OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As Americans cast their votes for the next president of the United States, voters in Oklahoma City will also be able to vote on several amendments to the city charter.
The proposition would change the name of the February election to the “general” election and April’s election would become the “runoff” election.
Councilmembers and the mayor would take office four weeks after the “runoff” election, instead of one week.
Also, requirements for election notices and candidacy declarations would be changed to comply with current state law, which already supersedes the charter.
The proposed amendment would affect qualifications to run for mayor or a city council seat.
Candidates would be required to live in Oklahoma City for at least one year before filing for office. The charter currently requires at least three years of residency, which federal courts have ruled is too long and unreasonably restricts the right to run for office.
Candidates would be required to be a registered voter in Oklahoma City for the year immediately preceding a formal declaration of candidacy.
Candidates for council seats would also be required to be registered to vote in the ward in which they are running for at least one year before a formal declaration of candidacy.
The proposition would extend the time period from 15 days to 30 days to call a special election, or to appoint a temporary mayor if the office is vacant. Appointment of a temporary mayor can only occur if the vacancy is in the last year of the term.
This proposition would amend a requirement for council meeting to match the current practice of setting meeting schedules by ordinance. The council currently meets every other Tuesday.
This proposition would allow the mayor or a council person to provide information to the city manager about a city employee’s job performance. Officials say the information would be required to be based on direct personal knowledge, or a signed, written statement from a resident.
The city charter prohibits the mayor or councilmembers from giving orders to city manager subordinates, and from directing or requesting appointment or removal of a city employee. The change would allow the mayor and councilmembers to provide positive or negative feedback without violating the charter, city leaders say.
This would clarify who is in the city’s Division of Public Affairs, which is under the control of the city council. It would include the city manager, municipal counselor, city auditor, municipal court judges, and all city boards, commissions and committees created by the mayor and council.
This would change the term ‘councilman’ to ‘councilmember’ or ‘councilor.’
The proposal would amend the section of the charter granting powers to the city government and reformat it into five subsections for easier reading. It would also add the word ‘welfare’ to the list of powers for enacting and enforcing ordinances “to protect health, safety, welfare, life or property.”
The proposition would re-word a section heading and more clearly state its apparent, original intent to prevent improper transactions related to certain businesses, and city franchise agreements.
It would prevent city employees and officers from accepting things of value on terms unavailable to the general public from privately-owned transportation businesses and utilities. It would allow for franchises and contracts to be conditions upon free service for city employees and officers while engaged in official duties.
The special election will be held on Nov. 3.
The voter registration deadline is Oct. 9.
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