TC3 members discuss recommended charter changes; want ward-only elections on ballot
About 50 TC3 members met April 2 to consider recommendations from the city’s charter review committee.
- The recommendations were touted as being “by-and-large excellent.”
- Recommendations clarifying hiring and firing authority were said to “greatly enhance” the city manager’s ability to manage city operations.
- Many speakers expressed frustration that the committee did not recommend changing to ward-only elections for city council seats. Critics say the current system – nomination by ward but election citywide – results in too many councilmembers who lost in their ward but won citywide. This raises the question of whether they really represent their ward.
- Provisions to allow the city more financial flexibility were criticized out of concern they would be seen as an attempt by the mayor and council to raise taxes, which could result in “no” votes for all the proposed reforms.
- The recommended preamble to the charter was criticized for the same reason: It was said to provide opponents with too many targets to criticize.
- In spite of the concerns, one speaker summed up what appeared to be the group’s consensus: “These recommendations are the first step, not the last step, in improving Tucson city government.”
- April 21, the Charter Review Committee is expected to formally present its recommendations to the mayor and city council.
- By no later than early July, the mayor and council will decide which of the recommendations, if any, to place on the November ballot for the voters to make the final decision.
What You Can Do
- Learn more about the recommendations.
- Decide which recommendations are most important to you.
- Write or call the mayor and council members, encouraging them to place the recommendations you believe are most important on the ballot.
- Attend the April 21 City Council meeting to show your support for what you consider the most important recommendations.
- Remember: No changes can be made to the city charter without voter approval.