Proposed Amendments to the City Charter — Mail-only election — November 3, 2015

In the interest of democracy, transparency, and balance of power vote YES on #3 (and related #5) and NO on the rest.

  • Three questions (#1, #2, and #7) would strengthen the political influence of City Manager, reduce transparency and accountability, and tip the delicate power balance away from the people of Flagstaff who elect the City Council. Vote NO on #1, #2, and #7. Here are examples of consequences if these questions were to pass:
    • City manager could call special meetings without any consultation even though he is the only person who can already put on the weekly Council agenda any item without any discussion or support from the Council. (#1)
    • City manager could decide the conditions under which staff could run for a public office. (#2)
    • City manager and not the Council would be able to decide when the City is closed for holidays. (#2)
    • City manager could settle legal cases up to $100,000 without the Council taking a public vote. (#7)
    • City manager could authorize purchases of up to $100,000 without the Council’s oversight. (#7)
  • Question #3 proposes our local election to coincide with state and national elections (summer and fall of even-numbered years), which means they lead to a greater voter turnout and are cheaper to administer for the tax payers. Vote YES on #3.
  • Question #4 proposes the local election to be in spring of odd-numbered years when the voter turnout would be very low and the cost to the tax payers higher than in the alternative proposal under #3. Vote NO on #4.
  • Question #5 just repeals obsolete language regarding past election dates. It has no substantive impact and the vote should be YES.
  • Question #6 limits the ability of Flagstaff residents to petition the Council to discuss a future agenda item by creating unnecessary obstacles of requiring 25 signatures to accompany any petition. The ability to petition the Council has never been abused and this change suppresses people’s access to the Council. Vote NO on #6