it brought. They made it difficult in every way possible to seat the CRCC by refusing to seek out applicants and subjecting applicants to nothing less than a hostile inquisition. Yet the CRCC and its dedicated membership continued to do its work. The CRCC comprehensively reviewed the entire Charter in less than 5 years and identified many errors within the Charter and made recommendations for Charter Changes to be placed on the ballot. The City Council never found one recommendation from the CRCC to be flawed or lacking. I believe the success of the CRCC can be attributed to the fact that its recommendations were pragmatic, non-political and always held the integrity and intent of the Charter in the highest regard.

    City Council: The City Council has twice proposed Charter changes. They never consulted with the CRCC with these changes. The first was to eliminate the Charter mandated Fire Department in order to join the WRFPD. The CRCC tried to advise the Council that the change was incomplete and would cause the issue to be brought to the Citizens in a subsequent election. That advice was roundly ignored and resulted in the CRCC rewriting the changes and bringing it back to the voters the following year for correction.
    Last year the Council rushed through a Charter change regarding the ability of Council to remove one of its own members for lack of attendance. The CRCC once again advised Council that the proposed change was flawed and created a faulty reference in the Charter and once again the CRCC was ignored. They are asking you to revisited and correct the flaw in this election. They are also asking you to eliminate the CRCC. Guess what, the proposal they put forth to eliminate the CRCC was fatally flawed. It had faulty references to non-existent Charter sections and did not fully remove the CRCC in all Charter sections. Well, they did not have a CRCC to advise them of that. The membership either termed out or quit due to moral but a former member brought these errors to the City Attorneys attention. This time Council listened but they just may have violated the Charter in putting the corrected proposal on this years ballot due to Charter mandated time constraints on the required ordinance.

    I strongly recommend a NO vote to the proposed Charter change and call every one of your Council Members and tell them to seat the CRCC and work with the Commission in order to maintain a quality Charter that serves the will and best interest of the citizens of Edgewater.

    John Moreno
    Former Chairman
    CRCC

  2. John Moreno | Oct 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Reply

    Correction: Our 6 year old Charter.

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