Voters will determine whether mayor gets extra two years
- Ray Pitz
- Sherwood Gazette - News
Although voters will ultimately decide whether Sherwood's mayor should have two more years added to his future term, several City Council members had hoped a citizen's committee would discuss the issue.
During a divided council debate on Tuesday, councilors took on the issue of revising the city charter adopted in 2005, which among other things would change the term of mayor from two years to four years.
The issue is expected to appear on the November ballot.
Councilor Robyn Folsom said before sending the issue to voters, she wanted to have the public weigh in on the matter, noting that when Tualatin went from a two- to four-year term for its mayor there was a public vetting process.
'Frankly I need the voter's input,' she said.
Councilor Krissana Clark agreed.
'We learned that in the last election that the person who was appointed was not the person who was elected,' she said, referring to her victory over Councilor David Luman who had been appointed earlier this year.
A four-year term for mayors is the standard for most neighboring cities.
However, Councilor Bill Butterfield said he's in touch with local constituents and he believes they voted for councilors to represent them and decide the issue. That sentiment was echoed by Councilor Dave Grant.
When asked by Councilor Linda Henderson if other cities form citizen's committees when considering charter changes, Chris Crean, the city's attorney, said they do for more significant matters.
Asked if he thought this was a significant enough matter to warrant a citizen process, Crean replied, 'I'm not going to go there.'
'I don't think we've had the opportunity to get public input,' said Henderson.
But Councilor Matt Langer said he was in favor of having a longer mayoral term, pointing out he felt the council had come to a consensus about the issue during a recent work session.
'I thought we pounded this thing out pretty hard last week,' he observed.
The resolution to refer the charter changes directly to voters was approved by a vote of 4-3.
The charter revision also includes establishing a two-year term for the council president and deletes a prohibition on using water from the Willamette River.