"Two council agenda items lead to way different outcomes" by: Mike Reddell

   City Council’s Thursday night agenda offers two items on 2013 city charter amendment corrections that, to me, are light years apart. 
   Light years different they may be, they’ve both been discussed by council and many others for weeks and Thursday’s session will at last, hopefully, the path forward.
   Council Member Chrystal Folse’s agenda item calls for considering a re-vote of the 2013 city charter propositions, or “requesting an opinion from the Attorney General on the City of Bay City Home Rule Charter.”
   That’s the position that Jerry Evans gave the council a few weeks back – either run the corrected 2013 city charter amendment proposals in the Nov. 6 general election, or a registered Bay City voter will contact the Attorney General’s office.
   The mayor’s counter agenda item, would consider an ordinance “correcting unapproved changes” to the charter.
   Unfortunately, the city’s online meeting portal doesn’t include the full agenda package, which is a little disappointing on a Tuesday before such an important Thursday meeting.
   But going by previous discussions, Evans also claims City Council and Mayoral terms of office were not grandfathered in 2013 as they were widely understood to be.
   Term limits are up for Council Members Julie Estlinbaum and Bill Cornman this May, and under Evans scenario, they both have to resign June 1.
   Term limits for Mayor Mark Bricker and Folse are up in May 2019, in Evans’ timeline.
   It’s a lot easier to project what the first charter-related agenda item calls for because it has been widely discussed – Evans has a Facebook page, called “Restore the Bay City Charter.”
   If by contrast, correcting the unapproved charter changes through an ordinance would seemingly put the 2017 charter review recommended amendments, with final council touches, before the voters this November and keep the present term limits in place.
   I still find it interesting that either route – redoing the 2013 charter changes or the 2017 charter recommendations could include a vote on the city manager-mayor form of government.
   As you would expect with a sparsely worded city council agenda for Thursday, there’s no promise/indication/smoke signals/hint there’s a city attorney opinion to be revealed.
   There should be – at least as basis for the path to take. But I thought such a ruling would be made way before now, since people are talking about it.
   Oh, another council agenda item indicates that council will go behind closed doors again to “deliberate the evaluation and duties of the mayor.”
   Folse put that on the agenda and Bricker placed, for open session after the executive session, possible action on “any item listed above that was lawfully considered and discussed in executive session.”
   Those two items have appeared before in that order, in case you’re wondering, but perhaps things have changed since the last time.

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