By Margie Plunkett
Delray Beach Commissioners introduced five ordinances to amend the city’s charter, including one that wasn’t favored but passed to allow public comment.
The charter amendments are scheduled for a public hearing Oct. 16. If approved, they will go to a public vote on the March 12 ballot.
The proposed amendments introduced at the Oct. 2 commission meeting would:
* Clarify language in the charter and make it easier to read.
* Change the length of term for mayor and commissioners from two to three years, but leave the total term unchanged at six years.
* Allow a commissioner who assumes the post of mayor to serve six years in the latter capacity, even if they have already served six years as a commissioner.
* Allow the city manager’s salary to be reduced during his term of employment.
* The fifth proposal, which commissioners indicated they do not favor, would allow a city manager to be removed from office by a vote of 3 to 2, rather than the 4 to 1 vote currently required.
The last amendment would make it easier for the commission to vote a city manager out of office. “It effectively politicizes the position of city manager,” said Commissioner Al Jacquet.
Other commissioners concurred, but voted in favor of the amendment in order to collect comment from the public at the hearing scheduled later in the month.
Current City Manager David Harden also said it could hinder recruitment for the position, as new job candidates are less likely to want to relocate knowing they could lose their job on the vote of a simple majority.
The charter amendments were identified and recommended by the Charter Review Committee.