About every 10 years the city of Sanford undertakes a review of its charter. Like the U.S. Constitution, a city’s charter is the document that establishes a city’s authority and responsibilities.

The review process is currently underway, and the committee wants to hear the public’s comments about what changes should be made to the city’s charter. Do you think there should be term limits for elected officials? More commission districts? At-large districts? A change in election times? Whatever your thoughts, we want to here them. (Disclosure: I’m the chairman of this year’s committee)

The committee meets the 1st Thursday of every month. The public is always invited to attend, but this Thursday at 6 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers (1st Floor of City Hall) the committee is hosting a public hearing to gather your input.

If you’re interested in city government, I encourage you to attend the meeting. This only happens about once a decade, so now’s your chance.

Changing the charter is a multi-step process. Step 1 begins when the City Commission appoints a committee to make recommendations for changes to the charter. That took place in September.

Step 2 is currently underway as the committee is beginning to address possible changes.

Step 3 of the process will occur in May when the committee will recommend to the City Commission which amendments to place on the ballot.

The City Commission’s decision on which amendments to actually place on the November ballot will be Step 4. The commission can accept all of the charter review committee’s recommendations, reject all recommendations, create it’s own amendments or a combination of those three options.

Step 5 is when we the people vote on the proposed amendments. Those that get at least 50.1% of the vote become part of the charter.

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