Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mayor Hammons: Listening Session on Charter Amendments Tomorrow!

The following is a letter from Muskogee Mayor John Tyler Hammons, notifying Muskogee residents of a listening session tomorrow evening at 6:00pm at the Civic Center.
Dear Muskogee taxpayer:

On Thursday, June 18, I will be hosting a listening session on potential amendments to our City Charter. As the chief legal document for our City, the Charter is essential the Constitution for our City. It governs has the City must conduct business. From our form of government to how tax dollars are allocated, the Charter governs all City operations.

The Charter was adopted in 1973 and has not been subject to a comprehensive review since. No regular review. No attempts to modernize. This is unacceptable. Public officials must regularly inspect our Charter to ensure the current needs and desires of the citizens are being met. We must act now to ensure that the citizens are getting the Charter they want.

Any change to our Charter will require a vote of the people. As such, it is of great importance the the citizen provide direction to City leaders. The Charter is the people's document: it is a contract between the people of Muskogee and the elected leadership.

Please join me at the Civic Center at 6 PM in rooms A and B to share your views with me. Any and all changes will be subject to discussion. I thank you for your valued input. I look forward to sharing this important discussion with the public.

John Tyler Hammons
Mayor of Muskogee
Issues to be discussed include term-limits for city elected officials, and a change to the ward system. Currently, Muskogee is split into eight wards, which are not equivalent in size or population. For some reason, when the charter was adopted, the system meant that voters from all wards voted in all ward elections; therefore, a candidate could lose in his ward, but still be elected that ward's councilmember, due to winning the overall vote from across the city. This needs to be changed.

I encourage Muskogee residents to attend this special meeting. Again, it will be held at the Civic Center (rooms A and B) from 6:00pm.

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