Charter Commission Minutes

April 24, 2012

The Hopkins Charter Commission met on April 24.  Present were Commission members Dorothy Boen, David Day, Roger Gross, Fran Hesch, Karen Jensen, Roger Johnson, Steve Lewis, Jerre Miller, Emily Wallace-Jackson and staff members Jim Genellie and Kris Luedke.

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 Hesch moved and Commissioner Day seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the May 2, 2011 meeting.  The motion was approved unanimously.

Election of Officers

Commissioner Boen nominated Commissioner Wallace-Jackson for Chair, Commissioner Hesch seconded the nomination. Commissioner Wallace-Jackson was reelected by a unanimous vote.
Commissioner Lewis nominated Commissioner Jensen for Vice-Chair. Commissioner Boen seconded the nomination.  Commissioner Jensen was reelected by a unanimous vote.

Reports

Mr. Genellie reported that Emily Wallace-Jackson's term expired. She agreed to be reappointed.

Old Business

Mr. Genellie brought forward two amendments to the Charter. The proposed changes were first submitted at the May 2, 2011 Charter Commission meeting. The Commission then scheduled a second meeting for May 16, 2011 to adopt a resolution recommending that the City Council adopt the Charter amendments. Unfortunately there was not a quorum at the May 16, 2011 meeting so no action was taken.

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 Simply using the title and section numbers will make it clear as to what part of the code is being amended or repealed.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.

Commissioner Gross moved and Commissioner Jensen seconded a motion to adopt Charter Commission Resolution 2012-01 recommending that the Hopkins City Council adopt Ordinance 2012-1045 amending the City Charter. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Lewis then asked about replacing voting machines. Kris Luedke reported that Hennepin County is looking at replacing voting machines, possibly in 2013. Several Commissioners remembered that the Charter Commission had gone on record as recommending that any new voting machines be ranked ballot ready.

Commissioner Hesch also asked if the state law regarding Ranked Ballot voting still contained language that would allow an alternative to Single Transferable Voting Single Transferable Voting (STV) for multiple seat elections.

Commissioner Jensen requested that the Commission be reminded about why the previous Charter Amendment Ordinance establishing ranked ballot voting in Hopkins was not adopted.

Mr. Genellie said that he would provide the Commission with information on these three items.

Commissioner Hesch moved and Commissioner Jensen seconded a motion to adjourn.  The meeting adjourned by unanimous consent at 6:48 p.m.