by Pam Zubeck
Re: Charter Review—————————————————-
Honorable President and Members of City Council:
This letter is to suggest that City Council engage The Mayor Project leadership group, which conceived of our current form of municipal government, to:
1. Compare and report to Council on the differences between the Colorado Springs Charter and the Denver, Colorado, Charter. Denver has had our same form of government successfully for 50 years. We can learn how to improve ours by studying this nearby “best practice”.
2. Based on the above review of Charters, I recommend to Council specific amendments to our Charter be placed on the November 2014 General Election ballot.
I would have declined because it would be my opinion that a majority of Council should be making or agreeing with the formation of a Charter Review Committee as well as its scope, that the Executive Branch of the City should have representation on the Committee, and that the Committee be subject to an application process so that the above could reasonably discern biases of the candidates as well as potential conflicts of interest. I would also have wanted to know the time commitment, the general scope and direction of the effort, the resources allocated to support such an effort, and the expected ability for the discussions to be held in a public and transparent setting in order to decide if it was a process I could support.
1. The role of Council and the Mayor relative to City Council dedicated staffThose King has asked to serve on the blue ribbon panel include:
2. The role of Council and the Mayor in signing Colorado Springs Utilities contracts
3. The role of Council and the Mayor relative to the City Budget
4. The role of Council and the Mayor relative to the City Attorney
Council believes it is extremely important that the Legislative and Executive branches of our new Council/Mayor form of government work together as co-equals in doing what is best for our City and our Citizens. A major part of the disagreements to date have been over interpretation of the checks and balances laid out in the City Charter. These differences can either be resolved in costly court battles, or through the development of clarifying legislation within our City Code; I vote for the latter. To that end, as President of the City Council of the City of Colorado Springs I hereby announce the establishment of the [blue ribbon] committee that will be formed in 2014.According to King's timeline, the committee will meet for three months to formulate a recommendation for changes to the Charter and city code. The recommendation is due to Council in late April.