Emerson starts charter revision process
by Jason Lowrey
Oct 25, 2012 | 1312 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Emerson is about to join the ranks of Bartow County municipalities that have revised their city charters.

During a work session Oct. 22, City Manager Kevin McBurnett met with the city council to provide them with the city’s current charter, which has not been revised since 1989. The council will be revising the charter itself, rather than forming a committee to submit recommendations.

Most of the revision process, McBurnett said, would focus on updating the language within the charter. However, the council also will be considering if it wants to restructure the city’s government.

“The current charter is a strong mayor form of government,” McBurnett said. “[We’re] reviewing whether to go with a council [and] manager form of government or whether to stay [with] a strong mayor and just change our structuring and how to do things. So what they have in their hands right now says council [and] manager form of government. I don’t know what we’re going to do, yet.”

McBurnett added that he went over a number of needed revisions to the current charter with the council so they would be able to “get a handle” on the material. At their next meeting the city council will begin making their revisions to the charter so that it can be submitted to the state by December. Then the revised charter will go to the state legislation for an approval vote.

“... I know that we will get support and we will talk to our representatives in both houses to make sure we’ve got support to get it up and on the floor and get it passed through. I don’t see any problem with it. It’s not changing anything. It’s just updating it,” he said.

During the work session the council also discussed sending out mailings about Emerson’s upcoming special elections on Nov. 6. The city is asking residents for a decision on a Freeport Tax exemption and Sunday alcohol sales within the city. McBurnett emphasized that residents wanting to vote in the special election must cast ballots at Emerson City Hall.

“You must go to Emerson City Hall to vote in the special election,” he said.

The council also discussed drafting a resolution to join the planned Bartow County Metropolitan Planning Organization and sending a short-term work plan to the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission.

During the regular meeting after the work session, the council approved an intergovernmental agreement with Bartow County on the energy excise tax, which will ensure Emerson receives its share of the sales tax dollars on energy used for manufacturing.

Other council business included:

• Approving a $100 donation to the Georgia Municipal Association’s Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade.

• Approving the renewal of the city’s medical insurance.

The Emerson City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. at city hall. The council’s Nov. 12 meeting has been canceled.