State Legislature Approves New City Charter for Smithville

April 22, 2013
Dwayne Page

Both the State House and Senate Friday adopted a rewrite of the Smithville charter, subject to final approval by the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen.

The legislation amends Chapter 486 of the Private Acts of 1941 to make changes in the city charter, as sought by the mayor and aldermen.

The measure passed in the State House of Representatives 87-0 and in the State Senate 29-0.

The resolution was passed by the Board of Aldermen in February and sent to the legislature. It will now return to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for a second reading where it must receive a vote of not less than two thirds of the entire membership of the board before it can take effect.

Under the new city charter the terms of office for the mayor and aldermen will go from two to four years (beginning with the elections in June this year and in August next year). It extends voting rights to county residents that own commercial property in the city (two persons per deed), allows property rights voting to county residents who own at least 3,500 square feet of property in the city, and allows by ordinance regular city council meetings to be held only once per month.

The new charter calls for city elections every two years, on the first Thursday in August to coincide with the county general election and state primaries. Terms of office for the mayor and aldermen will go from two to four years.

There will be no change in the date of the city election this year. The election will be held on Tuesday, June 18. The three aldermen elected this year will serve for a three year term until after the August election in 2016. From then on three aldermen will be elected to serve four year terms.

Next year under the proposed new charter, a mayor and two aldermen will be elected on the first Thursday in August. Those elected will serve for four years.

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