Voters asked to change Mesa charter - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Voters asked to change Mesa charter

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Posted: Friday, November 2, 2012 7:14 am

Mesa voters are being asked to make changes to the city charter during the Nov. 6 election, most of which impact elections and the city’s leadership.

Two of the issues are being asked so the city charter conforms with new state law.

In the past, elections for city council members could be held on one of four dates. State lawmakers changed that to require that all city council member and bond elections be held only in November.

Mesa’s charter required a vote for council members in the spring.

“We are now changing our charter to conform with the new state law,” Mesa city attorney Debbie Spinner said.

Proposition 462 allows the city council to set the date for city elections. With the changes in when elections would be held, Prop. 463 allows the city council to set the date when council and mayoral terms begin.

Proposition 461 would allow the city manager to give the five-year capital program report to the city council prior to the start of the fiscal year — July 1 — rather than the current date of March 1, three months earlier.

“We want it to be presented during the budget discussion,” Springer said.

Probably the biggest change comes with Proposition 460. Currently, if the mayor’s post is vacated, city ordinance allows the vice mayor to step in, no matter how much time is left in the term. With a “yes” vote, Mesa would hold a new election for mayor if more than two years remain in the term.

The final ballot question for the Mesa City Charter would eliminate the primary election when there are fewer than three candidates for an open mayor or district council member position.

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