(October 22, 2008) - Five City Charter updates will be among the many decisions Oklahoma City voters make when they go to the polls on November 4.
Four of the propositions update Mayor and City Council Charter provisions and one proposition adopts State law and language prohibiting City officials and employees from entering into or benefiting from City contracts.
A citizen task force recommended the proposed Charter changes:
Proposition 1: City Council Vacancies – In the event a vacancy occurs on the Council, this update provides for a temporary appointment so the ward won’t be without representation for more than 30 days. It also calls for an election as soon as possible after the seat is vacated.
Proposition 2: Mayor and City Council Qualifications – This update reduces the eligible age to run for Mayor or City Council from 25 to 21 years old. It also requires a person to be a resident of the ward they hope to represent for at least six months.
Proposition 3: Vice-Mayor Selection – Clarifies that each Councilmember will serve as Vice-Mayor for six months, according to seniority. When several Council members are sworn in on the same day they will serve as Vice-Mayor in alphabetical order, according to their last name. The Vice-Mayor assumes the duties of the Mayor during his or her absence.
Proposition 4: Mayor and City Council Pay – This update would increase the Mayor’s salary from $24,000 to $48,000 annually and each Councilmember’s salary from $12,000 to $24,000 annually. If the proposition passes, the current Mayor or Council members do not get the pay increase unless they are elected to a new term.
Proposition 5: City Officers or Employees Prohibited Interest in City Contracts – The City Charter currently prohibits City officers, including the Mayor, Council and Council appointees, and City employees from contracting, selling, buying or leasing property from The City of Oklahoma City. This update adopts and replaces the current Charter language with State law.
The State Constitution and statutes require that residents vote on changes to the City Charter. If voters approve the changes, the Governor must also sign them before they take effect as law.
Oklahoma City voters will receive a separate ballot with the Charter Update Propositions. For more information contact the City Clerk, 297-2391.