Peoria moving forward with city charter changes, mayor terms could go from 2 to 3

Posted

Peoria officials are moving forward with five possible changes to its city charter.

To do this, Peoria City Council must first approve a resolution to refer the proposed changes to the City Charter to the Charter Review Committee.

The council recently took this step, which could pave the way to change the maximum amount of time a person can serve as mayor in Peoria from two to three terms.

Each term is four years.

The city is considering this and four other changes, including as partial terms and cost of living adjustments for council members, that also must be amended to the city charter.

Moving forward the Charter Review Committee review the Council proposed amendments to the City Charter and provide input and revisions, hold public comment meeting(s) to obtain public input on the proposed amendments to the City Charter, and comply with the Arizona Open Meetings Act.

Additionally, the committee must recommend the charter amendments consistent with the approved resolution and the associated rationale to the city council.

Since the Charter Review Committee is an official body established in the city charter, all meetings must comply with statutes and laws regulating open meetings, including meeting notices, agendas, and minutes.

Final consideration for this proposal would go before the voters in November 2020 and the change to the charter, if approved by the voters, would begin in 2023, with the city’s next mayor.

The five proposed amendments to the city charter are:

  • Increase number of mayoral terms set forth in the city charter from two consecutive terms to three consecutive terms to align with the three consecutive council member terms authorized in the charter.
  • Eliminate partial terms from counting toward a term for mayor or a term for council members as set forth in the charter. A term shall only be four years and any number of years less than four shall not count as a term. The change apply to all current and future council members.
  • To reflect annual cost of living changes, incorporate an automatic cost of living adjustment (COLA) to the charter for mayor and council members based on a commonly held nationwide index with an appropriate floor, cap and other considerations to ensure the COLA is reflective of the market and consistent with the duties and responsibilities of the mayor and council members. The index used shall be the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) or other similar nationwide index appropriately reflective of the market. COLA shall be automatic and shall not be subject to approval by mayor and council, the Citizens Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials or the electorate.
  • Increase the number of days the mayor and council have to make an appointment to fill a vacancy pursuant to the city charter. Currently the charter requires the appointment to occur not less than 12 days nor more than fifteen 15 days from the date any vacancy occurs. The amendment shall increase the amount of time to fill the vacancy to not more than 20 days from the date any vacancy occurs.
  • Review the current city charter and propose amendments necessary to allow the city to dispense with the primary if only two candidates have filed their nominating petition signatures by the county filing deadline. This will allow the city to hold only a general election in those mayoral and council races where two or less candidates have filed by the filing deadline and the candidate receiving the highest number of votes in those races shall be declared the winner.

Philip Haldiman can be reached at 623-876-3697, phaldiman@newszap.com, or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.

Comments