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Council to mull up to seven charter changes for November ballot

The measures could be sent to the November ballot


Up to seven changes to the city charter — ranging from sending any consideration of Sherwood City Council compensation to voters to allowing the majority of the council to add items to future council agendas — could be on the November ballot.by: GAZETTE FILE PHOTO  - Patrick Allen

Members of the Charter Review Committee met with the council during a July 15 work session to discuss what measures might be sent to voters. The committee is continuing work they began last year. In May, five charter amendments were approved by voters. The council will make a final decision regarding what measures will make it to the ballot during its Aug. 5 meeting.

Under consideration are:

• a new provision that would require periodic review of the city charter, specifically requiring that the document be reviewed at least once every six years.

• allowing the mayor to appoint members to city commissions, boards and committees with the consent of the council. It would strike language that currently allows the council to appoint those members.

• allowing a majority of council members to add items to a future council agenda. Currently the mayor controls the contents of the agenda.

• requiring that new ordinances be adopted during the course of two meetings. Currently, ordinances are adopted after one meeting. The city of Beaverton requires two readings.

• removing language that allows a majority of the council to remove an elected official from office. Pat Allen, chairman of the Charter Review Committee, said that the change would remove current language that “allows four people (on the city council) in Sherwood to overturn the results of an election.”

• clarifies the charter stating that the city attorney may either be an employee of the city or a law firm that has a written contract with the city.

• any council compensation would require voter approval. This would prohibit the mayor and council for receiving a salary for their service but would allow them to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses. Allen said the charter doesn’t mention anything regarding whether or not the council should be compensated.

“What we’re doing is putting a prohibition in,” he said.

Meanwhile, Allen also said although the committee isn’t sending a charter change amendment to establish a utility advisory board, the group is recommending that the city establish one.

In another work session discussion, the council heard a proposal from Sherwood Police Chief Jeff Groth to establish a police advisory board. Groth said the board, which could be as large as nine members, would consider such issues as the quality of service provided by the police department to the types of services the public wants. Groth warned that it would not be a committee to field complaints about officers or discuss specific police incidents.

The committee most likely would be composed of residents at large as well as members of Sherwood businesses, churches and school district representatives.

Meanwhile, during its regular meeting, the council voted to continue a public hearing related to a 65-lot subdivision proposed for the intersection of Southwest Meinecke Road and Cedar Brook Way in Sherwood until its Aug. 5 meeting.



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