Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Council Mulls Charter Changes

Posted By on Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 4:00 AM

During its executive session today, the City Council discussed putting two charter changes on the November 4th ballot.

The first would give the council approval over mayoral appointments to deputy director positions. The second would give the council approval of all contracts over $100,000 or spanning more than 24 months. Both were presented by longtime council member Barbara Swearengen Ware.

"There has been discussion back and forth whether or not the council should approve deputy directors the same way it does directors," Ware said. "Because there will be significant changes made to the charter, I thought that this would be an ideal time to add this item."

The administration is not in favor of the change and said the council was attempting to manage the day-to-day workings of the city.

"Since there's no problem, we don't think [the change] is necessary," said CAO Keith McGee.

The average salary of a division deputy director is about $100,000. McGee said that the people directly under the deputy directors often make around $100,000, as well.

After Mayor Willie Herenton began his last term, he appointed former bodyguards and a former City Council member to deputy directorships, but Ware said her proposal wasn't in response to any specific issue.

"I don't think everything should be reactive," Ware said.

The administration was also not in favor of the contract oversight proposal.

To read more, visit In the Bluff.

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