Three Council Members jointly see a better way to address and improve Loveland ‘s City Charter

“It may take more time, but the process we envision will result in a better outcome.”

by Loveland City Council Members, Rob Weisgerber, Ted Phelps, and Kathy Bailey,

Rob Weisgerber

Changes to the provisions of Loveland’s Charter regarding how we elect the mayor and length of terms of council members are two of many ideas worthy of careful consideration (Diane Powers proposes direct election of Mayor and term limits).  Like any type of major change to what really is Loveland’s “constitution,” it should not be rushed into.  Nor should any one particular change be hailed a panacea for all that ails the City.  The plan brought before Council by Tim Canada on July 11th calling for direct election of mayor and instituting term limits on council are two significant Charter changes.  The Canada plan would put these changes to referendum in less than just four months.  Four months simply does not allow for careful consideration of a significant and complex matter.  Unfortunately, it also will not have the desired effect of improving the operations of Council.  It may not even be a good partial or “quick fix.” Much more than these two subjects addressed by our Charter should be looked at for change. The changes proposed by Tim Canada would not prevent the abuses we are seeing today.  

Ted Phelps

For these and several other reasons we are opposed to the Canada plan to change the Charter this year. Instead we support a more deliberate process to review and improve the Charter – not just the portions of it dealing with council terms and mayor selection, but other aspects as well.  For instance, review of our charter should make sure the powers of the Mayor are limited and cannot be corrupted.  The relationship between council members and city manager and staff also needs review.  It has been 14 years since changes were made to the Charter.  The process we endorse would allow for the creation of a citizens-led body to perform a thorough and holistic examination of the Charter, hold public meetings and make recommendations for change.   We want community engagement, input and consensus on the benefits of Charter changes.

Kathy Bailey

A motion was made and passed unanimously by Council on July 11th to begin this process.  Specifically, Council has asked the City Solicitor to report to Council on the process for a charter amendment and also to report on how a charter review committee can be formed and actually undertake the work of reviewing and improving our Charter.  This is a great first step.  Once the City Solicitor’s report is issued, we foresee further debate and public comment on next steps, including the selection of individuals who will be on the charter review committee and the formulation of a clear charge and timetable for them to work under.

Again, we truly appreciate the concerns of Loveland residents and join in a desire for improvement of our City including how it is organized and operates.  Rather than rushing to a referendum this Fall, the formation and ultimately the work of a charter review committee is the better way to undertake amendment of our community’s constitution. It may take more time, but the process we envision will result in a better outcome.



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