Statement on Charter Amendment adopted by City Council 5/8/2017

When we elect a president (like him or not) we don’t try and change the rules to take away his authority granted by the voters, and that is exactly what has been done in Aberdeen.

The Citizens of Aberdeen voted for a Mayor and for a Council in November of 2015, and the City Council voted Monday night to change the results of the election because they think they know better than the voters how the Mayor and Council should interact.

The Charter of the City of Aberdeen is the document that establishes our government– it is our Constitution. It is a radical and unacceptable action to fundamentally change the form of government between elections.

This action is a violation of the fundamentally American principle that voters get to make decisions about their government.

Changes to the structure of government should never be rammed through without the public approving of the changes, and that is what Councilwoman Landbeck, Councilman Lindecamp, and Councilman Taylor have voted to do.

Specifically, these changes will take away the powers of the duly-elected Mayor over the budget, over oversight of the City government, of reporting to the public via the State of the City address, and removes the authority to make appointments for all public commissions of the City.

In order to include the voters in this process, I attempted to make these changes effective after the next Mayor is elected so that the people have a say in these changes. However, Councilwoman Landbeck, Councilman Lindecamp, and Councilman Taylor all voted against this change.

I have had multiple calls from community members to petition this issue to referendum, and I’m evaluating what would need to happen for that to be successful.

Charter Amendment Resolution No. 17-CR-01 Council-Manager Form of Government 5-8-17 as amended & signed (5)