Charter commission proposals received by city clerk

According to a release from the city clerk’s office, the full text of the proposed changes by the charter commission has been received. You can download the full text containing a summary and specifics of the proposed changes here. Below is a transcription of the summaries of each of the five changes:

#1 This amendment will provide that the Mayor will no longer chair the Common Council meetings; in addition the aldermen will choose the presiding officer of the Common Council from among the aldermen. The Mayor will designate the Deputy Mayor, who may be any resident of the City of Amsterdam eligible to vote.

#2 This amendment will create two (2) additional aldermen, who shall be elected at large for a two (2) year term. The total number of aldermen will thereby be increased to seven (7).

#3 This amendment will define the separation of authority between the Mayor and Common Council with respect to the execution of deeds, leases, collective bargaining agreements, and contracts for: public work, services, goods, materials, professional services, and all other matters.

#4 This amendment specifically states that the form of City government is a “strong mayor” form of government. This means that the mayor is in charge of day to day operations and is the chief executive officer. This amendment establishes and clarifies the separation of powers between the Mayor, Controller and Common Council. Firing authority is vested in the Mayor. Hiring authority is limited to those positions approved in the operating budget. The Mayor, Controller, and Common Council are granted authority to hire independent legal counsel.

#5 This amendment provides that the operating budgets of the Mayor and Controller may not be reduced below a set floor percentage of all appropriations. The Mayor and Controller are granted control over their respective operating budgets. The purpose of this amendment is to provide these branches of government budgetary protection and the ability to operate independently.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.