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Charter review panel to discuss state response

August 2, 2012
By KYLE WHITNEY - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - The Marquette City Charter Commission is meeting this evening to discuss a state review of the proposed new city charter.

In May, the group completed a draft for a new charter and sent the document to the Michigan Attorney General's Office for review.

Chairman Robert Kulisheck said the commission received the state's response within the last week.

"We got the reaction back from the state and they came back with a whole bunch of changes," he said.

Most of the requested changes are related to minor language revisions or stem from the fact that state law would override city authority in certain areas, according to Kulisheck.

He said the state had also indicated that the plan to change the city's fiscal year may be troublesome. Currently, the fiscal year starts in July 1, but the proposed charter changes the beginning of the fiscal year to Oct. 1.

The commission proposed the fiscal year change to align it with those from the state and federal governments and would allow Marquette officials to better communicate their plans and desires to those dealing with funding at state and national levels, and would allow staff to gain a better understanding of how much assistance will be coming to the city in a given year.

The fiscal year is also bad for construction and some business in the city, according to City Finance Manager Gary Simpson.

Kulisheck said city staff is looking at the issues and the board will review the state's suggestions when it meets today. The meeting is at 6 p.m. in the commission chambers at city hall.

"What we'll do is just make these changes, send it back to the state, and then the state will send it back to us for a final review," he said.

The goal is to put the proposed charter to a vote of residents on the November ballot.

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.



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