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Milton Charter Commission Cleaning Up

The five-member panel looks to make city government more efficient after operating under a charter put together quickly.

Milton is in the middle of reviewing its 5-year-old charter, and the city wants your input, too.

The Milton Charter Commission has met three times at , but hasn't moved much past the discussion stages, according to Chairman Ron Wallace, who was on the city's original committee to help create its charter and form a government.

"It's been really laying out what we want to look at, what seems to be important for the city staff and City Council," he said.

"At least my objective is to look at it and try to uncomplicate anything if it's complicated, and try to make it easier for the city to operate so they can be a little more efficient," Wallace said.

The charter was developed very quickly, and he said a review is good every five years.

Charter Commission meetings are open to the public, though Wallace said no visitors have attended any yet. He schedules two hours for each meeting, though he said they'll certainly stay later if the need arises. Meeting dates aren't on a set schedule so he can be sure every commission member can attend. Once they are scheduled, they are publicized by the city and on its website.

At each meeting Wallace hopes they can knock out discussion on several sections of the charter. Once they are ready to make a recommendation for any changes, he wants to make sure all five commission members are attending to vote on the final draft.

Wallace said he has asked the other members to talk to whomever they wat to get input on the city's charter.

"At some point, before we get the final, final draft made, I think it's important we bring the key players in and get their input," he said.

The commission will scrutinize the charter and any changes, seek legal opinions to make sure what they suggest is legal, and call a few other cities to compare what they are doing with their charter commissions.

 

 

"I expect this thing to be completely wrapped up in the next two months. We are making good progress," he said.

Some of the areas of study include:

  • contract executions
  • powers of city manager
  • powers of mayor
  • term limits
  • salaries of elected officials

For a smaller city like Milton, with a smaller staff but the same kinds of demands and services, there might be more demands on the City Council than in a major, mature city, he said.

Putting a city manager in place and hiring CH2M Hill were wise moves by the original charter panel to get Milton started he said.

Now the city is cleaning up a charter that was put together in a rush by necessity.

Charter Commission Members

Ron Wallace

Appointed by state Sen. John Albers

George Ragsdale

Appointed by state Sen. David Shafer

Gordon Hunter

Appointed by state Rep. Jan Jones

Robert Myers

Appointed by Mayor Joe Lockwood

David Shannon

Appointed by the Milton City Council

City Manager Chris Lagerbloom

Ex oficio member

City Attorney Ken Jarrard

Legal guidance

 

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