THE HUNTER REPORT
DON'T GIVE UP VOTING RIGHTS
BY: PAT HUNTER
LETTER TO NEWS HERALD
“Time to cast a ballot” omitted some issues. Did the paper attend Charter Committee meetings; I think not?
With the passage of the Municipal Finance Officer Certification and Education Act of 2007, state law requires cities to participate in the Certified Municipal Finance Officer (CMFO) program to ensure competence in the handling of municipal funds. This includes training, testing, and certification of the financial officer (elected or appointed) and personnel.
If voters approve Charter Amendment Question 1 on the Aug 2nd ballot, there would be no need to elect a Recorder Treasurer in the Nov. 6th election. In mid-July, Randall J. Brown qualified for Recorder. Brown has an accounting degree and related experience.
After Bobby Johnson Jr. resigned, Mayor Aikens appointed a non-resident businessman as interim Recorder and in order to continue to serve as Recorder that would require a charter change.
The mayor appointed a Charter Review Committee who met and came back with two charter changes, extending the mayor's term from 2 to 4-years and the appointment of Recorder rather than popularly elected by the voters. The third issue yet to be determined will be extending voting privileges for non-resident property or business owners. This request came at the behest of the Chamber of Commerce and Committee of 100 who endorsed both amendments with newspaper ads.
At one meeting, the committee and government consultant hashed out charter ballot wording and the consultant asked:
· Why would a voter want to surrender some of their rights?
· Voters currently make that decision, and I'm going to take away my own right. Why would I want to do that?
· If it was me personally, why would I want to dilute my vote?
Voters elected Frosty Proaps and Debbie Cook, 20 and 30 years respectively.
Nothing is more fundamental to democracy than the right to vote. These are important issues to be determined by the voters on Aug. 2.