Five changes to Peoria’s city charter will be on the ballot in November, including one that will change the maximum amount of time a person can serve as mayor.
The city charter acts as the constitution of the city and the framework for local laws that are passed by city council and then codified into the city code.
Changes to the city charter can only be amended by a majority vote of the qualified electors of the city of Peoria.
The first proposed modification is to change the maximum amount of time a person can serve as Peoria mayor from two to three consecutive terms. This makes the mayor’s term limit consistent with council members, which is set at three terms. Under the change there shall be no limit on the number of nonconsecutive terms.
Each term is four years.
There are four other changes to the city charter, each to appear individually on the ballot in November.
Charter Review Committee Chair Brad Shafer said the changes achieve a number of intents.
“The goal of no. 2 is to not penalize those who fill a vacancy. The intent of no. 3 is to create a reasonable and automatic cost of living to account for inflation for council members and mayor. However, if there is a recession as defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research, there will not be an automatic cost of living adjustment applied for the upcoming fiscal year. A great example of this would be our current circumstances. ... Given our current economic status at this time, there would not be an automatic COLA given to council and mayor based on our economic situation,” he said.
“The intent for no. 4 is to allow the city to conduct the process to fill a council or mayor vacancy. The committee agreed that more flexibility should be applied in this instance and changed the language to allow from 12 to 30 days. This allows staff the time necessary for the administrative tasks involved with filling a vacancy on the council. And the intent of no. 5 is to eliminate the need to hold a primary election and general election for the same two candidates. It is a cost saving measure to the residents of Peoria and there is no need to have the expense of two elections with the same two individuals on the ballot.”
Philip Haldiman can be reached at 623-876-3697, email@example.com, or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.