Joplin City Council Approves Items to be Reviewed by the Charter Commission

Joplin City Council Approves Items to be Reviewed by the Charter Commission

The Charter Commission is a committee of nine people from the community who will examine the city's charter to improve how the City of Joplin operates.
JOPLIN, MO.--- The Joplin City Council approves nine items to be reviewed by the Charter Commission in a special meeting this evening. The Charter Commission is a committee of nine people from the community, including former mayors, who will examine the city's charter to improve how the City of Joplin operates. Tonight, was the first step of the charter review process.

"We've given them all of those without any recommendations from the council and saying you guys look at these, review and bring us back what you think we should do on those," said Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean, Joplin.

The items include: Council residency time frame, which could mean changing the length of time a person must reside within the city limits before running for council. Also on the list, whether the police chief should work under the city manager or the council. Whether the public works director position should continue to require an engineering degree. The length of city council members terms council pay, direct election of the mayor by voters, when a mayor is allowed to vote, doing away with council zones and whether the city clerk should work under the city manager or the council.

"Things change all the time. We need to make sure that our charter kind of rolls with the punches, so to speak, so that it continues to be a document that is useable," said Brian Head, Joplin City Attorney.

After the commission gives the council their recommendations, the council will either accept or reject each item.

"There's no rush. However, since it's out there, we'd like to make sure it's expedient and we would like to get it back in a timely fashion," said Mayor Colbert-Kean.

Items they accept will have to go up for public vote by April of next year. Changes to the city charter must be brought to a public vote within six months of the first official discussion.

"The charter is essentially the constitution for the city, it's a series of rules that can only be changed by the voters," said Head. 

At the meeting, the council also nominated Ron Richard to be the commission's chair and Chuck Brown to be the vice chair.
 
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