Draft Charter Update
The download links in this post have been updated to point to the latest version of the draft charter, released Monday, August 31. The linked document includes a change log to show major changes between the last version and this one.
Click here to download a draft of an updated charter for the City of Elkins, prepared by council’s charter attorney, Tim Stranko, based on council’s discussion at its August 20 meeting.
This version has not been proposed or endorsed by council.
The final draft of any charter update endorsed by council will differ from this one. Even if council members agree that they wish to endorse in principle the changes stipulated in this draft (and council has not yet reached consensus on any changes), at least some further editing would be necessary to eliminate any inconsistencies or other typos. Obviously, if council rejects or modifies any of these provisions or inserts new ones, the final version would differ even more significantly from this one.
The purpose of this draft is to provide a concrete reference point for ongoing deliberation about what might be included in a more formal draft. This draft is being released in hopes of providing a clearer picture of what a charter update might look like and to help the public conversation become even more specific about the changes city residents do and don’t support. For more information about the charter-change process, please visit: www.bit.ly/ElkinsCharterUpdate.
The table below shows the most significant changes included in this draft. This table may not be easily readable on a mobile device. It is also included in the PDF of the draft charter update, which may be downloaded here.
|1901 Charter||Attached Draft Charter|
|Stipulates a plan of government similar to what W. Va. state code now calls the Mayor-Council Plan (also known as “weak mayor/strong council”). Council and the mayor, as a collective group, are the city’s governing and administrative authority, with the mayor holding almost no independent authority.||Does not adopt a new plan of government. Mayor is assigned some additional supervisory authority (see below).|
|Lists more than 80 “corporate powers and duties of council.”||Replaces list with the provision that City of Elkins has “all the powers now or hereafter granted to municipal corporations and to cities of its class by the Constitution and general laws of the State.” (1.02)|
|City council has 10 members, two from each of the city’s 5 wards. Members are elected by the voters of the wards they represent.||Council would still have 10 members. Five of these would represent (and be required to live in) each of the city’s five wards. The other five would be “at-large” members who could live anywhere in the city. Both Ward and At Large Councilors would face election by all city voters. (2.02)|
|City elections held in March of odd-numbered years.||City elections would be held in June of odd-numbered years. (2.02)|
|Mayors serve two-year terms.||Mayors would serve four-year terms. (3.01)|
|Clerk and treasurer are appointed to two-year terms. All other department heads (i.e., fire chief, operations manager, and police chief) are at-will employees.||All five administrative officers would be at-will employees. (Clerk: 3.06; Treasurer: 3.07)|
|Clerk is acting mayor in mayor’s absence or during vacancy in mayor’s office.||Council selects one of its own to preside at meetings in mayor’s absence or to serve as acting mayor during extended absence. In case of vacancy in mayor’s office, council appoints a new mayor to serve until the next election. (3.05)|
|Mayor is assigned supervisory authority over the police chief.||Mayor is assigned supervisory authority over clerk and treasurer. (Clerk: 3.06; Treasurer: 3.07)|
|Contains no procedure for preparation and presentation to council of the annual budget.||Codifies a budget process, including an annual budget message and a five-year capital plan. (4.04, 4.05) Budget is supervised by the Finance Committee. (2.09)|
|Doesn’t stipulate any standing council committees.||Stipulates three:
• Rules and Ordinances
• Economic Growth and Development
Council/the mayor may create more committees as needed.