The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

February 27, 2013

Charter clarifies wording

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — To the editor:

Re City Charter clarification

Several articles in the Greenville Herald-Banner have inferred that the Charter Review Committee is proposing changing the votes necessary to remove the city manager from a “super majority” to a majority.

Nancy Smith’s letter to the editor in Sunday’s edition mentions this as well. This is simply not true.

The Charter, as it is today, states that it takes a majority of the City Council to remove the city manager. The committee, of which I was a member, simply clarified that majority means four of seven votes. One could argue that the way the Charter is written today that a majority could mean a simple majority, which is one more than half of the council members present. If the language remains as it is today, the city manager could be removed with three votes if only four council members attended the meeting in which the vote was taken.

The current city manager cannot be removed without a super majority (five of seven votes) because it is in his contract. The contract and the Charter are two different things; and if the Charter is changed to reflect the proposed clarification language, it will not affect the city manager’s current contract.

I would like to take this opportunity to say that I think Steve Alexander is one of the best city managers Greenville has ever had. He is level-headed, approachable and considers an issue from multiple angles. I have enjoyed working with him on several animal control related issues and look forward to working with him in the future.

I hope that the citizens of Greenville consider each suggested change to the City Charter carefully. All the Charter review meetings were open to the public and the records of each meeting can be obtained from the city secretary.

I appreciate the opportunity I had in serving on the Charter Review Committee. I learned a lot about how our city works, and I hope that more people take an interest in our city and what we need to do to make our community stronger. Greenville is in a good position to decide what kind of future we want. If everyone will take a little time and let our elected officials and leaders know what they do and do not want for Greenville, it will go a long way to making Greenville a great place to live.

I urge everyone to get involved, do some research and turn out for the May elections.

Deidre Mead