Amendments to city charter mulled

MARQUETTE — At the Marquette City Commission meeting Monday night, staff presented a resolution to commissioners on ballot language for five new amendments to the city charter that residents will vote on Nov. 5.

The proposed amendments would:

≤ Remove the requirement that the City Commission hold a meeting at 7 p.m. on the Monday following each regular city election and stipulate that the commencement of each new commissioner’s term begins at the first regular meeting following the election.

≤ Clarify anti-nepotism language to include the spouse of the city manager, the spouse of the Marquette Board of Light and Power director, and the spouses of elective officials to the list of those disqualified from being employed by or holding any appointive office for the BLP or city during the term for which said elective official was elected or during the tenure of office of the city manager or BLP director respectively.

≤ Remove term limits for boards and committees appointed by the city commission.

≤ Indicate that all regular city elections be held at the time provided by State law and remove all primary elections for city offices.

≤ And finally, stipulate that within 20 days of the city commission approving any ordinance, the city must publish in a newspaper a digest, summary or statement of purpose of the ordinance, as well as a statement indicating where full-text copies of the ordinance can be found.

The Marquette City Charter states, “Every ten years the city commission shall appoint a charter study group. The charter study group shall review this charter and make recommendations for changes in this charter. The charter study group shall make its recommendations within one year after appointment.”

In December 2022, the city commission appointed a Charter Study Group, comprised of the city manager, city attorney and city clerk who conducted an in-depth, chapter-by-chapter review of the city charter, which resulted in the short list of recommended amendments that was presented to the commission in the fall.

Following a public hearing in October, the commission directed staff to draft ballot language for the proposed amendments, which was approved unanimously by the commissioners Monday night.

The proposed city charter amendments will be reviewed by the offices of the Michigan governor and attorney general before ultimately being presented to voters at the Nov. 5 general election.

Also at Monday night’s meeting, commissioners unanimously approved the following appointments to city boards:

Joseph Meyskens to the Peter White Public Library Board, for a term ending May 1, 2029; Joshua Bay to the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, for an unexpired term ending Feb. 2, 2027; Demetrios Kaltsas to the planning commission, for an unexpired term ending Feb. 15, 2027; and Kristine Granger to the planning commission, for an unexpired term ending Feb. 15, 2027.

In another matter, the month of May is designated Bike Month. Commissioner Jenna Smith issued a challenge to her fellow commissioners to ride their bicycles to the May 13 commission meeting, as she plans to to.

Kovacs said she plans to accept the challenge.

Vickie Fee cal be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 540. Her email address is vfee@miningjournal.net.


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