Beaverton council sets hearings on far-reaching charter changes
The public will get two chances to comment on a Beaverton city charter revisions that would replace an elected mayor with an appointed city manager as the chief executive of city government.
The revisions also would set term limits for the mayor and councilors.
The City Council voted Tuesday night to set public hearings during their Jan. 14 and 28 business meetings, which start at 6:30 p.m. If further revisions are required as a result of the hearings, the council will deal with them Feb. 5.
Any overall charter revisions would go to city voters in the May 19 election. The council must submit a ballot measure before the end of February.
The current charter dates back to 1980, when Beaverton changed from a council-manager form of government — the one used in all other Oregon cities except Portland — to an elected mayor who is the actual chief executive.
Under the charter, the mayor hires and fires department heads except the city attorney and municipal judge, prepares the budget, and oversees city government operations. The mayor presides over council meetings, but does not vote except to break a tie. The mayor is required to hire a professional as an assistant, but this person is not considered a city manager.
The proposed revisions would leave in place a full-time mayor, but authority would shift to a professional manager hired by the council. The mayor would gain a vote in council discussions, and the number of councilors would expand from five to six, all elected citywide as is done now.
The full-time mayor would be the city's representative at community functions and intergovernmental boards, but no executive authority.
The other major change would impose a three-term limit on the mayor and councilors, although the limits would be separate. Beaverton does not have term limits now. The council got mired in arguments Tuesday about how the proposed term limits should apply to incumbents, but finally decided to await public comments.
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