The Jefferson City Council placed two proposed charter amendments on the informal calendar while sending another to the April election.
In a 7-2 vote Tuesday night, the charter amendment proposing eliminating the firemen's pension board was sent to the April 3 ballot. City staff said this is a clean-up amendment since administration of the Firefighter's Pension Plan was transferred to the Missouri LAGERS. Ward 3 Council members Erin Wiseman and Ken Hussey voted against the bill.
The council added the charter amendment proposing making the city prosecutor an appointed position instead of an elected one to the informal calendar after a motion from Ward 3 Councilman Ken Hussey.
Also on the informal calendar, the council also placed a charter amendment that would change City Council members' term limits from absolute eight-year limitation to a limit of four consecutive terms, with a required 23-month service break period before a member could serve on the council again.
Items on the council's informal calendar die after three meetings if the council does not take action. The deadline to place items on the April ballot is Jan. 23.
Hussey said after receiving feedback on the city prosecutor and council term limits charter amendments, he wants to possibly put together a citizens' committee to take a larger look at the charter.
"The conversation about the prosecutor has opened up other conversations about the charter and other issues, so instead of putting one, two or three items on this election and then coming back again at the next election, I want to see if this committee could package these all together," he said. "Some things have come up with like, 'If we change the prosecutor, do we change what we do with the judge? Is there a better way to do this thing and that thing?' or whether or not there's other clean-up things in the charter that should be addressed in one big slate."
Hussey said he doubts the charter amendments will be taken up before the Jan. 23 deadline.
"My intent is to bring forth the creation or idea here and see if council will take action and take a broader look at the charter," he said, adding if the council does not, then he will decide whether to take the charter amendments off the informal calendar.
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Hussey proposed the city charter amendments for the August ballot last year, but after the council voted in May to not put a stormwater utility fee proposal on the ballot, he decided to wait until the April election to re-propose the amendments.
Wiseman made a motion to put the fireman's pension charter amendment on the informal calendar, too, but it failed. She said since she knew Hussey wanted to add the two charter amendments to the informal calendar, she thought it would be cost effective to wait to put the firemen's pension board charter amendment, too.
"I didn't see that it would be worth putting the firemen's pension on the ballot at this point, and we haven't discussed it with the community at large. I know we've discussed it at the council level, but I was just waiting to put it on with everything else when everything else was going to go," she said. "I know it costs us for every issue we put on the ballot and it seems to me to be more cost effective to put more than one issue on the ballot at a time just so we can also get the information out to the public."
She added she did not have concerns with Missouri LAGERS.
Jefferson City Fire Department Chief Matt Schofield said the firemen's pension board would like this charter amendment to pass so it can relieve them of their duties since they no longer oversee the Firefighter's Pension Plan.