Final Proposal: City Charter Commission
The city charter commission is a legally binding document that creates fundamental framework of regulations within the city. The commission helps in the development of a relevant strategy for the revising of charter, review, and the studying of the potential changes to the community and city. The drafting of the charter commission should be based on clear legal compliance to promote legal frameworks and positive influence on the community. The city will be governed by the council-manager structure of city government that will help in the achievement of the responsibilities and offering all public services efficiently. The city council will be elected and then they will appoint administrators to run the existing departments. The council can also form new commission and boards to help in performing critical city functions such as sustainability efforts (Gil-Garcia, Zhang, & Puron-Cid, 2016). The execution of the council government functions will be controlled by clear financial controls, budgetary limitations, and transparency requirements. The various biblical arguments can be used to show the important of having a refined charter commission for the city administration and management. Therefore, the city charter commission is a good reliable document for improving the efficient and effective administration of functions in the city.
Structure of the Government
The city government to be created by the proposed Charter will be led by a Council manager structure of government. The council manager kind of government will be overseen by a city council. The city council will be administrative and leading body for the city and is expected to exercise its legislative authority and roles of the city. All powers of the city will be given to the city council based on the guidelines of the Charter (John, 2014). The City council will comprise of eleven members including a mayor who will be elected by voters in the city and ten council members who will be elected in wards in the city as indicated in the Charter. Other boards and commissions will be created by the council to help in the running of the various public services in the city including water, storm water, electricity and sewer. The council might also create any necessary board or commission to perform an important city function.
Responsibilities of Elected and Appointed Officials
The mayor will always be a member of the city council and he or she shall oversee all council meetings. The mayor shall possess all he rights and powers of a city council member such as the right to vote, speaking in meetings. However, the major shall not veto any decisions made by the council. The major will be known as the head of the executive government in the city and they shall perform their roles and implement legal documents demanding the mayor’s signature (Gil-Garcia, Helbig, & Ojo, 2014). The Mayor and the council members shall be of four years. Any individual appointed or elected to be a mayor or a council member and they have served not less than one-half of the full term, they shall be termed to have served in the office.
The council members will create, consolidate or even have powers of abolish the existing departments in the city. All the administrative units work under the direct supervision of the city manager. The city will perform its administrative functions through the various existing departments (O’Brien, & Pike, 2015). City clerk and city treasurer shall be appointed officials hep in running the administrative affairs of the city government. The council shall also appoint a city attorney must be licensed to perform his law duties in the state. The city attorney shall perform his duties as prescribed by the city council and the compensation would be fixed by the council. The city attorney will be the main legal council of the government and the legal advisor of the city officials, boards, and commissions. He or she shall have the power to appoint, transfer, promote, and even remove employees working at the city attorney’s office based on the guidelines of personal merit system.
Qualifications for Appointed and Elected Officials
Every council member must be a citizen of the U.S. He or she must be aged not less than 21 years old, and a resident of the area city for not less than 12 consecutive months. Council members must also be registered voters in the city. The Mayor is expected to be a resident of the city. No council member shall be allowed to work as an employee of the city. The overall city council will be held responsible for the adjudication of the elections and determination of the qualification of the council members. The appointed officials including the city clerk, attorney, and the city clerk must have been the residents of the city. They also must have the required academic and work experience qualifications to work in their respective offices. They shall also need to pass the criteria detailed in the personal merit system. The board and commission members are expected to be residents and qualified voters of the city.
Public Engagement in Policy Decisions
The city council will recognize the significance of pubic engagement process that contributes program and project decisions through offering the city council and administrators with quality information to make effective decisions. The public engagement policy will ensure coordinated approach for engaging all public, facilitating significant public input through effective and consultative decision making, and the adherence with the critical public engagement requirements and needs (Tausanovitch, & Warshaw, 2014). The responsibility of the city council and administrators in promoting public engagement is to understand the views and perspectives of the residents on key decisions and communicate their input to the public.
Public engagement provides a significant opportunity to the city council to improve their role as the representatives of the community, work with administrators to determine the key areas that would benefit from public engagement, promoting public engagement programs, and ensuring that the expectations of the public are met. Some of the guiding principles of the public engagement includes shared responsibility, proactive and transparency, inclusiveness, and innovativeness. The principles will make it possible for the city council to connect and invest in shaping the community development and values.
Efficiency in Service Delivery
To improve efficiency, the city council shall implement various measures and systems to ensure that public services are delivered within the shortest time possible. The residents will always require their government to offer quality public services effectively. The city will maintain good performance measures and data to help in the overall evaluation of the government operations relying on the various measures. The implementation of the performance measures will make it possible to review the relationship between the policy outcomes and options (Gil-Garcia, et al., 2016). Without proper measure of the performance results, it is impossible to determine the efficiency of the public series. The city council will mandate the measurement of the programs, compare methods, and improvement with the key public stakeholders to improve public service efficiency.
The Council will maintain the full power and control over all the financial transactions and affairs of the city. The council shall for the collection of revenues and other significant assets, the auditing and the overall settlement of city accounts, and the proper safekeeping and distribution of public funds. The city council will have the powers to even hire additional employees to assist in the protection of the city financial resources (Carr, 2015). Such power will make it possible to hold individuals responsible for any fraud or financial losses in the city.
The fiscal years for reporting the financial performance of the city shall align with the calendar years unless the council changes the guideline. Each fiscal year the council will get an opportunity to evaluate the financial performance and activities of the city. Based on the state law, the council have the overall authority to manage the local tax collections. Taxes are major source of revenues for both the state and city. The power for managing tax collection will assessing, levying, and the collection of taxes on the various elements of taxation. The council might also hire an independent auditor who will help in the assessment of the financial reporting by the accounting officials in the city.
The city is strongly committed to improving social, environmental, and economic sustainability to guide its decision-making process. the city council is keen on promoting the making of the relevant choices. The city will devise a framework that works to develop and manage all critical human and physical resources to develop a sustainable city. The council will form a commission to help in guiding the sustainability activities and action of the city. The three key elements of the sustainability process include the socio-cultural dimension, economic dimension, and the environmental aspect (Gil-Garcia et al., 2016). The dimensions will need to be implemented within three-time horizons including immediate, medium, and long-term periods. The city shall focus on the main scope of the sustainability framework, create relevant targets with clear baseline, determine the key roles and resources, formulate plans and policies, and create project timelines for the implementation of the particular project items. Biblical verse from Genesis 2:15 states that humans should take care of the natural environment. The command in the Garden of Eden was dedicated towards improving sustainability and protection of the environment, which is critical.
Budget Development Process
Each year, the financial director shall be required to formulate and submit an annual budget estimate to the council based on the budgetary calendar. The budget shall offer a comprehensive financial plan for the administration of all the funds and activities of the city. The funds and fiscal activities should be designed based on the requirements of the Council. The budget shall comprise of summary and information of all estimated income and potential expenditures that includes the debt service and comparative financials indicating the potential expenditures for the current year operations, indicate the proposed capital expenditures for the fiscal year, and the proposed approach of financing the capital expenditure.
For all the utilities constructed and managed by the city, the budget shall indicate the anticipated net surplus or deficit as well as the proposed approach of disposition. The budget will also include the subsidiary budgetary estimates for each utility indicating the income and expenditure data attached to the appendices. The overall expenditure might not be more than the overall estimated income and accessible reserves, and the percentage of operating budget to be offered from the property tax might not exceed the figures authorized based on the current law and charter (Terman, & Feiock, 2014). The budget shall comprise of relevant information and be created based on the consistent legal provisions.
A budget meeting shall be convened to provide interest public a reasonable opportunity to give their views and opinions on the budget estimates. The council might revise the proposed budgetary estimates, but no changes to the budget shall be made to increase the total expenditures to figures higher than the projected incomes. The council might adopt the budgets through a resolution that sets total budgeted fund for each department and increase segregation of the objects and the function of the expenditures as stipulated by the city council. Such function will be critical to enhance budgetary control function. The city council might adopt a resolution to levy taxes indicated in the budget and the city clerk will certify the tax resolution to the county auditor based on the required law. The overall adoption of the budget resolution will comprise of appropriations at the start of the fiscal year in relevant resolution.
The enforcement of the budget will be the function of the treasurer or the finance director. The finance director shall be tasked with the responsibility of authorizing payments and incurring costs based on the appropriations set by the budget resolutions. No official shall make any purchase without authorization from the budget resolution. No check shall be paid until its claims are clearly supported by proper bill, or other relevant documentation signed by the city officials who checks for reasonableness and accuracy (Dawes, Vidiasova, & Parkhimovich, 2016). Any changes to the budget will be adopted after resolution of the majority of the council members. The funds of the city shall be hold in a general fund and other funds of the City treasury as stipulated by law. The council might through a resolution authorize inter-fund loans and transfers. From a biblical viewpoint, Proverbs 27:23 suggests that a herder should know well the condition of their flocks and give proper attention to all the herds. Such biblical aspect demands for good understanding of the city needs to help in improving proper budgeting of the resources effectively. Proper resource mobilization and organization of needs is critical in improving the relevant budgeting process.
Employee Hiring and Firing Processes and Authority
The city council shall have the power to hire and fire employees based on the guidelines of personnel merit system. The personnel merit systems will be used in the hiring, promotion, and the proper evaluation of all employees in the city. The personnel merit system shall align to the requirements of employment and promotion, reasonable probationary durations, and the resolution of complaints of the employees (Ahrens, & Ferry, 2015). Disciplinary actions would be undertaken for employee who do not conduct their roles and functions well. All officials and employees shall be governed by the requirements of the personnel merit procedures. Personal merit systems call for the proper evaluation of the employees for merits during hiring and promotion that helps in promoting responsibility and continuous performance improvement. In terms of biblical view, Leviticus 19:13 states that no one should oppress their neighbor or steal from them. The salaries and earnings of an employee should be paid out before the night ends. The biblical verse advocates for fairness while handling the employees. The personnel merit systems align with the bible verse as it only treats the employees equally based on their performance.
The city will be committed to offering the pubic with adequate information and enhancing trust and accountability with the city government. The city will create an open and transparent platform to allow the public to access information and enhancing transparency efforts for future periods. The platform summarizes key budget and performance indicator data, which can be accessed by all community members. The dashboard will comprise of varied charts, graphical presentations, and explanation of the departmental metrics and measures. The city council will be required to perform their financial activities in a responsible way to ensure adequate resources are present for meeting the immediate and long-term obligations of the city. Such transparency will help in improving long-term operations of the city. Open communication and the readiness to response to the public inquiries is keen on promoting transparency and accountability of the city. Based on biblical reference, Ephesians 4:25 states that all Christians should put away the falsehoods and they should speak truths about their neighbor. The biblical verse recognizes the significance of speaking the truth and being accountable for their actions in the community. Such biblical belief could help in promoting transparency and accountability in the city.
In summary, the city charter shall detail the structure of the city government, the responsibilities and qualifications of the officials, financial controls, efficiency in the delivery of all key public services, public engagement, budget formulation process, employee hiring and transparency. The budget development procedure will rely on the treasurer who shall formulate and present an annual budget estimate to the council based on the budgetary calendar. The budget shall detail the various financial plan aspects for the administration of all the funds and activities of the city. The city council will also form a commission to help in guiding the sustainability activities and action of the city. Promoting open communication and the readiness to response to the public inquiries is keen on promoting transparency and accountability of the city government. The biblical perspectives support some of the core charter functions including the need to form good government structure, financial controls, setting of budgets, and improving transparency as they are aligned with good morals and ethical expectations. It also helps to promote the significance of speaking the truth and being accountable for their actions in the community.
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