Charter Commission Minutes

May 2, 2011

The Hopkins Charter Commission met on May 2. Present were Commission members David Day, Roger Gross, Fran Hesch, Karen Jensen, Roger Johnson, Steve Lewis, and Emily Wallace-Jackson.

The meeting was brought to order at 6:30 p.m. by the Chair of the Commission, Emily Wallace-Jackson.

Approval of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

Commissioner Gross moved and Commissioner Lewis seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the April 27, 2010 meeting. The motion was approved unanimously.


Mr. Genellie reported that the terms have expired of several commissioners. The following commissioners have agreed to be reappointed: David Day, Roger Gross, and Steve Lewis.

Old Business

Instant Runoff Elections

Mr. Genellie said that St. Paul will be conducting its next election using instant runoff voting. He also said that there is a possibility that Hennepin County will be seeking to replace the current voting machines in the County. New voting machines may well have the ability to process instant runoff voting.

New Business

Mr. Genellie brought forward two amendments to the Charter.

Section 3.03 of the City Charter requires that an ordinance be passed to amend an existing ordinance. Hopkins, like most cities, combines its ordinances into a City Code. Staff proposed that language referencing the City Code be added to Section 3.03.

In addition, Section 3.03 currently requires that the ordinance or section being amended shall be referred to by "title, date of passage, and section number or numbers." Since the City Code is a compilation of all the ordinances, a given section may have been amended a number of times by a variety of ordinances. It is difficult to pick out a single "date of passage." Simply using the title and section numbers will make it clear as to what part of the code is being amended or repealed.

Section 4.02 of the Charter spells out how someone becomes a candidate for city office. It also establishes the filing period by stating how many days prior to the election an affidavit will be accepted. The state of Minnesota changed the filing dates in 2010 to accommodate the federal requirements to mail absentee ballots 45 days prior to the election.

Rather than amend the Charter to adopt the new timelines, staff proposed deleting this language. Section 4.03 of the Charter applies general election laws to Hopkins unless there is different language in the Charter. By deleting the filing period in the Charter, the City's filing period will automatically match that required by the State of Minnesota.

The Commission agreed that Mr. Genellie should prepare a draft ordinance making these changes. Since a Charter amendment is being proposed, another Commission meeting will be needed to approve a resolution and draft ordinance amending the Charter. The Commission chose Monday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. for its next meeting.

Commissioner Hesch moved and Commissioner Jensen seconded a motion to adjourn. The meeting adjourned by unanimous consent at 6:50 p.m.


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