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January 10, 2013

Charter review committee appointed

GREENVILLE — Seven local residents are expected to soon start giving the Greenville City Charter a double check.

The Greenville City Council voted Tuesday to appoint a Citizens Charter Review Committee to review the Charter, which is the document which contains the rules and regulations governing how the Council, the city administration and related agencies do business.

Mayor Steve Reid said he and Council member Renee Francey had been approached about establishing a committee, but believed it was unlikely the panel would have its work completed in time for any proposed Charter amendments to be placed the May election ballot.

“I would like to get the process started,” Reid said, as he appointed David Dreiling as the at-large representative, who shall serve as chairman of the committee.

But Council member Dan Perkins wondered what issues the committee would be asked to review.

“That seems like the first thing we would need to do,” Perkins said. “To me we need to give them some vision on where we are going.”

Reid disagreed.

“To me it is a chicken and the egg thing,” he said, adding that the entire Charter will be up for review. “I don’t see any harm in naming a committee so that they are ready to go.”

Dreiling promised the committee would complete “an end to end” review of the Charter, but would also be mindful of any specific legal issues which will need to be addressed.

“Part of that review will be the city attorney telling us what we need to change,” Dreiling said.

City Manager Steven Alexander said one item which should be considered it making sure all city appointees are listed as “public officials” in the Charter.

“It would be nice if that was clearly stated,” Alexander said.

Also named to the Committee Tuesday were Sue Ann Harting, Mike Taylor, Deidre Meade and Fleta Tidwell. The remaining members will be appointed later.

State law allows the charter to be amended every two years and to also reflect changes in state law if needed.

The last Charter review  resulted in an election in May 2010 during which Greenville’s registered voters passed all 13 proposed amendments on the ballot; everything from correcting a list of typographical errors in the existing Charter and giving the Mayor a seat on the Greenville Electric Utility System (GEUS) board of trustees, to increasing the annual transfer of GEUS revenues to the city’s general fund from 3 percent to 5 percent.

A complete copy of the current Charter is available on the City of Greenville Web site at www.ci.greenville.tx.us.

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