A city charter

A few weeks ago, I published a series of articles on www.BillUllery.com  on how to maximize the economic impact of our new university campus. To do that, our town must change from a general law to a charter form of city government. The other university cities in this state are all charter cities. But, there’s more…

 

Magna Charter
General law cities are permitted to exercise only those powers the state dictates. Because it was simple, Havasu went “general law” in1963 when most of the streets were dirt. But, it’s not relevant for our city today. We paved the streets for starters.

 

Charter cities also can set their own rules regarding vacancies on the city council.  But, under general law government, Lake Havasu citizens are stuck with state rules.  As a result, we have two new city council members each of whom was “elected” by the 5-member city council in July to their seats by two votes. With no public input!

 

Options

There was a huge uproar over that appointment process. One news headline read, “Two resignations, two vacancies, zero public say.” An editorial decried, “Nyberg, Borrelli shut out city voters.” It’s an issue still reverberating about town.

 

In contrast, the Phoenix city charter requires a special election should a vacancy occur one year or more before the end of a council member’s term.  If we had that rule, Borrelli’s and Nyberg’s seats would have gone to special election and the voters would have decided who would represent them for the next two years.

 

Remember the council seat filled by appointment for a full 4-year term after the death of Marie Meahl? It led to the 2005 recall of the mayor and three council members. Disenfranchised Havasu voters were up in arms and rebelled.

 

A city charter with a more appropriate system for filling vacancies could have prevented that contentious and expensive political recall. And, we could have filled the Nyberg and Borrelli seats with a real vote. Why do we tolerate such nonsense?

 

Get on the “Charter” bus.

Havasu voters have twice defeated proposals to develop a charter for Lake Havasu City.  The reason for those defeats was simple…nobody wrote a draft charter before the vote. Now, that’s crazy. Go to my website www.BillUllery.com and you will find a draft city charter for our town. And there’s nothing controversial in it. Writing a charter is akin to writing a constitution. It’s a simple process.

 

Times have changed, our town has changed, our streets are paved, and we have a university. It’s the only new university campus in this entire nation! Folks, we need to change our general law form of government by writing a city charter that works for us and paves the way for a better future.  You can help by pressing this issue in candidate forums and at city council meetings. Otherwise, nothing will happen.

 

Let’s get this Charter bus moving!

I agreed to do the work and I did draft a city charter because, in the end, it’s about our town’s economy. And, our city government’s role in protecting and improving our economy. It’s about a better future for our town and our families. 

 

Many of the underlined words are active links in this email or in the version on www.BillUllery.com I want to hear from you. My phone # and email address are under the photo.