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Jefferson City Council forms charter advisory committee

Jefferson City Council forms charter advisory committee

January 17th, 2018 by Nicole Roberts in Local News

Along with discussing an advisory committee for the city charter, the Jefferson City Council voted on the downtown electricity fee; electricity will be pulled from the outlets on the new light standards that line Capitol Avenue.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

The Jefferson City Council approved an advisory committee Tuesday night to look at the city charter.

The Jefferson City Charter Review Advisory Committee will analyze the charter and discuss possible changes. If the committee recommends changes, those will go to the City Council for discussion. The council would then decide whether to send those recommendations to the election ballot for voter approval.

The committee has to make recommendations by July 9 so the council can decide whether to put the proposed changes on the November ballot. If the committee needs more time, Jefferson City Counselor Ryan Moehlman said, it will inform the council and have until Sept. 24 to make recommendations for the April 2019 ballot.

If the committee reports no changes or the council gives its final approval on sending the recommendations to the ballot, the committee will be terminated.

Ward 3 Councilman Ken Hussey told the News Tribune the committee would be able to take a wider look at the charter and recommend multiple changes if necessary instead of the council proposing changes one at a time.

"I think looking at potential charter changes, you realize there are potentially others. So instead of taking it one at a time, let's just have the citizen's committee take a broader look at the charter and see if there are multiple changes necessary," he said. "This will give the city a chance to holistically look at it and have a committee come back with maybe multiple changes or no changes or whatever instead of just one at a time."

At the Jan. 2 City Council meeting, the council placed a charter amendment eliminating the firemen's pension board on the April 3 ballot. Administration of the Firefighter's Pension Plan was transferred to the Missouri LAGERS.

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The council also placed an amendment on the informal calendar proposing making the city prosecutor position an appointed position instead of an elected one.

Also on the informal calendar is a charter amendment to change City Council members' term limits from absolute eight-year limits to a limit of four consecutive terms. It would require 23-month service break period before a member could serve on the council again.

After three meetings, items on the informal calendar die if the council does not take action.

The deadline to place items on the April ballot is Tuesday.

Last year, Hussey proposed the city charter amendments for the August ballot, but after the council voted not to put a stormwater utility fee proposal on the ballot, he decided to wait until the April election to re-propose the amendments.

Downtown electricity

Also on Tuesday, the council approved setting a permit fee for vendors to use electricity downtown. As part of the East Capitol Avenue improvement project, city staff included electrical outlets for festivals.

An event organizer can apply for a permit through the city. Individual festival vendors would not need to apply for the permits.

The base fee is $70, with addition $5 per two-amp circuit. Permanently installed 100-amp service would be $25 for each location, while temporarily installed 100-amp service would cost $100 per each location.

The Jefferson City Planning and Public Works Committee approved the permit fee last month.

Montessori school

The City Council on Tuesday approved a new Montessori school on Bennett Lane. Property owner F&F Development requested rezoning 3328 Bennett Lane from an RU Rural zoning district to a Planned Unit Development. It also submitted a preliminary and final PUD plan that proposed turning the church building into a Montessori school.

F&F Development wants to separate the church from the rest of the property and transfer it to Jesse and Melissa Steck, who operate Steck Properties. The Stecks would operate the Woodland Montessori School, which would have at least 24 children ranging from 3-6 years old.

The Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission approved the plan and rezoning last month.

Melissa Steck said she plans to open the school in August.

New city groups meetings

The recently resurrected Jefferson City Human Relations Commission will have its first meeting at 8 a.m. on Jan. 30 at City Hall. The advisory commission's goal is to educate the community on diversity, including holding events and working with the Jefferson City Public Schools.

The commission consists of Mitchell Woodrum, Andria Hendricks, Hector Alonso, Jami Wade, Jane Barnes, Makele Ndessokia, Patsy Johnson, Kennette Goodman and Raymond Lee.

The Jefferson City Missouri State Penitentiary Community Partners will meet for the first time at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 2. The group will analyze the 2001 MSP master plan and decide what features it wants to implement once the city owns 32 acres of the Missouri State Penitentiary.

The group will consist of Tergin; City Councilmen Mark Schreiber, Rick Prather, Rick Mihalevich and Ron Fitzwater; Cole County Commissioners Sam Bushman, Jeff Hoelscher and Kris Scheperle; Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce President Randy Allen; Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Diane Gillespie; and Missouri Office of Administration Director of Facilities Cathy Brown.