Franklin gives final OK to place 5 charter amendments on ballot

Franklin residents will have a few amendments to the city charter to consider this fall.

Franklin City Council has officially placed 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 originally recommended eight charter changes.

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Council members opted to go with five amendment proposals which city staff recommended when they were asked to prioritize the recommendations. Some council members felt that voters may not read all eight charter amendments.

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.

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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.
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  • 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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