MOUNT VERNON — City Council will have the opportunity Tuesday to take another step towards creating a home rule charter for the city. Following last week’s committee meeting to discuss the charter issue, an ordinance is on Tuesday’s agenda to place the question of creating a charter commission on the November ballot.

Council meets Tuesday instead of Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday.

At the same time, voters will vote to select 15 city residents to serve on the panel to prepare a charter. The ordinance calls for persons wishing to serve on the commission to submit petitions with the names of at least 50 city voters to the Board of Elections by Sept. 4.

That process could become an issue for discussion as council was divided at the committee meeting on whether 25 or 50 signatures should be required.

The measure will probably simply receive first reading to allow plenty of time for public comment.

Council discussed the charter idea briefly in 2017, but decided that it would distract from the city income tax increase that was on the ballot.

Putting this question on the ballot does not commit the city to any particular kind of government. That would be determined by the commission, which would submit any proposed charter to the voters for approval in November of 2019.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, two committee meetings are scheduled. The Parks and Lands Committee will meet at 6:45 p.m. to discuss the situation with the proposed lease of land near the water treatment plant to Verizon for a communications tower.

Law Director Rob Broeren has determined that the lease requires a bid process and will have a measure prepared for that purpose.

The second committee meeting, at 7 p.m., also of Parks and Lands, will discuss the transfer of the American National Can property to the Knox County Land Reutilization Corporation (the land bank). A resolution transferring the land, with the exception of the portion being retained by the city, is on th agenda for first reading Tuesday.

The rest of the agenda is mostly routine items:

•Second reading of the ordinance reissuing bonds issued on behalf of Mount Vernon Nazarene.

•Second reading of the ordinance adopting the 2018 replacement pages for the Codified Ordinances.

•First reading of the ordinance establishing the hourly pay rate for the seasonal employees hired as part of the Summer Seasonal Work Program funded through an Ariel Corp. grant.

•Three resolutions authorizing the city auditor to make supplemental appropriations, transfer funds and pay late-arriving bills.

Council’s legislative meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.


Chuck Martin: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews




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