Franklin voters to consider five charter amendments in November

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Franklin voters to consider five charter amendments in November

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Franklin City Council has placed five amendments to the city charter for voters to consider in the Nov. 7 general election. ED RICHTER/STAFF Franklin City Building

Voters in Franklin will have some work to do when they go to the polls in November.

Franklin City Council Monday approved placing five city charter amendments on the Nov. 7 general election ballot. The city’s Charter Review Commission, which reviews the charter for possible revisions every five years, had recommended eight charter changes.

During the meeting, Mayor Denny Centers expressed concerns about the number of amendments for voters to consider and asked for council and city staff to prioritize the recommendations.

“I’m concerned that if all eight go on the ballot, voters may not read all of them,” Centers said.

Of the proposed changes, some of the amendments would help to streamline procedures for contracting, selling property to another governmental entity, ensuring board and commission seats can be filled as well as other charter updating. Franklin adopted its current charter in 1984.

Those proposed changes include:

- Posting the intent to sell a piece of property in one conspicuous location as well as allowing the city to sell or lease property to any federal, state or local governmental unit or agency without competitive bidding, by ordinance, upon the vote of five members of council.

- Eliminating the requirement that three copies of state technical codes such as the state building code, state fire code, etc. be kept by the city clerk as most of these codes are available online. The amendment would only require one copy of each code publication be kept by the city clerk.

- Deleting the Civil Service Commission requirement that three of its five members be of the same political party as municipal elections and appointments are non-partisan.

- Rewording the monetary thresholds to the amount fixed by state law for competitive bidding, up from the current $25,000.

- Updating language of unclassified service positions from secretary to each department head to assistant to each department head; adding the following positions to the city’s unclassified service including division heads in the finance department and safety department, except for the police and fire & EMS chiefs; and the clerk of court, deputy court clerks and other court personnel such as bailiffs and probation officers.

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