News and Updates on DPU Charter Review Committee as of May 17, 2013:
The Council-appointed Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) Charter Review Committee meets every other Monday at 5:30 p.m.. They plan to deliver their recommendations to Council no later than the Sept. 10 '13 Council meeting.
Future Meetings - Schedule
(all meetings held at 5:30 p.m. in the Training Rm of the Community Bldg unless otherwise shown - once the agenda is posted, it can be downloaded by clicking on the date of the meeting below):
Sept. 9 (tentative, this would be one day prior to Council presentation)
Minutes from past meetings are posted as a PDF file below after Committee approval:
March 27, 2013 Minutes
April 8, 2013 Minutes
Kirk Christensen, citizen
Susan O'Leary, citizen
Edward Birnbaum, citizen
Steven Girrens, County Councilor
David Powell, DPU Board member
The Council considered charter "Department of Public Utilities (DPU)" ordinances during public hearings on Dec. 4, 2012. After nearly three hours of discussion and public comment, they did not adopt the ordinances.They directed Staff to do some follow up on the DPU item by setting up a new 5-member ad hoc committee. Members of the committee were solicited in public advertisements, and appointed by the new 2013 Council on Feb. 26, 2013. The Committee has six months to follow up on the DPU items that were discussed in the Dec. 4, 2012 meeting and again at the February 26, 2013 meeting.
Status of other outstanding Charter Review items:
Structure of Government:
At their Dec. 4 Council meeting, the Council indicated in their comments that any Structure of Government charter recommendations were not time sensitive, and thus, those changes should simply proceed to a special election when/if DPU charter items are placed before voters, to be cost effective, due to the cost of a holding a Special Election (approximately $30,000).
In addition, the Council re-capped discussions about the County Clerk being a full-time employee or elected position, but took no further action, stating the desire to allow the new Clerk and new Council to be seated in 2013, and with the knowledge that no election for a new Clerk would occur for the next four years.
No date for a discussion of this item has been set with the Council.
Code of Ethics:
At their Dec. 4, 2012 Council meeting, the Council discussed the proposed addition of a Code of Ethics to either the County's Code of Ordinances or directly into the Charter. State law mandates that the County must comply with the State’s Governmental Conduct Act (GCA). The Attorney's office advised that the same rules outlined in the State's GCA already exist in County Code, policies or personnel rules, and in many cases, the County's policies, codes or rules are more stringent than those in State statute. Therefore, the County already complies with the State statute; however, it is not easy to find the various pieces that relate to the GCA without searching many County documents. The Council directed the Attorney to bring forward one Ordinance for their consideration and adoption which would bring together all the various ethics policies, codes or rules into one document for easier review by those who must comply with it, and for the public to more easily review.
No date has been set with the Council to take this Ordinance forward.
At this point, the webpage has been updated and consolidated to focus mainly on the work of the DPU Charter Review Committee until September 2013.
Draft recommendations from the Committee will be posted to the webpage for public review and comment before they go to Council on September 10, 2013.
The best source of information for citizens seeking the history of the entire three-year charter review process is the Charter Review Committee's 53-page final report - link here.