Public hearing set for St. Francis charter amendments

by Tammy Sakry
Staff Writer

The St. Francis Charter Commission is proposing changes to the charter and the city is looking for the public’s input at the March 19 public hearing.

The council Feb. 6 unanimously approved scheduling a public hearing for the March 19 city council meeting.

The first change being recommended is to change when the city’s five-year capital improvement plan (CIP) is completed.

According to the existing charter, the city staff must have CIP submitted by June.

The recommendation is to change it to July to better align with the city’s budget timeframe.

The commission is also recommending the charter be changed to include primary elections in races with more than two candidates running for city office.

Councilmember Jeff Sandoval asked about the cost of adding a primary election.

It would be minimal, said Mayor Jerry Tveit.

The city already has the polls open for state and county primaries so the city would just have to pay for the additional questions, City Clerk Barb Held said.

Sandoval said he wants to know how much it will cost the city as residents will want to know.

Even if the charter recommendations are adopted this year, the first primary would not take place until 2014 and would only be held if there are more than two candidates running for an office, said City Administrator Matt Hylen.

Although not discussed by the charter commission, Councilmember Chris McClish said he wants the commission to consider increasing the two-year term for the mayor’s office to four years.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]