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December 20, 2013

City charter modifications could make ballot

Charter Review Committee to make recommendations to city council

Live Oak —

The Live Oak Charter Review Committee held what was going to be their final meeting to determine if any recommendations on revising the city charter need to be made to the Live Oak City Council. However, a special called Charter Review Committee meeting was called for Monday night at 6:30 p.m. to revisit the recommendation that an elected police chief be added to the election ballot, and regarding the city administrator/manager designation.

After approval of the minutes, the items on the agenda were visited and discussed and voted upon. Committee member Jeanne d'Eauede was not present.

Review every 10 years   

It was voted unanimously to make a recommendation to revisit the city of Live Oak charter every 10 years to determine if any revisions or updates needed to be made.

Modifications of city administrator role

The committee discussed whether some modifications of the present model charter should be implemented as stating that the city manager must live within the city and that there be a determination of education and qualification standards.

“I concur with the model as it’s written, but city council has chose a different avenue,” said committee Vice Chair Stephan Blue. “We can recommend that it be put on a ballot to see if the voters agree with city council.”

Committee Chair Tommy Jefferson said the current term city administrator was kept in the charter and Blue said that at the last meeting it was just a word and the term could be, and should be, determined by the city council as to what duties and authority the manager or administrator title carry.

“They (council) put it upon themselves to go ahead and leave it as city administrator,” said Blue. “But, I’m for it to be put on a ballot. That’s my recommendation.”

Committee member Wendell Hill recommended they change the title to city manager and state that the person must reside within the city and said certain education requirements should be placed for the position. Jefferson said the word manager suggests a broader scope of authority and operation than administrator and he believed the city council had taken it upon themselves to give the position more authority. He asked City Administrator Kerry Waldron if that was their reasoning or intent.

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