COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE


08-0508R


RESOLUTION SUBMITTING A PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO SECTION 27 OF THE CITY CHARTER TO THE VOTERS AT A SPECIAL ELECTION ON NOVEMBER 4, 2008.

CITY PROPOSAL:

     RESOLVED, that the city council hereby submits the following proposed amendment to Section 27 of the 1912 Home Rule Charter of the city of Duluth, as amended, to the qualified voters of the city of Duluth at the special municipal election to be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, for their ratification or rejection in the manner provided for by law.

     RESOLVED FURTHER, that the city clerk shall place upon the ballot at such general election the proposition hereinafter set forth.

     To vote for the proposition, completely fill in the oval next to the word “YES” for that question.

     To vote against the proposition, completely fill in the oval next to the word “NO” for that question.

PROPOSITION

     Should Section 27 of the 1912 Home Rule Charter of the city of Duluth, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 27.   Nonsalaried boards and commissions.

     The council may provide, by ordinance, for appropriate nonsalaried boards or commissions which it deems desirable to serve in an advisory capacity, or to perform quasi-judicial functions, or to act as a board of appeal in the administration of regulatory ordinances, or to perform such other proper functions as the council may direct. Each such board or commission shall adopt bylaws which govern the conduct of its meetings. In the absence of an applicable bylaw, Roberts Rules of Order shall govern. Each such board or commission shall adopt rules allowing and regulating public participation. Among such boards or commissions the council shall provide for a planning commission, a board handling building code appeals, a board of zoning appeals, an airport board, a library board, a board or commission dealing with alcoholic beverage licensing and a park and recreation commission.

     Members of all such boards and commissions, including the civil service board, shall be subject to removal by the mayor, for cause, but only after council approval after notice and an opportunity for a hearing before the council.

     The cost of sending notices, preparing and distributing minutes and other similar clerical expense actually incurred by nonsalaried boards and commissions shall be borne by the city from the general fund, together with such extraordinary expense as shall be authorized in advance by council resolution.

                 YES ____________           NO ____________

     A “YES” vote is in favor of adding the requirements for bylaws including the provisions for public participation.

     A “NO” vote is a vote against adding the requirements for bylaws including the provisions for public participation.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This resolution is to have placed on the ballot for the November 4, 2008 election an amendment to Section 27 of the City Charter to require that the City’s various nonsalaried board and commissions adopt bylaws to regulate the conduct of their business; this would need to include provisions which would allow public input at their meetings and would establish process by which that would be allowed. It would also specify that in the absence of an applicable bylaw, Roberts Rules of Order would govern their operation.


At the present time, there is no requirement that the boards and commissions formally adopt rules of procedure for their operation and there is the perception that some procedural decisions are of a more ad hoc variety. This ordinance would require that the procedures be formally established so that all board and commission members as well as the general public can know what the rules are and how they can participate in the group’s business.


The proposed charter change was proposed and recommended by the Charter Commission at its meeting of July 9, 2008.