PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) - When people in the City of Pontiac head to the polls on August 7 they may see a category on their ballot that they have never seen before.
The box is titled “Charter Commission”. Voters will be casting ballots for who they think is best qualified to rewrite their city’s charter. The actual position is called a Charter Revision Commissioner. The last time officials revised the city charter was in 1980.
“The charter has not been revised in 32 years. So now they are picking the individuals in charge. It is a big deal for the city,” said Pontiac City Clerk Sherikia Hawkins, the Pontiac City Clerk.
15 candidates are on the ballot, but there are only 9 seats. The candidates are:
Doris Taylor Burks, Yvette Carson, Rick David, Roland A. Elam, Jr., Darryl Fowlkes, Stanley W. Harris, Evelyn Floretta LeDuff, Holbert Maxey, Wilburt McAdams, Jr., Maicol Ivan Rivera-Torres, Julia Ruffin, Armad Taylor, Bruce E. Turpin, Deirdre Waterman, Willia Mae Wright.
“We definitely want to have an up to date charter because we now we have things like an emergency manager,” said Hawkins.
The new charter cannot override the emergency manager’s powers, but whoever is elected can change the style of government in Pontiac. Right now the city has a strong mayor government, but that can be changed by creating a city manager. Then the city manager would run the day to day operations of the city and be hired and fired by the city council.
The city no longer has their own police department or fire department. The services are contracted out to other entities and that could be reflected in a new charter.
Once the new commissioners write up a city charter, it is sent to the attorney general’s office and the governor’s office for approval before it would come back to the people to be voted on.
The first meeting for the Charter Revision Commissioners takes place one week after the election.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Top Political Headlines