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Charter Commission reviews ballot questions | News, sports, jobs

FAIRMONT – The Fairmont Charter Commission held a lengthy discussion on the wording of ballot paper issues for proposed changes to the city’s charter that will be placed on a ballot paper for the public this fall during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Mike Katzenmeyer said he had asked city administrator Cathy Reynolds why the questions, which were drafted by the city attorney, are worded as they are. Katzenmeyer said he thinks they should be stated in a declarative sentence, instead “in the interrogation.”

“This language was written by the city attorney, who I would assume knows what he is talking about,” in Jay Maynard.

“Maybe, maybe not,” in Chuck Omvig.

Katzenmeyer said he was under the impression that questions should be formulated in a way that makes it easy for the audience to understand.

The first of ten questions, based on recommended changes previously made by the Charter Commission and prepared by the City Attorney, reads: “Should the Fairmont City Charter be changed to change the composition of the city council, which currently consists of four (4) city council members representing four (4) departments and one (1) city council member to five (5) city council members council members representing five (5) ) departments and no other city council member? (A “yes“The vote will change the division of the city from four (4) departments to five (5) departments and will eliminate the city council member in general).”

The question is followed by an option for the voter to mark Yes or No.

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Katzenmeyer said he does not think it is necessary to include the composition of the council at the moment.

Some members said they did not think voters would read the whole question because it is too far.

“People are not there to read,” in Jon Davis.

Some members addressed this concern. Barry Altman questioned whether people really did not read the ballot paper before they voted.

“If we present the actual language to the voters, it will confuse them more. These questions just spell out what the changes are, » in Altman.

Terry Anderson called the questions while they were being prepared “campaign word.”

Omvig said he would hope that those who vote know what the current city ordinance says.

“And if I’m not right, do they care if we switch to another system?” in Omvig.

Jim Zarling said he believes the question is clear and is not trying to guide anyone to do something, but aims to make it clear to the voter that if you vote for it, you will change the charter from four departments and one to five. departments.

“I believe we should do the best we can to inform voters,” in Zarling.

Terry Anderson questioned whether they had appointed members of the charter commission to go out into the community to inform the public about the charter commission’s proposed changes. Katzenmeyer said they had taken action at the last meeting.

Omvig put forward a proposal to change the question to read: «The city council shall consist of five (5) city council members representing five (5) congregations. Should the proposed change be adopted, yes or no. “

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Terry Anderson supported the proposal. The proposal passed 8-4.

The charter commission reviewed the other nine questions prepared by the city attorney and ended up changing how each of the questions was formulated. Each adopted proposal withers either 9-3 or 8-4 votes.

Katzenmeyer said the questions should go to the mayor next time. Zarling asked if anyone would review the formatting and Katzenmeyer said the League of Minnesota Cities would “probably” review it.

“If they have changes, we will have a special meeting,” in Omvig.

The deadline for getting questions to the county auditor / treasurer is 12 July. All ballot paper questions must be approved by the city attorney.

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